Participate in Immune Drivers of Autoimmune Disease Cooperative Research Program

Funding News Edition: March 16, 2022
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NIAID invites applications to participate in the Immune Drivers of Autoimmune Disease (IDAD) cooperative research program through the new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Immune Drivers of Autoimmune Disease (IDAD) (U01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Research Objectives and Scope

The primary scientific objective of this FOA is to improve our understanding of the immunologic processes and events that drive not only the course of autoimmune disease but also the preclinical phase and the transition from subclinical autoimmunity to diagnosed autoimmune disease. Its secondary objective is to establish innovative approaches that will facilitate further studies by enhancing the feasibility of large-scale studies and reducing both financial costs and burden to subjects.

NIAID Relevant Research Areas

Below are some research areas that are of interest to NIAID. Refer to the FOA for the full list.

  • Mechanisms by which genetic variants influence the course, progression, or clinical features of one or more autoimmune diseases
  • Biomarkers for flare, remission, or progression of autoimmune disease
  • Evolution and regulation of immune responses during disease progression or flare
  • Refinement of molecular-level markers of autoimmune diseases into mechanistic understanding of cellular or humoral immune dysfunction in those diseases
  • Elucidation of immunologically distinct endotypes within autoimmune diseases
  • Mechanisms by which environmental or microbial influences modulate immune responses to result in flare, remission, or progression of disease
  • Novel approaches or combinations of approaches that hold promise to reduce the cost and clinical burden of longitudinal cohort studies

NIAID considers applications proposing any of the following research interests to be nonresponsive and will not review them.

  • Clinical trials (the FOA does allow clinical research using specimens obtained from human subjects in clinical trials funded through other mechanisms)
  • Projects focused on primary immune deficiency/inborn errors of immunity, autoinflammatory diseases, or syndromes
  • Projects focused on cancer
  • Studies of autoimmune disease arising after immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy or other clinical interventions
  • Projects focused on HIV/AIDS/SIV or that use animal models
  • Projects that use genome-wide association studies
  • Projects that do not focus on autoimmune disease in humans

Expectations for Human Subjects

Applicants proposing research projects in response to this FOA should test hypotheses related to immunologic processes underlying the initiation, progression, and clinical course of autoimmune diseases in humans and must adhere to the following parameters:

  • All studies must be performed using human subjects or materials
  • Some portion of the project must involve subjects at elevated risk (i.e., at greater risk than healthy subjects from the general population) of developing one or more autoimmune diseases
  • Studies may also involve subjects already diagnosed with autoimmune disease
  • Studies may focus on the development of additional autoimmune disease(s) in subjects previously diagnosed with an autoimmune disease

Submission Information and Deadline

Budgets are capped at $750,000 in annual direct costs. The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period, which should not exceed five years. All applications are due on July 1, 2022, by 5 p.m. local time of the applicant organization.

Direct any inquiries to Dr. Thomas Esch, NIAID’s scientific and research contact, at 240-627-3565 or For peer review-related questions, contact Dr. Poonam Tewary at 301-761-7219 or

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