2018 NIDUS Pilot Grant Information

Page updated 10/15/18

NIDUS (Network for Investigation of Delirium: Unifying Scientists) will offer monetary pilot awards for four new 1-year research projects related to delirium.  The purpose of these awards is to support pilot studies to encourage innovative research targeting priority areas of delirium investigation. Two grants of $50,000 each (total direct costs) will be awarded. Indirect costs are supported. Awardees will be notified February 28, 2019. Two application tracks are available: junior investigator track and established investigator track.
►Download instructions as PDF: NIDUS Pilot Award Application Instructions 2018
►See Frequently-Asked-Questions: NIDUS Pilot Award FAQs (added 10/15/18)
►Watch Pilot Grant Overview Webinar: Pilot Grant Webinar Slides and Recording

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Junior Investigator Track: The Junior Investigator Track is aimed for new investigators who plan to dedicate a significant portion of their professional effort on delirium. The eligibility criteria for the Junior Investigator track are listed below:
  • No more than 10 years from completion of final training degree (e.g. physician board certification, PhD, nursing degree, etc.)
  • Not intended for investigators who have received significant extramural funding such as NIH R-awards, K23, K08, K12, KL2 or AHA Young Investigator Awards.
  • An appropriately qualified mentor with a mentorship plan is required.
  • Investigator should have at least 50% protected time to pursue research.
Established Investigator Track: The Established Investigator Track is aimed at experienced researchers who aim to use the pilot money to develop ongoing scientific investigations to further delirium research. Those who exceed or do not meet the Junior Investigator criteria should apply for the Established Investigator track.
Please note: International researchers are eligible to apply for these funds and are not required to have a U.S. collaborator.
Major Themes: Proposals on any delirium topic are eligible and will be considered by the review committee. The Pilots Task Force has identified 3 major themes of special interest. Read announcement2018 NIDUS Pilot Grant Major Themes (07/24/18)
  1. Interrelationship of delirium and dementia: Research that will provide greater insight to the relationship between delirium and dementia. A few potential examples, which are not exhaustive, include: identification of shared biological pathways, risk factors, improvements in delirium identification in patients with dementia, or development of prevention or management approaches for delirium in persons with dementia.
  2. Innovative studies to identify more effective prevention or treatment approaches for delirium: Proposals focused on development of new prevention or treatment strategies for delirium, especially multicomponent approaches. Please note that these pilots are intended as intervention development studies or clinical trial planning grants, not for the conduct of actual clinical trials.
  3. Elucidating delirium pathophysiology: Research that will shed light on underlying pathophysiology and biological mechanisms of delirium, biomarkers, and may involve animal models or basic laboratory approaches.
Application criteria:
  • Proposal must be related to delirium research
  • Proposal must include the following sections:
      1. Abstract (1/2 page max)
        • Study Title
        • Abstract
      2. Science (3 pages max)
        1. Specific aims/hypothesis
        2. Importance of project for the candidate’s career development (Junior Track) and/or for the overall research goals (Established Track)
        3. Background and significance
        4. Research design and methods: Study design; Sample inclusion and exclusion criteria; Statistical analyses (inc. Sample size and power considerations); Study strengths and limitations
      3. Statement on Career Development Plans (1 page max – For Junior Investigator Track Only)
      4. Statement on how applicant will grow a research program focused on delirium (1/2 page)
      5. Appendices
        • Reference list
        • Applicant’s NIH Biosketch
        • Junior Investigator Track Only: Mentor statement (1 page max) and Mentor’s NIH Biosketch
        • Key research team members’ NIH Biosketches
        • Resources and Environment (1pg)
        • Budget for pilot (Up to $50,000 USD Total Direct Costs). Indirect costs up to 63% (US institutions) or 8% (foreign institutions) are also supported.
        • Budget justification (2 page max), including description and justification of research team
        • Timeline for pilot with quarterly milestones (specific objectives to be achieved in each quarter).
        • Letters of support, if relevant (Each letter should be no longer than 1 page).

Resubmissions: Proposals previously submitted for NIDUS Pilot Awards can be resubmitted. Resubmitted proposals should include an additional ½ page introduction indicating changes and improvements that have been made since the previous submission. If the previous submission received specific comments from reviewers, responses to reviewer comments should be fully addressed in the ½ page. This section should be included between the Abstract and Scientific Plan, and is not counted in the overall page limit.

Formatting instructions:
Please submit your proposal in PDF format as a single document with all application elements and appendix included. Proposals should follow general NIH formatting guidelines (11 point Arial font, with 0.5 inch margins on all sides). NIH biosketches should follow the most current format (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm for instructions and template).
Please contact the NIDUS program coordinator at nidus@hsl.harvard.edu if you have any questions about formatting.
Please include a cover sheet containing the following information:
  • Your name
  • Your institution/organization
  • Contact information (email address, phone number, mailing address)
  • Title of project
  • Submission for Junior or Experienced Investigator Track (indicate which category)
  • Junior Investigator Track only: Include mentor’s name and institution
  • Resubmissions only: Indicate that the proposal is a resubmission from the 2017 NIDUS Pilot Grant Cycle
Submission Instructions
Applications are due by Wednesday November 7, 2018, 5:00 PM Eastern Time.  No late or incomplete applications will be accepted. 
►  Email your application to the NIDUS Program Coordinator, Kristen Erickson, at nidus@hsl.harvard.edu
►  Please use the subject line “2018 NIDUS Grant Award Application”
Please note: Both U.S. and international investigators are welcome to apply. International applicants do not need a U.S.-based collaborator. 
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►Download instructions as PDFNIDUS Pilot Award Application Instructions 2018
Review Criteria
Proposals will be evaluated based on:
  1. Significance
  2. Evidence of commitment to establishing/developing delirium research program
  3. Investigator(s)
  4. Innovation
  5. Approach
  6. Feasibility
  7. Environment
  8. Career Development (for Junior Investigator Track Only)

A sample review form is available here: NIDUS Pilot Grant Review Form.

Expectations upon award

If awarded, achievement of study milestones will be tracked with a mid-point and final progress report, as well as semi-annual teleconferences between the PI and NIDUS Pilots Task Force leadership. Awardees will also be expected to present their findings at the American Delirium Society Annual meeting, and to report subsequent publications or funding that arises from the pilot grant to NIDUS. These expectations will be included in detail in the scope of work document upon award of the pilot and will be discussed with each award recipient at the start of the funding period.

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Have questions about applying for a NIDUS Pilot Grant?

Review video or slides from our informational webinar led by Pilots leaders Michael Avidan and Thomas Robinson.