2022 NIDUS II Pilot Award Application Instructions

Application Instructions

Application Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2022, 5:00 PM EST

NIDUS II (Network for Investigation of Delirium: Unifying Scientists) will be offering one-year pilot grants for collaborative research projects related to delirium. The purpose of these awards will be to support pilot studies to encourage novel delirium research targeting our NIDUS II priority areas. At least two grants of $40,000 each (direct costs) over 12 months will be awarded.

2 NIDUS II Pilot Grant Priority Areas: Pilot Grants must clearly focus on at least one of the 4 following research areas chosen to have broad impact on the field:

  1. Inter-Relationship of Delirium and AD/ADRD: studies on risk factors, pathophysiology, and treatment.
  2. Harmonization and refinement of delirium measurement tools.
  3. Biomarker and mechanistic studies to advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of delirium and to identify therapeutic targets.
  4. Clinical Trials–Intervention Development studies for future clinical trials, especially of delirium treatment.

Eligibility:  Investigators must be faculty members with PhD, MD, or doctoral equivalent. A collaborative group of investigators is required (see requirements). US citizenship is not required. Both US and International (non-US) investigators are eligible to apply. Teams that include both junior and senior faculty are encouraged. Note: the pilot will be judged on its scientific excellence and not career development potential.

Application criteria:

  1. Prior Happy Hour participation and Collaborative Awards are helpful, but NOT required
  2. Approved Letter of Intent required [https://deliriumnetwork.org/pilots/nidus-ii-pilots-loi/]
  3. Methods Consultation required to proceed to pilot grant
  4. Four-page NIH-type proposal (see instructions)
  5. Must focus on at least one NIDUS II priority area
  6. The work funded by the grant should be conceived such that it leads to a large independent grant (e.g. NIH, AHRQ, PCORI, etc.).
  7. Must meet the criteria above plus:
    • Must utilize our NIDUS Cores and resources in substantive ways to accomplish the work.
    • Involve up to 5 investigators from multiple disciplines, across 2-3 institutions (maximum of 3 subcontracts).
      • Senior investigators that can give in-kind support are encouraged—may be from another institution (if does not require additional subcontract)
    • Preference for projects that include junior investigator(s).
  8. Budget criteria: Resources may be used for partial salary support and research-related expenses, which may include equipment and assays. Tuition and training expenses are not eligible. Provision must be made for research personnel sufficient to conduct the work, including data analysis and technical support; projects proposing inadequate support for research staff may not be successful. Travel expenses are allowable only for one investigator to present at the NIDUS annual meeting. Additional indirect costs are allowable up to 60% (U.S. institutions) or 8% (foreign institutions).

Application Instructions:

  1. Cover sheet containing the following information:
    • Title of project
    • Principal Investigator: name; institution/organization; and contact information (email, phone number, mailing address)
    • Collaborators (full names and their institutions/organizations)
    • NIDUS II Priority area addressed: _________
    • If any: NIDUS PI involvement (name): ________(Substantive involvement in the application)
  2. Proposal must include the following sections (maximum 4 pages):
    • Abstract (~1/2 page max)
    • Science (~3 pages max)
      • Specific aims/hypothesis
      • Background, significance, innovation
      • Research design and methods
        • Study design
        • Sample inclusion and exclusion criteria
        • Statistical analyses (including sample size and power considerations)
      • Study strengths and limitations
    • Statement on how the pilot work will lead to a large independent grant (~1/2 page)
    • Appendix (not included in 4-page limit)
      • Literature Cited
      • Applicant’s NIH Biosketch [follow current NIH guidelines: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm]
      • Key research team members’ NIH Biosketches
      • Description of the collaborative team with distinct role of each member (1 page max)
      • Resources and Environment (1 page max)
      • Budget for pilot (Up to $40,000 USD Total Direct Costs)
      • Budget justification, including full justification of each budget item (2 page max)
      • Pilot timeline with specific objectives to achieve in each quarter (1/2 page max)

Formatting and Submission:

Submit your proposal in PDF format as a single document including the full proposal and appendix. Follow general NIH formatting guidelines (11 point Arial font, printable on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with at least 0.5 inch margins on all sides). Applications that are incomplete or do not adhere to page limits will not be considered.

Applications are due by Friday, April 1, 2022, 5:00pm ESTNo late or incomplete applications accepted.

  • Email your application to the NIDUS Program Coordinator at nidus@hsl.harvard.edu
  • Please use the subject line “2022 NIDUS II Pilot Grant Application”

Review process and criteria:  Applications will be scored by a review panel, rated based on scientific merit and fulfillment of the review criteria outlined below.

  1. NIH review criteria: with ratings of the 5 NIH criteria (e.g., Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, Environment)
  2. NIDUS-specific review criteria:
    •  Required:
      • Focus on a NIDUS II priority research area
      • Feasibility/likelihood that the proposed study can be completed within one year
      • Substantive use of NIDUS resources to accomplish the work
      • Engagement of an effective interdisciplinary research team
      • Evidence that the proposed study will lead to a future large grant proposal or major scientific publication that will ultimately help to advance delirium treatment.
    • Preferred:
      • Substantive involvement of a junior faculty investigator
      • DEI focus: Inclusion of diverse populations as investigators and participants encouraged


  • Letters of intent due:               November 15, 2021
  • Pilot applications due:             April 1, 2022
  • Selection announcement:       By end of June, 2022

Expectations upon award

IRB approval and other assurances are not required at the time of submission, but must precede funding of successful applications. If awarded, achievement of study milestones will be tracked with mid-point and final progress reports, as well as regular 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, held in conjunction with the American Delirium Society Annual Meeting, and to report subsequent publications or funding that arise from the pilot grant to NIDUS. These expectations will be included in the subcontract awarded at the start of the funding period. Pilot awards will be issued as subcontracts to the institutions of the involved faculty. Payments will be made in USD via check on a monthly or quarterly basis. Institutions who are not able to receive checks are not eligible to receive the award. Payment via electronic wire transfer are not possible at this time.

For any questions, please contact: nidus@hsl.harvard.edu