AA-ISRI | Aug. 14-18, 2023 | Chicago, IL

Applications are closed. Notification emails will be sent in early June 2023.

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Who should apply

Applications will be reviewed from early-stage investigators, defined as those who completed their terminal research degree (Ph.D., Dr.PH., M.D. or other doctoral-level degree) or completed their post-graduate clinical training before this program starts in August and within the past 10 years. Applicants should not have previously competed successfully as a principal investigator for a substantial independent research award. The doctoral degree may be in social, medical, behavioral sciences or public health. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Applicants from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities and women are always encouraged to apply.

Please note: Study projects involving imaging and biomarkers fall outside the scope of the Summer Institute.

Training tracks

Applicants must specify one of the two offered training tracks, either public health or psychosocial. Please select your track based on the descriptions below.

Public Health Track

Public health is a broad field aimed at protecting and improving the health and safety of a community or group of people.

Applicants for the public health track should be interested in pursuing research projects applicable at a population level, typically using secondary data. Projects may include disease prevalence (epidemiology), systems change (public health policy and health systems reform) and cost of care (economics). Research on interventions with respect to risk reduction (primary prevention), early detection (secondary prevention) and disease management (tertiary prevention) should focus on population-level — not individual-level — interventions.

At the Summer Institute, successful applicants in the public health track will:

  • Gain a greater understanding of the public health dimensions of dementia and its impact on communities. Sessions will focus on subjective cognitive decline, the economics of Alzheimer's and dementia-associated stigma.
  • Learn about public health approaches to addressing dementia. This will include sessions that identify the population-level and policy levers for intervention, discuss improving the health and well-being of individuals with dementia, and explore non-health community systems to enable aging in place.

Psychosocial Track

Psychosocial research focuses on how psychological factors and the social environment influence physical, functional, cognitive and mental well-being, including the influence of socioeconomic status, cultural and ethnic diversity, and health and lifestyle practices. It examines individuals' risk, resilience and outcomes, and develops and tests interventions to reduce risk, promote resilience and effect outcomes. In the context of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD), it also focuses on the effects of dementia on individuals and caregivers, as well as differences across stages of the disease.

Applicants for the psychosocial track should be interested in pursuing research projects focused on implementation research, typically using primary data. These projects should be applicable at an individual level (e.g., persons living with dementia), dyadic level (e.g., persons living with dementia and their caregivers) or group/systems level (e.g., long-term care) to effect risk, resilience and outcomes.

At the Summer Institute, successful applicants in the psychosocial track will:

  • Gain exposure to a wide range of potential intervention research populations, designs and methods in dementia. This will include caregiver interventions, interventions with persons living with dementia, and interventions targeting the environment and technology, including the latest research and need gaps.
  • Enhance skills in methods for ADRD research. This will include identifying and developing measures, utilizing mixed methods and how to initiate and follow through with community-engaged research.

How to submit

Applicants must specify one of the two offered training tracks (public health or psychosocial). The application requirements include:

  • General demographic information.
  • Statement of 150 words or less describing the applicant’s objectives for attending the institute and how the institute would help them in their career/research.
  • Letters of recommendation from two individuals familiar with the applicant's professional interests and scholastic achievements. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure letters of recommendation are received.
  • One-page research proposal abstract, including specific aims. Please note that this should be the research you plan to discuss/work on during the institute.
  • An NIH biographical sketch (General).

Applicant evaluation criteria

Applications will be reviewed by an AA-ISRI Selection Committee, comprised of AA-ISRI faculty and convened yearly only for the purpose of applicant selection. Participants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Previous experience and training.
  • Affiliation with a research university or laboratory.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Alignment of stated objectives with the goals of the AA-ISRI.
  • Demonstrated interest in long-term career interest in ADRD.
  • A brief statement of objectives for attending the AA-ISRI.
  • Significance and quality of the research proposal abstract.

Twenty-four AA-ISRI awardees (12 per track) are chosen each year. Expenses for airfare, accommodations, most meals, local transportation and any course materials will be covered.

Application resources

These NIH resources below can help applicants develop successful applications:

You can also reference the Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program.