Global Brain and Nervous System Disorders Research Across the Lifespan (R01)


Global Brain and Nervous System Disorders Research Across the Lifespan (R01) 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages grant applications for the conduct of innovative, collaborative research projects between U.S. and low- and middle-income country (LMIC) scientists, on brain and other nervous system function and disorders throughout life, relevant to LMICs. Scientists in upper middle income countries (UMICs) are eligible to partner directly with scientists at other LMIC institutions. Income categories are defined by the World Bank at .

The collaborative research programs are expected to contribute to the long-term goals of building sustainable research capacity in LMICs to address nervous system development, function and impairment throughout life and to lead to diagnostics, prevention, treatment and implementation strategies. The proposed work will also contribute to developing a base for research networking and evidence-based policy beyond the specific research project.

Application Due Date(s)

January 5, 2015; January 5, 2016; January 5, 2017, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

January 5, 2015; January 5, 2016; January 5, 2017 by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Scientific Merit Review

March 2015, March 2016, March 2017

Advisory Council Review

May 2015, May 2016, May 2017

Earliest Start Date

June 2015

Expiration Date

January 6, 2017

Research Topics

Relevant research topics for this FOA are related to nervous system function and/or impairment from birth to advanced age and across generations. Applicants are especially encouraged to propose research on co-morbidities and conditions that affect nervous system function at different life stages, as well as across the lifespan. Relevant research for these applications may range from basic science to epidemiological, clinical, health services and translational (e.g. translation of basic research to therapy and of clinical research to applications in the field) and implementation research. Applicants may propose a research and capacity building program on some aspect of nervous system function and/or impairment at any stage of life.

Examples of nervous system disorders contributing to the burden of disease in LMICs and relevant to this FOA, include but are not limited to, neuro-developmental disorders (including autism, cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol syndrome, learning disabilities), neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases), addictive disorders, seizure disorders such as epilepsy, neuropsychiatric disorders (such as unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia), posttraumatic stress disorder, dementias, encephalopathy, peripheral neuropathies, sensory and motor neuron diseases.

Examples of influences on nervous system function across the lifespan include, but are not limited to: genetic predispositions and epigenetic changes  in response to pre-, peri- and post-natal trauma and environmental factors (such as maternal depression, in-utero drug and alcohol exposure, neuro-toxic insults, perinatal hypoxia, child abuse and neglect, inadequate environmental stimulation and nutritional deficiencies),  physical and psychological trauma (exposure to violence, sexual and  physical abuse, traumatic nervous system injury due to violence and accidents), infection of the nervous system by viral and parasitic diseases (such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, neuro-cysticercosis) and stroke. Other factors affecting healthy brain development include access to appropriate health care and socioeconomic factors.

Examples of some cross-cutting areas for research are:

  • Ethnographic studies and other areas of social science, particularly to address health systems, availability of resources, preventive or screening practices, and appropriate interventions within a given society or group;
  • Gender and socio-cultural and economic factors in the etiology, prevention and treatment of the disorders to be addressed;
  • Sex differences at all levels of brain and nervous system function and disorders;
  • Natural history of common neurological diseases/disorders and the influence of socio-cultural or other environmental variables that impact upon this course and how to use this knowledge for treatment and intervention;
  • Factors associated with aging affecting cognitive, emotional and physical health and survival in older persons along with interventions and treatments;
  • Co-occurring risk factors or conditions, especially common in the LMIC or region (e.g. neuro-toxic or traumatic insult plus infectious disease and/or malnutrition);
  • Mechanisms (e.g. neurotoxic, epigenetic) underlying genetic, physiological, environmental, social and economic factors and interactions that affect brain function or development and result in behavioral outcomes (e.g., expression of cognitive impairment, coping, adaptation, response to intervention); and
  • Epidemiology: 1)  Descriptive epidemiology to describe and define the problem in the countries in question by assessing the needs and determining the magnitude of factors involved in the problem to be addressed (e.g., research on trends in incidence, prevalence or mortality; distribution of disease; determination of population at risk; determination of case definition/disease classification). 2) Analytical epidemiology to identify potential etiological factors in the populations of interest, including factors responsible for predispositions to the neurological consequences of various infection and/or neurotoxins (e.g., identification of risk factors for neurological consequences of disease onset or progression; classification and measurement of exposure; magnitude and distribution of known risk factors).

Types of research relevant to this announcement include basic research and epidemiology, as well as translational research, research on diagnostics, early interventions, clinical treatment, prevention, and health services that are culturally appropriate, feasible, and acceptable for implementation within the LMIC. This FOA encourages development of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and the capacity in the LMIC to conduct such research, relevant to the research question. Expertise may involve, but is not limited to, fields such as genetics/epigenetics, epidemiology, neurology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental neurobiology, neuro-toxicology, neuro-endocrinology, pharmacology, psychiatry, neuro-immunology, neuro-virology, neurosurgery, neuro-rehabilitation and biotechnology (e.g., for development of diagnostic tools and treatments), as well as the behavioral and social sciences including health economics, health services and implementation science.

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