The GAAIN Exploration to Evaluate Novel Alzheimer’s Queries (GEENA-Q) will stimulate researchers to interrogate the federated GAAIN network for new discoveries in Alzheimer’s research.


The Global Alzheimer’s Association Interactive Network (GAAIN, is a big data platform for cohort discovery and data exploration focused on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. GAAIN provides tools that allow researchers to explore diverse clinical, health factor, genetic, and imaging datasets from Data Partners around the world quickly and intuitively. GAAIN currently has nearly 500,000 unique clinical records from nearly 30 clinical studies around the world available for interrogation across data elements. 

The GAAIN Interrogator provides an analytical platform from which to explore, query, and visualize GAAIN data. One key new feature is the capacity to conduct preliminary analyses on remotely accessible data. The new tool is highly flexible and enables users to easily create custom cohorts to use in analyses. 

Program description 

The GEENA-Q program will support scientific investigation using the GAAIN tools to generate creative insights into Alzheimer’s and dementia queries. Projects will be awarded $25,000 to launch and carry forward discovery based research to address targeted questions. GEENA-Q aims to accelerate our knowledge of biological and/or clinical change across the continuum of disease. 

Applications to the GEENA-Q program will be accepted that utilize the GAAIN platform to explore novel questions in Alzheimer’s and dementia research. Proposals should focus on correlations and investigations across multiple data sets, and utilize the GAAIN Data Partners for the specific area of interest. Proposals should clearly outline the type of study, the rationale for the query, the plan to further advance the investigation. 

Selection of awardees

Projects will be evaluated for their relevance to the goals and objectives of the proposed question, the clarity and relevance of the proposed analysis, creative use of data and a detailed plan to further convey ideas and share results clearly. In addition, projects will be evaluated for their overall innovation and out of the box thinking to address challenging questions. The GEENA-Q award recipients will receive $25,000 in grants to conduct their research. 


Applications are encouraged from research laboratories and teams around the world. Researchers with full-time staff or faculty appointments are encouraged to apply. Post-doctoral fellows are eligible to apply as a principal investigator (PI), but must collaborate with an administrative PI who serves as the director of the laboratory in which the research will be conducted. The administrative PI will be responsible for assisting in providing all institutional documents required for the project and will be required to sign any award contract. Training or mentoring-only proposals will not be considered. 

LOI and proposal submission process and timeline

Letters of Intent (LOI) must be created and submitted through the 
proposalCENTRAL online application system at

Letters of Intent must be received by April 4, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST, and must address the RFA in scope. The LOI will include the applicant information, including institution and eligibility, overall interrogation proposed and a brief description of the rationale for the data analyses. 

Late or incomplete LOIs will not be accepted after this date (no exceptions). 

For those invited, full applications must be received by May 11, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST. A specialized review panel will evaluate each project. 

Funding is anticipated to be awarded by June 30, 2018. 

The full grant application consists of the following: 

1) Lead investigator and/or co-investigator Curriculum Vitae

2) Work plan (2 pages, max) single space, 12 font Times New Roman of the proposed question to investigate, motivation and general plan for analysis of the data. This can, but not required, include screen capture of a preliminary analysis using the Interrogator tool to support your potential question of interest. 
  • a. Within the work plan, proposal should demonstrate use the GAAIN Interrogator tool to explore data from multiple Data Partners related to your area of interest. 
  • b. Work plan should include datasets from a minimum of 3 Data Partners for a full analysis; preference will be given to projects that utilize multiple data partners and data elements.  

3) Timeline for work plan and analysis 

  • a. If awarded, project timeline should include the plan to obtain and analyze the data. Compare results to preliminary analysis from the Interrogator.
  • b. If awarded, project timeline should include follow up activities that will leverage findings to establish multi-collaborator publication based on potential findings.

Budget and allowable costs 

Funds used under this program must be used for direct research support. 
Budgets are over six to eighteen months totaling $25,000. It is required that 
funds awarded under this program be used for direct research support. Budgets must be appropriate and justifiable for the work described. Of the total award amount, $5,000 will be withheld until a follow up manuscript has been submitted for potential publication (expected to be within six months of the project analysis completion). 

Funds awarded may be used for: 

  • Salary for the principal investigator, scientific (including post-doctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians and administrative support staff whose work is directly related to the funded project) except where individuals are paid salaries by their institutions.
  • Travel related to presentation of project findings
  • Open access publication fees 

Funds awarded cannot be used for direct costs for: 

  • Tuition
  • Computer hardware or software for investigators and other capital equipment
  • Rent for laboratory/office space
  • Construction or renovation costs
  • Travel 

Reporting requirements 

Projects that receive the GEENA-Q awards will be required to provide six month milestone reports. For projects that are six months in duration, only one report will be required. It is expected that awarded projects will submit manuscript for publication within six months of completion of their project. The final $5,000 of the overall award will be paid following confirmation of manuscript submission.