NIDUS Pilot Grant 2019-2020 Application Information

NIDUS (Network for Investigation of Delirium: Unifying Scientists) will be offering monetary, 1-year pilot awards for new research projects related to delirium.  The purpose of these awards will be to support pilot studies to encourage innovative research targeting priority areas of delirium investigation. Four grants of $50,000 each (total direct costs) will be awarded. Indirect costs are supported. Awardees will be notified by March 1, 2020. Two application tracks are available: junior investigator track and established investigator track.
Applications are due Thursday November 7, 2019 by 5:00pm ET.
►Download instructions as PDF: 2019 Delirium Pilot Award Application Instructions
►See Frequently-Asked-Questions: NIDUS Pilot Award FAQs (updated 10/30/19)
►Watch 2019 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, doctoral 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.
Experienced Investigator Track: The Experienced Investigator Track is aimed at established researchers who aim to use the pilot money to newly enter the field of delirium research. [Note, this is a change from the previous application cycle].
Please note: International researchers are eligible to apply for these funds and are not required to have a U.S. collaborator.
NIDUS Priority Themes: The Pilots and Innovation Task Force has identified three major themes of special interest for the pilot grants below, each representing a research area likely to have broad impact on the field. However, proposals on any delirium topic are eligible and will be considered by the review committee.
  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. If addressing a NIDUS Priority Theme, specify which one on cover letter.
  • 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 will be negotiable on these pilot awards”
        • 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 and Submission 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 for instructions and template).
Please contact the NIDUS program coordinator at 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)
  • Priority theme addressed by application, if applicable (see above)
  • Junior Investigator Track only: Include mentor’s name and institution
  • Resubmissions only: Indicate that the proposal is a resubmission from the 2018 NIDUS Pilot Grant Cycle
Submission Instructions
Applications are due by Thursday November 7, 2019, 5:00 PM Eastern Time.  No late or incomplete applications will be accepted. 
►  Email your application to the NIDUS Program Coordinator at
►  Use the subject line “2019 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 PDF: 2019 Delirium Pilot Award Application Instructions
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 (including feasibility)
  6. Environment
  7. 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 mid-point and final progress reports, as well as quarterly teleconferences between the PI and NIDUS Pilots Task Force leadership. Awardees will also be expected to present their findings at the annual NIDUS Scientific Symposium, traditionally held in conjunction with 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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