Developmental Projects

The Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) is pleased to announce a call for Developmental Project proposals on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) for funding to start April 1, 2021. This call is open to all researchers within the University of Wisconsin, with priority given to junior researchers and postdoctoral trainees. Established researchers new to ADRD research and those with a new hypothesis that is not an extension of already ongoing research are also welcome to apply. Applications from underrepresented groups are encouraged.

The purpose of this call is to allow an investigator to develop preliminary data sufficient to provide the basis for independently funded research. Projects may range from basic or biomedical to translational, epidemiological, caregiving, or social behavioral research. Clinical trials are excluded. Developmental projects should align with the aims of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. Priority will be given to investigators who leverage the use of Wisconsin ADRC or National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) data or biological samples from the National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (NCRAD) as part of their research plan.

It is anticipated that up to three awards of up to $75,000 annually in direct costs per project will be awarded for proposals with a duration of one to two years. No indirect costs will be supported.

Download a PDF flyer about the call for 2021 Developmental Projects proposals.

Application Deadlines

September 3, 2020, 5:00 pm: Letter of Intent (this deadline has passed)

October 19, 2020, 5:00 pm: Full application


  • Applicants should have a doctoral degree (MD, PhD, ScD, PharmD, DO, etc.).
  • Early-stage investigators (assistant professors) are preferred. Postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to apply.
  • More senior investigators who are new to ADRD research may also apply.
  • Applicants at the postdoctoral fellow level require the designation of a research mentor. This should be an individual who will oversee the research career development of the applicant, as well as their research project.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all relevant approvals (e.g., IRB) at the time of application to avoid possible delays in initiating projects, as carry-forwards at the end of the funding award period are generally not allowed.
  • All publications (abstracts, posters, manuscripts) resulting from a project supported by this award must indicate acknowledgment from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
  • Awardees must include an interim or final copy of their project’s progress report in the Wisconsin ADRC’s annual NIA grant renewal by mid-January in the year(s) following the award period. Interim progress reports for multi-year funded projects will be used to decide ongoing funding.
  • Should a recipient discontinue the funded project or leave his/her primary institution of research during the award period, he/she must notify the Wisconsin ADRC in writing within 2 weeks prior to his/her intended departure, with reasons for the discontinuation of the project.

Criteria for Review

Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the proposed scientific investigation
  • Significance of the proposed research for the field of Alzheimer’s disease research
  • Overall clinical and public health significance
  • Potential of the proposal to attract future NIH and other grant funding
  • Qualifications and background of the applicant and research team

All proposals are evaluated by a peer-review committee chaired by the Wisconsin ADRC director that includes members from the Wisconsin ADRC’s Executive Committee and researchers from the University of Wisconsin and beyond.

How to Apply

  • Submit Letter of Intent online by 5:00 pm CST on September 3, 2020 (this deadline has passed).
  • Full applications must be submitted electronically by 5:00 pm CST on October 19, 2020. Applicants will receive notification of the receipt of their proposals within 2 business days. To preserve the line spacing, figure location, and the overall appearance of your application, you must submit your entire package as a single PDF document. Word files will not be accepted.
  • Applications must include the following:
    1. Research plans (In a mini-NIH style format; see the NIH's "Instructions for Grant Applications
      using PHS 398"
      for guidance that includes):
      • Face Page that includes applicant’s name, institution, email address and proposal title
      • Scientific Abstract (1 page)
      • Specific Aims, clearly stating goals of project (1 page)
      • Research Plan to include background information, description of prior accomplishments and/or preliminary data, approach and data analysis, discussion on how this will lead to future funding (4 pages)
      • Bibliography (maximum of 1 page)
      • List of potential reviewers recommended for your application
    2. Ancillary documents must include the following (see the above NIH link for guidance):
      • Detailed Budget and separate Budget Justification page. NOTE: A draft budget that includes only a direct cost of up to $75,000 is allowed. Indirect costs are not allowed. Salary and fringe benefits of the recipient are to be actual costs. A separate financial report must be maintained by the sponsoring institution for each recipient, and this account must be available for audit at anytime.
      • NIH Biographical Sketch (for all Senior/Key Personnel), including research mentor if applicable.
      • Letters of support from department chair or other unit head. In addition, if planning to use Wisconsin ADRC resources, provide a letter of support from applicable WI ADRC Core Leader(s).
      • PHS Planned/Targeted Enrollment Table (for proposals that involve human subjects)
    3. Application text should be in Arial or Times New Roman font and can be no smaller than 11-point font type. Figures, charts, tables, figure legends, and footnotes must be readily legible.
    4. Single-spacing on the application is allowed. Margins, in all directions, must be at least 0.5 inches.
  • Decisions of the ADRC Developmental Project Review Committee are final and will be announced in mid-December 2020.