About the Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders research grant

The Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders grant program is a joint effort of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) and the Alzheimer’s Society to support emerging leaders from the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health at GBHI. The Pilot Awards focus on understanding risk and resilience of Alzheimer's and other dementia by funding small-scale pilot projects. The goal of these pilot projects is to support leadership development of the awardees and their efforts to spread awareness, delay, prevent and/or mitigate the impact of dementia.

This grant is by invitation only.

Program overview

The Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders is a joint effort of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) and the Alzheimer’s Society to support emerging leaders from the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health at GBHI. The Pilot Awards focus on understanding risk and resilience of Alzheimer's and other dementia by funding small-scale pilot projects. The goal of these pilot projects is to support leadership development of the awardees and their efforts to spread awareness, delay, prevent and/or mitigate the impact of dementia. 

The Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders will prioritize activities that demonstrate the potential to expand to larger projects in the awardees’ home regions with an emphasis on lower- and middle-income communities. Aligning with GBHI’s vision and mission, the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Society share the commitment to developing the next generation of leaders in aging and dementia. In addition, the fellows will also have wider opportunities to collaborate and network with international colleagues to drive a common mission.

About our partners

The Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) is a leader in the global community dedicated to protecting the world’s aging populations from threats to brain health.

GBHI works to reduce the scale and impact of dementia in three ways: by training and connecting the next generation of leaders in brain health through the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program; by collaborating in expanding preventions and interventions; and by sharing knowledge and engaging in advocacy.

GBHI strives to improve brain health for populations across the world, reaching into local communities and across their global network. GBHI brings together a powerful mix of disciplines, professions, backgrounds, skills, perspectives, and approaches to develop new science-based solutions. They focus on working compassionately with all people including those in vulnerable and under-served populations to improve outcomes and promote dignity for all people.

To learn more about GBHI, please visit or follow GBHI on Twitter.

Alzheimer’s Society is the United Kingdom’s largest non-profit funder of dementia research. Alzheimer’s Society campaigns for change and funds research to find a cure and to support people living with dementia today. Learn more about funding opportunities at Alzheimer’s Society.


Eligibility is open to Atlantic Fellows at GBHI, including alumni, who have not previously received an award from the Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders.

The following are not eligible to apply:
  • Applicants currently funded by the Alzheimer’s Association who are delinquent in submitting required reports and other deliverables on active grants. 
  • Applicants who have previous Alzheimer’s Association awards closed as “Incomplete” (ineligible without exception). 
  • Atlantic Fellows at GBHI who have previously received an award under this program.


GBHI trains a new generation of health leaders empowered to break down disciplinary boundaries and to find innovative ways to intervene on behalf of vulnerable people in their communities to prevent and limit the impact of dementia globally.

GBHI brings together two leading institutions in brain science, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin (TCD).

Priority will be given to pilot projects that utilize an evidence-based approach to identify or direct change and/or improve care and outcomes around age-related cognitive loss and dementia. Pilot projects that involve innovative or exploratory elements that are less well-tested are also welcome as long as the rationale for the approach is clear and there is a plan for evaluation. 

Pilot projects selected for funding must contribute to the following long-term impact goals:

  • Perception: Create social change, reduce stigma and inspire optimism and dignity for elders.
  • Populations: Promote equity in prevention strategies and care models for vulnerable aging populations.
  • Practice: Improve dementia diagnosis, treatment and care for patients and families.
  • Policy: Develop and refine brain health policies through evidence-based advocacy and outreach.
  • Publication: Generate and distribute knowledge to advance the field of brain health and dementia prevention.

Areas of emphasis

Areas of emphasis for this Request for Applications (RFA) include but are not limited to:

  • Create culture or social change around important topics in dementia, aging and brain health; for example, aim to increase awareness around risk factors for dementia or reduce stigma associated with brain aging.
  • Focus on improving policies around dementia, aging and brain health; for example, this may include advocacy, economic policy or ethics.
  • Leverage longitudinal studies of populations to answer questions about brain health; for example, about individuals living with dementia and/or their care partners.
  • Evaluate patient services and gaps in care; for example, this may involve surveys of providers or evaluation of health system data.
  • Focus on the diagnosis and/or prognosis of brain health disorders among vulnerable populations.
  • Intervention studies, including biological, social and behavioral interventions for the prevention or treatment of brain health disorders or associated challenges (e.g., those experienced by care partners) among vulnerable populations.

Awards range between $5,000 and $25,000.

Date Event
January 12, 2022 RFA distributed
March 9, 2022 Letters of Intent (LOI) due in ProposalCentral
May 4, 2022 Phase 1 submission due in ProposalCentral (draft for mentor review)
July 12, 2022 Phase 2 submission due in ProposalCentral (final)
July-August 2022 Review and decisions
September 30, 2022 Funding notice
October-November 2022 Pilot implementation begins

Submission and review process

Submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI): The LOI is a required step in the application process. All LOIs must be completed and submitted on the ProposalCentral website. First-time users must register and fill out a profile to begin the LOI process. No hard copy or email LOIs will be accepted. 

