Apply To Conduct Basic Science Research on Bunyavirales Pathogens

Funding News Edition: June 16, 2021
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NIAID aims to develop a range of approaches for studying bunyaviruses using both established and novel technologies through the new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Promoting Bunyavirales Basic Science Research (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Our long-term goal is to increase knowledge of virus biology and virus-host interactions.

Within the broad scope of basic science, NIAID’s major research priorities are vector competence, virology and pathogenesis, and human innate and adaptive responses to infection. All known human disease-causing bunyaviruses are of interest, and you may propose to study single or multiple pathogens with related virology; perform comparative virology investigations; or focus on acute infections affecting organs such as the liver, lungs, or kidneys, or in the central nervous system (CNS).

Examples of scientific topics that meet the goals of this FOA include:

  • Identifying viral attachment factors and receptors involved during infection
  • Molecular mechanisms of viral reassortment
  • Molecular mechanisms of virus replication, protein assembly, or egress
  • Understanding gene function through the use of reverse genetic systems
  • Pathogenesis studies in monolayer or 3-D organoid systems and animal models
  • Innate immune receptors involved in recognizing RNA virus invasion
  • Molecular mechanisms of neuroinvasion or neurovirulence of the CNS
  • CNS-specific molecular and cellular innate and adaptive immune responses

NIAID is most interested in research studies focused on human host-virus interactions, although studies addressing vector competence including virus-tick interactions are also responsive.

Conversely, we will consider nonresponsive and not review applications that propose:

  • Research focused on epidemiologic or surveillance studies
  • Projects proposing clinical trials
  • Behavioral research
  • Genome-wide association studies
  • Research studies on nonhuman disease-causing pathogens
  • Translational or product-focused research such as developing prevention methods, treatments, reagents, new diagnostic methods, or animal models that are not part of a broader application centered on basic science research
  • Research on any disease or long-term sequalae that is not part of understanding the molecular or cellular mechanisms underlying viral infection

Funded researchers will have access to reference strains, reagents, and other tools generated by the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) global research network, as well as through the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Resource Repository and World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses repository.

Given the public health danger posed by these emergent viruses, read our July 1, 2020 article “There’s More to Biosafety and Biosecurity Than Select Agents” for potentially relevant regulatory information.

Application Details

Eligibility to apply is limited to domestic institutions, although foreign components are allowed.

Your application budget is not limited but should reflect the actual needs of your research project. The maximum project period is five years.

The FOA has one receipt date; applications are due October 22, 2021.

Direct scientific inquiries to Dr. Rodolfo N. Alarcon, NIAID’s research contact for the FOA. Send questions about peer review to Dr. Frank De Silva, NIAID’s peer review contact for the FOA.

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