2023 NIDUS II Pilot Award Application Instructions

NIDUS II Pilot Award Application Instructions

Application Deadline: Friday, May 5, 2023, 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. NIDUS  II will award At least two grants of $40,000 each (direct costs) over 12 months.

Two NIDUS II Pilot Grant Priority Areas: Pilot Grants must clearly focus on at least one of the four 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. NIDUS encourages teams that include both junior and senior faculty. Note: We will judge the pilot on its scientific excellence and not career development potential.

NIDUS II Pilot Award Application criteria
  1. Approved Letter of Intent required
  2. Methods Consultation required to proceed to pilot grant.
  3. A biostatistical collaborator as part of your collaborative team who must attend at least one of the methods consultations; this is a requirement for all NIDUS II pilots.
  4. Four-page NIH-type proposal (see instructions below).
  5. Must focus on at least one NIDUS II priority area (see above).
  6. Design the grant-funded work so that it leads to a large independent grant (e.g. NIH, AHRQ, PCORI, etc.).
  7. There can be no overlap with other current applications. The same or closely related Aims should not currently have been submitted elsewhere (or planned for submission elsewhere). The aims of this pilot award should not even partially overlap with any Aims of another grant already submitted.
  8. If data sharing is required for your project, documentation of a data use agreement to accomplish the proposed work will be required before the award can be funded. Funding will not be awarded unless either a data use agreement is already in place or convincing evidence is provided that the data use agreement will be obtained in a timely manner.
  9. NIDUS PIs, co-I’s, or any personnel receiving salary support from NIDUS grant are not eligible to be a PI on a Pilot application.
  10. Must meet criteria above plus additional criteria:
    • The pilot grant must utilize NIDUS Cores and/or resources in substantive ways to accomplish the work.
    • An interdisciplinary, cross-institutional, fully justified collaborative team. 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).
  11. Budget criteria: The pilot budget should be used preferentially for research resources, assays, etc. to support the project, and not primarily for salary support of investigators. 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).
  12. A cover letter (limited to 1 page) providing an overview of responses to address Letter of Intent critiques and input from the Methods Consultations.
  13. Please note that meeting criteria (1-9 above) is required for a successful NIDUS Pilot application.
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 (describe diversity inclusion)
        • 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)
      • 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.

NIDUS II Pilot Award Applications are due by Friday, May 5, 2023, 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 “2023 NIDUS II Pilot Grant Application”
Review process and criteria

A review panel will score applications, 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 of proposed study completion 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:               December 7, 2022
  • Pilot applications due:             May 5, 2023
  • Selection announcement:       Summer, 2023
Expectations upon award

We don’t require IRB approval and other assurances at the time of submission. However, these must precede funding of successful applications. If awarded, then achievement of study milestones will be tracked with mid-point and final progress reports, as well as regular teleconferences between the PI and NIDUS Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core leadership. Furthermore, we expect awardees 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. NIDUS will issue pilot awards as subcontracts to the institutions of the involved faculty. We will make payments in USD via check on a monthly or quarterly basis. Consequently, institutions who cannot receive checks are ineligible to receive the award. Payment via electronic wire transfer are not possible at this time.

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