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NIAID Support of Intramural Biodefense Research from ICs Other Than NIAID

The NIAID will make approximately $10million available for intramural researchers from ICs other than NIAID who propose highly meritorious research relevant to the NIAID Research Agenda for CDC Category A Agents. This document describes the scope of the NIH intramural initiative, and the process by which interested investigators may be funded.


For the purposes of the NIAID strategic plan for biodefense research, and the specific research agenda that follows from it, bioterrorism is defined as the intentional use of microorganisms that cause human disease, or of toxins derived from them, to harm individual people or to elicit widespread fear or intimidation of society. Bioterrorism is a subset of the larger problem of emerging infectious diseases. The NIAID program for Biodefense Research is built on this concept. It is directed primarily toward the needs of civilian populations (although interventions emerging from it may have application in military settings). Research addressing terrorism resulting from the use of chemical toxins, nuclear energy, or organisms/toxins primarily affecting other animals or plants is the primary responsibility of other U.S. government agencies. The NIAID may collaborate with those agencies and organizations on such research when there is mutual opportunity for scientific or public health gain, and overlap in scientific mission.

NIAID's Strategic Plan

The NIAID will address the challenges of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases through a program of basic and translational research aimed at ensuring and improving the public health and preparedness against terrorist attack of civilian populations. The institute's Strategic Plan and Research Agenda for CDC Category A Agents emphasizes: 1) basic research on microbes and host defenses; and 2) targeted, milestone-driven development of drugs, vaccines, other interventions, and diagnostics. The plan will be executed through traditional and novel programs of support, in collaboration with partners in academia, industry, and other private and public sector agencies.

Elements of the Program

  • NIAID will make available up to $10 million annually (contingent on Congressional approval of the President's budget request), beginning in FY03, for support of meritorious basic or applied research projects that are proposed and carried out by intramural NIH or FDA investigators from ICs other than NIAID.
  • The research must be directly responsive to the Counter-Bioterrorism Research Agenda of the NIAID for CDC Category A Agents.
  • Projects may be laboratory or clinical in nature. Clinical intervention projects should, in general, be preliminary or exploratory in nature; large clinical trials will not be supported by this mechanism.
  • The proposed research must be consistent with the investigator's expertise and the scientific focus of his/her laboratory.
  • Support may include costs for equipment, supplies, and non-permanent personnel needed to carry out the project.
  • The investigator's IC must provide the space and other infrastructure, as well as support for any renovation or construction required for the project.
  • Projects may be funded for periods of up to 3 years, at a total cost of $500,000 (over the 3 year period). Continued funding beyond the original period will be contingent upon satisfactory review of progress and plans.
  • Funded investigators will participate in an annual one-day meeting that will include a presentation of the progress of each funded project.
  • NIAID intramural researchers may be included as un-funded collaborators on projects.

Proposal Submission, Review, and Funding

  • Investigator prepares and submits a brief proposal (5 page maximum, including budget) to his/her Scientific Director.
    1. Title
    2. Abstract
    3. Research Proposal
    4. Statement of relevance to the NIAID Research Agenda
    5. Proposed Budget
    6. A 2 page (max) APPENDIX addressing the review criterion "Expertise and qualifications of investigator team" should document the PI's relevant expertise, and the relevance of the proposed research to the scientific focus of his/her laboratory. Either the standard PHS autobiographical sketch or an abbreviated CV is acceptable as long as it provides sufficient information.
  • Scientific Director approves the proposal and forwards to NIAID, Assistant Director for Biodefense Research

Proposal Due Date: August, 2002

  • Proposal is screened for relevance to NIAID Research Agenda
  • Proposal undergoes peer review for scientific merit by a relevant committee of intramural scientists (NIAID and other ICs), using the following criteria:
    1. Relevance to the NIAID Research Agenda for CDC Category A Organisms
    2. Merit of the proposed research
    3. Expertise and qualifications of investigator team
    4. Reasonableness of budget
  • Peer review committee assigns level of enthusiasm and makes budget recommendations
  • Funding decision will be made by NIAID
  • Funding will be by interagency transfers of annual increments for the period of funding

Additional Information Contact

Jack Killen, M.D.
NIAID Asst. Director for Biodefense Research
Building 31, Room 7A28
Bethesda, M.D. 20892
Telephone: 301-451-4262
Fax: 301-480-1593
E-mail Address:

The page was last updated on Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 11:26am