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Call for Applications


The primary intent of the Native Center for Alcohol Research and Education (NCARE) Pilot Project Grant Program is to fund and foster innovative research projects that focus on reducing the burden of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The secondary intent of the Pilot Project Grant Program is to support and provide mentorship to junior investigators during the development of their novel approaches to improving the lives of AI/AN people.


Funding will be provided for one or more proposals. Proposals may request up to $40,000 in funding, and the project must be completed in one or two years. Indirect costs will not be provided. Pilot grant recipients are eligible to receive ethical, statistical, and data management support from NCARE investigators and cores.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. Plan to conduct research with AI/AN individuals or communities on a topic related to AUDs and their related health conditions;
  2. Have an advanced degree in social, behavioral, or health sciences or a similar field;
  3. Be a postdoctoral fellow or junior faculty member who has no experience with National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 funding OR an associate professor who has received previous R01-level funding but has not worked with AI/AN communities in the past;
  4. Be up to date with human subject trainings or commit to completing said trainings (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative -CITI) before final review by the NCARE Pilot Project Core Review Committee (NPPCRC).


This call for grant applications is an effort to promote innovative research projects that will reduce the burden of AUDs in AI/AN communities and that will subsequently lead to future external funding. Preference will be given to junior investigators, although mid-career and senior researchers who have not conducted alcohol intervention research in Native communities are eligible to apply. Initial application materials must be submitted for first review by September 30, 2019, at 4:30PM PST.


The review process consists of two levels. First, NCARE Pilot Project leads will review the submitted Letters of Intent (LOIs) for scientific merit and programmatic priorities. Applicants should expect to be contacted to answer any questions or provide clarification. The Pilot Project leads will then invite applicants with meritorious LOIs to complete a full application.

After initial review for scientific merit, the NPPCRC will conduct a second level of review to assure that meritorious applications are consistent with NCARE objectives. With rare exceptions, no funding will be provided until all relevant IRB and tribal approvals have been obtained. Individuals who are not funded may resubmit an application during the next call for applications, which is anticipated to occur annually. The NPPCRC will make funding recommendations to the NCARE Steering Committee in consultation with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.


LOIs should include the following:

  1. Name of NCARE Investigator who will serve as the liaison on the proposed project*
  2. List of potential co-investigators and community partners who will assist in the completion of the project
  3. Intended Community, Tribe, or Setting of the proposed project
  4. 500-word abstract, including:
    1. Background
    2. Specific Aims
    3. Methods and Data Analysis Plan

This LOI and initial grant registration should be emailed as PDFs no later than September 30, 2019, to
If you need assistance identifying and connecting with an NCARE liaison, please review the NCARE investigator biographies and/or contact Dr. Michael McDonell.


To be completed following the submission of the LOI and when invited to do so by NCARE Pilot Project Core Lead.

In your full application, please include the following items:

  1. Project Abstract (30 lines)
  2. Facilities Page
  3. Budget Justification
  4. Detailed Budget – PHS398
  5. Biosketches
  6. Specific Aims Page (1 page)
  7. Research Strategy (6 pages)
  8. Protection of Human Subjects
  9. Bibliography/Literature Cited
  10. Letter of Support from Tribal Partner
  11. Letter of Support from NCARE Liaison


  1. The maximum award is $40,000 per project, direct costs.
  2. FTE in excess of 15% will be approved only in specific cases
  3. In general, costs such as rent or computer purchase are discouraged.
  4. One trip to a scientific conference to disseminate the results of the study will be allowed.
  5. Rare exceptions to the above may be made; please contact us.


The NPPCRC will score grant applications based on the following criteria:

  1. Relevance to AUD research and implications for AI/AN health disparities
  2. Significance
  3. Innovation
  4. Likelihood of achieving a highly useful outcome
  5. Ability to disseminate findings
  6. Likelihood of resulting in additional research funding
  7. Qualifications of research team
  8. Involvement by one or more NCARE members

Additional considerations will include:

  • Assurance that the project is feasible for completion with available resources within the one- or two-year time frame
  • Compliance with NIH and Food and Drug Administration guidelines
  • Compatibility with priorities, goals, and interests of NCARE and NIAAA
  • How well the application can be integrated with other NIAAA-funded efforts

For further information or questions, please contact:

Michael McDonell, PhD, NCARE Pilot Core Co-lead
e:| p: 509-368-6967