DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

NEWS RELEASE

Released: April 17, 2019

Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Epilepsy Research Program
Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19)

The FY19 Defense Appropriation provides $7.5 million (M) to the Department of Defense Epilepsy Research Program (ERP) to understand the causative links between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and epilepsy so that post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) will be both preventable and treatable. As directed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Defense Health Agency, J9 Research and Development Directorate manages the Defense Health Program (DHP) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation. The managing agent for the anticipated Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).

The ERP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop applications. FY19 ERP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanisms are anticipated to be posted on the Grants.gov website in May 2019. Pre-application and application deadlines will be available when the Program Announcements are released. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the government.

Applications should also address at least one of the ERP FY19 Focus Areas. An application that proposes research outside of the FY19 Focus Areas is acceptable, as long as the applicant provides a strong rationale. The Focus Areas will be mechanism-specific.

The ERP FY19 Focus Areas are as follows:

Basic Research: Tools intended to better inform or improve upon how post-traumatic epilepsy research can be performed:

  • Hardware and/or software platforms that will improve seizure detection, characterization, or diagnosis
  • Bioinformatics strategies, to include machine learning, that will improve access, annotation, curation and visualization of large and novel datasets from single or multiple sources
  • Development of new models or better characterization of existing etiologically relevant models for PTE
  • Improved characterization of the circuits involved in PTE

Markers and Mechanisms: Identifying markers or mechanisms via preclinical models that address PTE, which may include the following:

  • Biomarkers
  • Therapeutic targets for epilepsy prevention
  • Early detection
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Comorbidity
  • Mortality
  • Risk stratification

Epidemiology: Epidemiological characterization of PTE following TBI, which may include the following:

  • Risk factors such as demographics, genetics, anatomy, pathology, or type of injury
  • Differentiation of PTE and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES)
  • Outcomes including latency to epilepsy, comorbidities, and mortality
  • Pre-existing conditions including psychological and psychiatric risk factors
  • Treatment and healthcare outcomes research

Longitudinal Studies: Studies of the natural evolution of PTE, which may include the following:

  • Seizure frequency and severity
  • Demographics, genetics, anatomy, pathology, or type of injury
  • Comorbidities (e.g., depression, functional deficits, sleep disorders, major illness)
  • Latency between type of injury and PTE
  • Mortality
  • Treatment and healthcare outcomes research
  • Quality of life of individuals with PTE and their caregivers
Award Mechanism Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Idea Development Award Level I: The Principal Investigator must be at or above the level of postdoctoral fellow (or equivalent), but below the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent).

Level II: The Principal Investigator must be an independent investigator at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent).

Intent: The intent of the FY19 ERP IDA is to solicit novel, innovative research to understand the magnitude and underlying mechanisms of PTE.
  • Level I is intended to support high-risk or high-gain research from researchers at or above the level of a post-doctoral fellow (or equivalent).
  • Level II is intended to support a more mature, hypothesis-driven research project.

The following Focus Areas are open to both Levels I and II:

  • Basic Research
  • Epidemiology
  • Markers and Mechanisms
  • Longitudinal Studies

Preliminary data, while not required, are encouraged for both levels.

Research considering a pharmacologic intervention is specifically discouraged under this mechanism.

Level I:
  • Maximum funding of $300,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution's rate agreement.

Level II:

  • Maximum funding of $500,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution's rate agreement.
Research Partnership Award The PI must be an independent investigator at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent). Intent: To create an avenue for collaborative research partnerships between/among investigators to address a research problem or question in a manner that would be unachievable through separate efforts. 
  • Level I is intended to support preclinical or pre-validation research.
  • Level II is intended to support research requiring access to a patient cohort for a prospective study.

Applications must include clearly stated plans for interactions between the partners. The plans must include communication, coordination of research progress and results, and data sharing between all investigators and organizations participating in the project.

The following Focus Areas are open to both Levels I and II:

  • Epidemiology
  • Markers and Mechanisms
  • Longitudinal Studies

Preliminary data are required.

Research considering a pharmacologic intervention is specifically discouraged under this mechanism.

Level I:
  • Maximum funding of $1.3M for total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution's rate agreement.

Level II:

  • Maximum funding of $2.0M in total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution's rate agreement.

A pre-application is required and must be submitted through the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP) at https://eBRAP.org prior to the pre-application deadline. All applications must conform to the final Program Announcements and General Application Instructions that will be available for electronic downloading from the Grants.gov website. The application package containing the required forms for each award mechanism will also be found on Grants.gov. A listing of all CDMRP and other USAMRMC extramural funding opportunities can be obtained on the Grants.gov website by performing a basic search using CFDA Number 12.420. 

Submission deadlines are not available until the Program Announcements are released. For email notification when Program Announcements are released, subscribe to program-specific news and updates under “Email Subscriptions” on the eBRAP homepage at https://eBRAP.org. For more information about the ERP or other CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (https://cdmrp.army.mil).

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs
301-619-9783
usarmy.detrick.medcom-cdmrp.mbx.cdmrp-public-affairs@mail.mil


Last updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019