Microbes in Alzheimer's Disease Pilot Awards Request for Applications 2023

The purpose of these $85,000 pilot awards is to stimulate and support collaborative, innovative research on the potential role of microbes or pathogens in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). LOI due 7/10/23

Successful applications will propose feasible projects or experiments to test specific hypotheses, generate strong preliminary data, or develop a critical resource to advance this field of inquiry. All types of research, from any point along the translational spectrum, are welcome. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Associations between specific pathogens or microbiomes and AD risk or pathology
  • Advancement of new models to investigate the role of microbes or pathogens in AD
  • Understanding the consequences of infections, antimicrobials, or vaccines on AD or markers of AD risk

For more information on key gaps and high priority topics related to the potential role of infection, microbes, and inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease, view recording of recent symposium: https://youtu.be/3uLOIOC3irw

Eligibility and funding considerations:

  1. Principal investigator (PI) must be faculty at Duke University.  Collaborators from other institutions are allowed, but transfer of funding may result in delays or incur indirect costs from other institutions, which must be deducted from the $85,000 pilot budget.  If subawards are proposed, the application must address how these challenges will be handled and provide letters from partner institutions in support of the proposed plan (e.g., agreements regarding indirect cost structure).
  2. Priority consideration will be given to applications that incorporate any of the following in the study team:
  • Inter-disciplinary collaborations
  • Substantial involvement of a mentored student or trainee, or an early stage investigator (ESI)
  • Individuals from traditionally under-represented groups in research (as defined by NIH)

Timeline and Application Materials

  • Letters of intent (LOI) are due July 10 LOIs may not exceed 2 pages (at least 11-point font) and should specify: 1) the principal investigator and team members and affiliations; 2) objective and rationale for the proposed work, 3) brief description of proposed methodology and team’s ability to conduct the research, 4) explanation of how successful completion of the proposed project would fill an existing gap related to the hypothesis that microbes or pathogens may play a role in AD.
  • Following review of LOIs, teams will be notified by July 28 if a full application is invited
  • If requested, full applications will be due Sept 28 and must include:
    • Specific Aims page (1 page) + Research Strategy (5 page maximum, not including references)
    • Human subjects or vertebrate animal section, if applicable
    • NIH style biosketches of all team members
    • Plan to promote resource sharing and open science
    • Budget and budget justification, not to exceed $85,000 in direct costs. Indirect costs for Duke University are covered by the awarding organization; any additional indirect costs incurred must be supported from the $85,000 project budget. Funding period is for one year with a possible extension if needed for a maximum of two years.
  • Up to two awards will be made. Funding decisions will be announced by Dec 4, with funding available January 8, 2024

To apply

LOIs and invited full proposals should be submitted by uploading to this secure online portal. Letters must be received no later than 11:59pm EDT on July 10, 2023.  Invited full proposals must be received no later than 11:59pm EDT on September 28, 2023.  Please address inquiries to Emily.Herbert@duke.edu


These awards are made possible by generous support from
Dr. Leslie Norins (Duke Med ’62) and Ms. Rainey Norins, and The Benter Foundation