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CENC Grant Program

As part of its mission, the CENC has an integrated grant program. Over the duration of the project, numerous requests for applications will be promulgated and will be open to the greater scientific community. The review and approval of studies to be implemented through the CENC will be conducted under the CENC Peer Review Program (PRP). The studies that will be considered for development must address focused questions, develop preliminary data, or provide an avenue for new researchers and novel research approaches to contribute to the Consortium mission to advance the science of brain injury treatment and prevention. The PRP is designed to provide support for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) / chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research with an active duty service member (ADSM) and/or veteran foci of exceptional scientific merit.

All proposed studies should support the major goals of the Consortium:

  1. To establish the association (onset, prevalence, and severity) of the chronic effects of mTBI and common comorbidities as described below under Focus Areas.
  2. To determine whether there is a causative effect of chronic mTBI/concussion on CTE, neurodegenerative disease, and other comorbidities. 
  3. To identify diagnostic and prognostic indicators of CTE, neurodegenerative disease, and other comorbidities associated with mTBI/concussion. 
  4. To develop and advance methods to treat and rehabilitate CTE, chronic neurodegenerative disease, and comorbid effects of mTBI/concussion.

In addition, preference will be given to studies in the following focus areas:

  • Psychological
  • Neurological (including memory, seizure, autonomic dysfunction, and sleep disorders)
  • Sensory deficits (including visual, auditory, and vestibular dysfunction)
  • Movement disorders
  • Pain (including headache)
  • Cognitive
  • Neuroendocrine deficits

The goals and focus areas of the CENC are brought together in the CENC Research Roadmap (click here to download). All applications should address a research area and knowledge gap in the Roadmap.

Requests for Applications (RFA’s) will be released periodically throughout the duration of the CENC. Funding amounts and duration will vary from RFA to RFA.

In addition to the Topic and Focus Areas noted above, applications for this PRP RFA are required to address such topics with a focus on ADSM, veterans, their families, and their dependents. Although human studies are not required, the theme of the work and/or its overall impact should have a military and/or veteran focus. Applications that do not demonstrate a military and/or veteran focus will not be scored or funded.

A Department of Defense or Department (DoD) of Veterans Affairs (VA) connection and/or investigators are strongly encouraged to apply. However, applications will be accepted from all U.S. based investigators. Alignment with current DoD/VA research and collaboration with military/VA researchers and clinicians is encouraged. Collaborative projects with investigators from the VA and other sites are also encouraged.

Individuals selected for VA intramural funding must identify the VA eligibility at the pre-application step. To be eligible for VA funding (salary, equipment, site or core support, project support), an individual must have a VA-paid appointment of at least five-eighths at the time of pre-application submission, unless a previous eligibility waiver has been granted. Questions regarding VA eligibility should be directed to the PRP chairperson.

Generally, eligible investigators will include:

  • Independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent) are eligible to submit applications.
  • Cost sharing/matching is desirable, but not an eligibility requirement.
  • Organizations eligible to apply include national, for-profit, non-profit, public, and private organizations.

There must be an eligible investigator at a Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center or a VA Approved Site to be eligible for any funding available from the VA.

Award Information

Although guided by the above Topic and Focus Areas, RFAs will be open with respect to the exact nature of study proposals. The PRP will support innovative and impactful research projects with an emphasis on discovery. The PRP is intended to support studies that have the potential to make an important contribution to mTBI/CTE research and/or patient care. Projects are expected to be innovative, address a Topic and Focus Area, and impact the health care needs of ADSM, veterans, and their family members and caregivers. All applications must specifically and clearly address the military relevance of the proposed research project. Collaboration with military researchers and clinicians will be encouraged.

Research projects may focus on any phase of research from basic through translational, including preclinical studies in animal models or human subjects, as well as correlative studies associated with an existing clinical trial. Observations that drive a research idea may be derived from laboratory discovery, population-based studies, a clinician’s first-hand knowledge of patients, or anecdotal data.

Due Date

CENC Fall 2014 - Pre-Application Deadline: 8:00PM Eastern Time (ET), August 15, 2014

Requests for Application

Click here for the current RFA.