How to Apply

Jennifer Manly, Ph.D., Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology and Adam Brickman, Ph.D., Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology are pleased to announce the seventh annual call for pilot projects for the NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease-related Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (AD-RCMAR) at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). 

CIRAD, the Columbia AD-RCMAR supports pilot proposals that address the fundamental causes of ADRD disparities (racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia), using multiple levels of analysis (environmental, sociocultural, behavioral, biological). The projects may include primary data collection and/or secondary data analysis and may leverage the numerous ADRD-related projects taking place at CUIMC or elsewhere. Projects should be completed within 12 months of the award with a budget of up to $50,000. We will support at least 3 applications for the 2024-25 academic year. 


  • Postdoctoral scientists/fellows and early-career researchers (established mid-career scientists who would like to leverage the pilot funds to transition into ADRD-relevant research may also apply). 
  • Applicants must meet the NIH definition of underrepresented in biomedical research.
  • Applicants must demonstrate an interest in an enduring career in ADRD-relevant research. 


If you have questions about eligibility, you are a potential applicant but do not yet have a mentor, or if you would like help with your application, please email the CIRAD Project Manager, Francisco Ángeles, at


Additional Information

  • The projects should preferably focus on aspects of human research in ADRD, including diagnosis, biomarkers, risk and resilience factors, interventions, and caregiving. Basic science projects with translational potential to disparities in ADRD will be considered. 
  • Evaluations will consider the applicant’s eligibility, focus on ADRD, scientific impact, appropriate mentorship, and potential for future NIH funding. 
  • The review process and award notification will be completed by Friday, April 5th, 2024.  
  • Investigators awarded with pilots will become CIRAD scientists and will have access to local and national career development resources, opportunities to attend national scientific and networking meetings, and access to the network of NIA funded RCMARs. 

Application Procedures: 


A brief letter of intent (due by February 21, 2024) 

All applicants are encouraged to send a brief letter of interest indicating your intention to apply. Please include your name, position, research mentor name (if identified), draft title, and how you meet criteria for NIH's Populations Underrepresented in the Extramural Scientific Workforce, and a brief personal statement with your career goals. Please send it to by the end of the day on Thursday, February 21, 2024. Once we know you are applying, we can help you pull your application together, provide templates, forms, etc. 


Full application (deadline: March 8, 2024)  

The application (single-spaced, 0.5 margins, Arial 11 font) must include the following: 

  1. Cover Page: Include name, current position, institution, main research mentor name and contact information, and study title. Please also indicate whether you have already received in the past, or whether you have concurrently applied for, pilot funding from any other RCMAR . 
  2.  Research Plan: (4 pages maximum excluding budget): 
    1. Specific Aims (1 page) State concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved. List succinctly the specific objectives of the research proposed (e.g., to test a stated hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress in the field, or develop new technology). 
    2. Personal Statement and Career Goals (1 page) Include a summary of your experience, preparation for research, and career objectives. Please include how you meet criteria for NIH's Populations Underrepresented in the Extramural Scientific Workforce.  
    3. Significance/Background and Research Methods (2 pages) Include a discussion of research design, setting, participants and sources of participants, recruitment methods, measures to be used, sample size calculation as appropriate for your research design, and analytic plan. Include at least one paragraph on expected findings and implications of your study. If you have preliminary studies, you may include them here, but it is not required. 
  3.  Budget: One-year budget not to exceed $50,000 and a budget justification using NIH forms. All studies and budgets will require approval by NIA and the RCMAR Coordinating Center if selected for funding. Expenses may include salary and fringe benefits for the pilot investigator and research staff, research supplies, and participant reimbursement. 
  4.  NIH bio-sketch in the “new format” (FORMS-G). 


Post-acceptance requirements (needed for NIH): 

  • NIH Target-Planned Enrollment Table (complete and submit the form.) 
  • Human Subjects Protection Training certificate.