LOIs will be reviewed, and you may receive feedback on the likelihood that the proposed work will have the intended level of impact on the GBHI mission and the applicant’s career trajectory. Please be sure that these are addressed in the LOI.
The full application materials, including the application format, templates and instructions, will be available online on ProposalCentral after your LOI has been approved.

The full application consists of the following:

  • Pilot Description and Plan – Summary of the area of work the applicant is pursuing, description of the scope and importance of the problem being addressed, specific goals/aims or pilot project objectives, approach (strategy, methodology), evaluation plan, timeline, and plan to expand the work of the pilot and/or seek leveraged funding (3 to 5 pages).
  • Statement(s) of Mentorship – Written by mentor(s) to outline plan for the individual’s continued training (1 or 2 pages). If applicants have more than one mentor, applications should include statements of mentorship from no more than two mentors, with information on other mentors in the team incorporated into the primary mentors’ statements. Typically, this will include one letter from the home community (i.e., regional) mentor and another letter from the GBHI mentor.
  • Statement of Mission Alignment – Written by applicant to highlight their commitment to GBHI’s mission and the long-term impact goals stated above. This statement should include how the proposed work will add to the applicant’s career trajectory, including next steps once the activity is successfully accomplished (1 or 2 pages).
  • Available Resources and Budget Justification – The projected budget and the justification for the budget must be comprehensive and match the Pilot Plan in scope and breadth (1 to 2 pages).
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) – A CV or biosketch for the applicant and the mentor(s) must be included, limited to five pages each.

Awardees are expected to engage in the following activities and applicants should include their costs, if appropriate, in the budget:

  • Submission of funding proposal(s) to external funding agencies.
  • Attendance and/or presentation at an international meeting such as the GBHI annual conference (travel support provided by GBHI; cost should not be included in the proposed budget), the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), AAIC Satellite Symposium (offered twice annually in different parts of the world) or the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference (held each May and attended by a network of carers and people affected by dementia that can support the delivery of research programs).
  • Dissemination of the outputs of the pilot project (e.g., through conferences, manuscript submission, media engagement or other outreach activities).
  • Mentorship. A mentorship plan should be clearly described. The role of the mentor(s) in the applicant’s proposed pilot project must be defined in the proposal. It is expected that the designated mentor(s) will be heavily involved in the preparation of the application proposal and serve as a co-¬participant (or investigator) in the proposed pilot project. Mentors should include a GBHI mentor as well as a home community (i.e., regional) mentor.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria (all criteria should be addressed):

  1. A well-designed and feasible proposed pilot project plan, including an evaluation plan, that is clearly linked to the long-term goals of this initiative as outlined above. (40%)
  2. A well-developed mentorship plan from each mentor (i.e., a GBHI mentor and a home community mentor). (20%)
  3. A well-developed plan to continue, expand and/or adapt the proposed work following the successful completion of the pilot. This should include plans to secure future funding and may include plans to engage global partners, such as UCSF, TCD, the Alzheimer’s Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, or others pertinent to the proposed work. (15%)
  4. A convincing demonstration of how the proposed pilot activity is an important step on the applicant’s trajectory to be a leader in brain health. (15%)
  5. A projected budget that matches the proposed plan in scope and breadth. (10%)

Application review will be conducted in a joint process managed by GBHI, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Mechanism of award

The award is an individual grant for the pilot project proposed in the application.


A budget summary and budget narratives are required and must be submitted with the application. Budget narratives should provide budget line justification, including known details and reasoning associated with all salary-related costs. If the application is to be awarded, a more detailed budget will be required and must be approved before the disbursement of funds.

Allowable costs

Allowable costs include but are not limited to:

  • Salary for the grantee, technical assistance and other staff (including administrative support related directly to the funded pilot project). Applications that include significant funding allocations for the applicant’s salary may receive additional attention from reviewers, and applicants should justify the requested level of salary support in the budget justification.
  • Travel (with justification in the narrative), not to exceed 20% of the total proposed budget.
  • Computer equipment, hardware or software (if used strictly for pilot project implementation and with justification in the narrative), not to exceed 20% of the total proposed budget. If the proposed equipment expense will exceed this limit, awardee must have prior approval in writing.
  • Purchase and care of laboratory animals and/or small pieces of laboratory equipment and laboratory supplies.
  • Indirect costs up to a maximum of 10% (this should be included in the total award amount, not in addition to the award, and can be utilized for fiscal sponsor fees if necessary).
  • Independent IRB review and approval costs (if necessary).

Direct costs not allowed under this award include:

  • Tuition for full degree programs (however, workshops and seminars are allowed).
  • Rent for laboratory or office space.
  • Construction or renovation costs.
  • Facilities fee.
  • Laboratory or supply costs not directly relevant to proposed pilot project.

Funded studies

The Alzheimer's Association, GBHI and Alzheimer's Society collaboratively funded the following studies.

Fiscal Year 2020 Abstracts by Investigator

Fiscal Year 2019 Abstracts by Investigator

Fiscal Year 2018 Abstracts by Investigator 

For more information: Contact and