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Call for Applications

Pilot Project Program


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 investigators during the development of their novel approaches to improving the lives of AI/AN people.


Funding will be provided for 1 or more proposals. Proposals may request up to $40,000 in funding, and the project must be completed in 18 months or less. 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. Have a doctoral degree and no prior funding through a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 level grant OR have prior R01-level funding but no prior work with AI/AN communities relating to alcohol use*;
  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).

In light of our current reality of COVID-19 bringing challenges and opportunities related to public health, interventions, and research, NCARE invites potential applicants to consider research with AI/AN partners that might include:

  • Telemedicine/telehealth interventions
  • Virtual data collection methods
  • Secondary data analysis
  • COVID-19 and alcohol or alcohol-associated harms
  • Impact of negative economic consequences of COVID-19 on Native communities and alcohol use

If you have an idea that you would like to discuss, please reach out to Dr. Michael McDonell:

*While preference will be given to junior investigators, mid-career and senior researchers who have not conducted alcohol intervention research in Native communities are eligible to apply. Preference will also be given to American Indian/Alaska Native researchers.


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 are due by May 28, 2021, at 4:30PM PDT. For the initial applicants whose materials were accepted, the full application is due July 30, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. PDT.


The review process consists of 2 levels. First, NCARE Pilot Project leads reviewed the submitted Letters of Intent (LOIs) for scientific merit and programmatic priorities. Applicants are  contacted to answer any questions or provide clarification. The Pilot Project leads 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. The NPPCRC will make funding recommendations to the NCARE Steering Committee in consultation with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

NCARE Pilot Project Webinar 2019*

*2021 Applicants, please note:

  • An NCARE liaison is no longer required to apply
  • Project must be completed in 18 months or less
  • This is the final NCARE call for applications
  • LOI due May 28, 2021 to
  • Full application due July 30, 2021 to


LOIs should include the following:

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

This LOI and initial grant registration are to be emailed as PDFs no later than May 28, 2021, to


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

If the LOI is accepted, the full application will be due July 30, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. PDT. 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


  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

Additional considerations will include:

  • Assurance that the project is feasible for completion with available resources within the 18 month maximum 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