About the Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders research grant

The Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), the Alzheimer’s Association, and Alzheimer’s Society aim to support emerging leaders in brain health, aging and dementia by funding small-scale pilot projects, activities and/or studies (hereafter referred to as “pilot project(s)”) to advance skills, knowledge, activities and general efforts to delay, prevent and/or mitigate the impact of dementia. The goal of these awards is to both support leadership development of the awardee and to advance pilot projects that improve outcomes in brain health.

This grant is by invitation only.


The Global Brain Health Institute (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 (Trinity). As leading non-profit funders of Alzheimer’s and dementia related research, the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Society share the commitment to developing the next generation of brain health leaders, aligning with the vision and mission of GBHI. To further emphasize the commitment to these goals, GBHI, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Alzheimer’s Society are partnering to offer the Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders.

The Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders will prioritize activities that demonstrate the potential to lead to larger projects in the awardees’ home regions with an emphasis on lower and middle-income communities, while demonstrating how the proposed activity adds to the applicant’s career trajectory. 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 at least one of 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 for this RFA include research and non-research approaches, which may 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.
 Award budgets range between $5,000 and $25,000 and should be one or two full years in length.

About our partners

The 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 gbhi.org 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.


Atlantic Fellows at GBHI, including alumni, who have not previously received a Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders award.

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 are ineligible.
  • Applicants that have previous Alzheimer’s Association awards closed as ‘Incomplete’ are also not eligible to apply without exception.
  • Atlantic Fellows at GBHI who have previously received an award under this program are not eligible to apply.
  • Applications submitted by Atlantic Fellows at GBHI who have not met expectations for participation in the fellowship may not be eligible for review.

Date Event
January 10, 2024 RFA distributed
March 6, 2024 Letters of Intent (LOI) due in ProposalCentral
May 8, 2024 Phase 1 submission due in ProposalCentral (draft for mentor review)
July 10, 2024 Phase 2 submission due in ProposalCentral (final)
July-September 2024 Review and decisions
By October 11, 2024 Funding notice
November 2024-April 2025 Pilot implementation begins

Submission and review process

Submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI): The Letter of Intent (LOI) is a required step in the application process. All LOIs must be completed and submitted online at proposalCENTRAL. First-time users must register and fill out a Professional Profile to begin the LOI process. No hard copies or email copies will be accepted. Letters of Intent 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 at proposalCENTRAL after your LOI has been approved. The full application consists of the following (template and instructions located under the Work Plan and Other Attachments section):

  • Statement of Mission Alignment – written by applicant to highlight their commitment to objectives of the program and at least one of 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 to 2 pages).
  • Pilot Description & 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, plan to expand the work of the pilot and/or seek leveraged funding (3 to 5 pages).
  • Statement of Mentorship: GBHI Mentor – written by the GBHI mentor to outline plan for the applicant’s continued training (1 to 2 pages each). Information about any additional mentors should be incorporated into the primary mentors’ statements.
  • Statement of Mentorship: Regional Mentor – written by the regional mentor to outline plan for the applicant’s continued training (1 to 2 pages each). Information about any additional mentors should be incorporated into the primary mentors’ statements.
  • Available Resources & Budget Justification – the projected budget and justification must be comprehensive and match the Pilot Plan in scope and breadth (1 to 2 pages).
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): 3 total – a CV/biosketch for the applicant and each of the primary mentors (one GBHI and one regional) must be included (up to 5 pages each).
  • Feasibility Checklist – only required for Phase 1, completed by the applicant, this simple checklist (2 pages) allows the support team to provide feedback related to potential implementation challenges prior to the Phase 2 submission.

The use of World Wide Web addresses (URLs) anywhere in the application is not allowed. The potential for providing a large amount of extra material from a web site beyond what would fit within the page limit of each section, may give an unfair advantage to some applicants.

While there is no required reference style, the commonly used National Library of Medicine format is recommended.

Applicants are expected to engage in the following activities and cost them, 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’s International Conference (AAIC), AAIC Satellite Symposium (offered twice annually in different parts of the world), or the Alzheimer’s Society’s national conference (held each May and attended by a network of careers 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; proposed plan is clearly linked to the long-term goals of this initiative as outlined above (40%).

2. Includes a well-developed mentorship plan from each mentor (i.e., a GBHI mentor and a home community/regional 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, Trinity College Dublin, the Alzheimer’s Society, and the Alzheimer’s Association, among others pertinent to the proposed work. (15%).

4. Proposed pilot convincingly demonstrates how the activity is an important step on the applicant’s trajectory to be a leader in brain health (15%)

5. The proposed plan matches the projected budget in scope and breadth (10%).

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

Mechanism of award

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


Budget summary and budget narratives are required and must be submitted with the application. Budget narratives are to provide budget line justification, including known details and reasoning associated with all salary related costs.

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
  • Special use computer hardware and software (if used strictly for pilot project implementation and with justification), not to exceed 20% of the total proposed budget; if proposed equipment expense will exceed this limit, awardee must have prior approval in writing.
  • Purchase and care of laboratory animals
  • Small pieces of laboratory or clinical research equipment
  • Laboratory or clinical supplies
  • Ethical committee review costs
  • Open access publication fees for journal articles related to the pilot project
  • Membership to ISTAART, the professional society of the Alzheimer’s Association, and other relevant scientific memberships
  • Indirect costs up to a maximum of 10% of direct costs (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)

Direct costs not allowed under this award include:

  • Tuition for full degree programs (however, workshops, seminars are allowed)
  • Rent for laboratory/office space
  • Construction or renovation costs
  • Facilities fee
  • Laboratory or supply costs not directly relevant to proposed pilot project
  • Laboratory equipment such as freezers, ultracentrifuges, RT-PCR, Microscopy/imaging equipment not directly relevant to proposed pilot project
  • Service contract fees of equipment
  • Expenses such as Data Network Recharges and Computing and communication device support services (however, data sharing fees and/or data storage for imaging, sequencing and other project-specific data are allowed)
  • General liability insurances, such as GAEL
  • Salary and/or compensation for Alzheimer’s Association Staff or current members of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Group (MSAG) and the International Research Grant Program (IRGP) Council. A complete list of MSAG and IRGP Council members can be found at alz.org/grants.
For additional information, please send all inquiries to grantsapp@alz.org.

Funded studies

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

Fiscal Year 2023 Abstracts by Investigator

Fiscal Year 2022 Abstracts by Investigator

Fiscal Year 2021 Abstracts by Investigator

Fiscal Year 2020 Abstracts by Investigator

Fiscal Year 2019 Abstracts by Investigator

Fiscal Year 2018 Abstracts by Investigator 

For more information: Contact grantsapp@alz.org and pilots.projects@gbhi.org.