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The NBER seeks proposals from affiliates and non-affiliates for research projects that involve randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or other NIH-defined clinical trials, and that, if approved for funding by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), would receive support during the period June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023.  Eligible projects must explore some aspect of the relationship between health and human behavior. Projects that involve scalable interventions, with the potential to broadly improve population health as people age, are of particular interest.

Potential project funding is likely to fall in the range of $50,000 to $90,000 of direct costs.  Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and early submissions are strongly encouraged.

Proposals will be evaluated by the Center co-PIs and Advisory Committee for research design, relevance, feasibility, scalability, and timeliness. We look for projects with the potential to advance through the NIH Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development.

To be an NIH-defined clinical trial, the answers to the following four questions must be “yes”:

  1. Does the study involve human participants?
  2. Are the participants prospectively assigned to an intervention?
  3. Is the study designed to evaluate the effect of the intervention on the participants?
  4. Is the effect being evaluated a health-related biomedical or behavioral outcome?

Funding is not available for secondary data analyses or other non-clinical-trial research.

To be eligible for support, subject recruitment for the study may not have started yet, and it must be possible to delay recruitment until after formal NIH approval.  The project must comply with all NIH clinical trial policies.

How to apply:

By Monday, January 3, 2022: Submit a brief description of your project (including power calculations) and anticipated budget needs. Upload a PDF with this information here. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.  

By Friday, January 21, 2022: We will tell you if we are able to include your project.

By Monday, February 14, 2022: Using templates and instructions we will provide, submit your Specific Aims, 2-page Research Design, Human Subjects Questionnaire, Planned Inclusion Enrollment Report(s), Budget, Biosketch, and Other Support.

During Early March 2022: Review and approve your Human Subjects System record, which we will draft. Complete applicable NBER and NIH administrative requirements.

Summer 2022: We will learn if your study has been approved by the NIH. Depending on the risks associated with your study, the NIH may require your study to receive Data & Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and/or Safety Officer (SO) approval before recruitment can begin.

For as long as your study continues: Update us periodically on your progress. If applicable, update the DSMB and/or SO periodically. Help us maintain your and Human Subjects System records.

Please direct questions to the Associate Director of the NBER Roybal Center, Sarah Holmes Berk (