Contract Opportunity Renews NIAID Adjuvant Discovery Program

Funding News Edition: January 18, 2023
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Through the broad agency announcement Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery Program (BAA-DAIT-75N93022R00022), NIAID seeks to renew the Adjuvant Discovery Program, which supports the identification and characterization of novel, effective, and safe vaccine adjuvants. To learn more, go to Vaccine Adjuvant Research Programs for Researchers and Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery and Mechanistic Research.

It is worth noting that the Program has contributed to the development of COVID vaccines globally even though it is a discovery program. It has also evolved over time in terms of the types of adjuvants focused on by contractors (e.g., following developments in the basic immunology research field and the discovery of novel receptors and pathways that could mediate an “adjuvant effect”). The Program has also been supporting non-traditional adjuvant approaches. If this is your area of interest, we encourage you to submit a proposal.

The process of discovering new adjuvants through this Program must include each of the following areas of research:

  1. Identification of novel adjuvant candidates using high throughput approaches and validation that newly identified lead compounds are capable of stimulating human cells.
  2. Determination of the mechanism of action of select lead compounds, including the identification of the receptor(s) the adjuvant candidates work through and/or the cellular signaling pathways they activate.
  3. Optimization of lead adjuvant candidates through formulation and medicinal chemistry, guided by structure-activity relationship studies.
  4. Verification of the efficacy of lead compounds as vaccine adjuvants in vivo in an animal model. Lead adjuvant candidates identified under a contract project may also be tested with different vaccine platforms, including nucleic acid-based vaccines. Not only the short-term efficacy, but also the durability of the immune response induced by the adjuvanted vaccine must be evaluated.

Offerors are encouraged, but not required, to evaluate lead adjuvant candidates in model systems of vulnerable populations (e.g., newborns, elderly, or immunocompromised individuals).

NIAID plans to make multiple awards under this Program and estimates that the average annual total cost (direct and indirect costs combined) will be no more than $2 million per award. However, it is anticipated that the total cost for the award(s) may vary depending upon the scope of the project and the technical objectives of the award(s). The length of time for which funding is requested should be consistent with the nature and complexity of the proposed research. The period of performance proposed by an offeror should not exceed 5 years.

Due Date

Proposals are due May 19, 2023, by 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Submit through electronic Contract Proposal Submission (eCPS) site.

Number of Awards

NIAID anticipates that five to eight awards will be made from this solicitation and that the awards will be made on or about May 2024.

Details, Questions

For complete BAA details, see Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery Program.

If you have any solicitation-related questions, email Contracting Officer (CO) Maribel Miranda at on or before April 19, 2023.

For additional information or clarification, contact CO Maribel Miranda by emailing Alternatively, you may contact CO Tom Bahrami by emailing

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