Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs -- Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program -- Resilience and Readiness Optimization/Enhancement Translational Research Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The intent of this Program Announcement is to evaluate the efficacy of evidence-based methods and strategies for rapidly enhancing leader effectiveness, individual and small team performance, and resilience to stressors. Applications that examine the effectiveness of approaches that translate and integrate content into the everyday routines of SMs, first responders, and small teams to enhance psychological health readiness are encouraged. While additional intervention techniques are being sought as part of this award, the goal is not to overload individuals, units, and leaders with new training. Instead, the goal is to ensure that any training that is offered is engaging and proven to be effective. In addition, the intervention does not necessarily have to be training-based. Strategies that include non-intrusive methods are of interest if they improve the health and functioning of individuals, teams, and/or leaders.

The FY18 JPC-5/MOMRP PH/TBIRP Resilience and Readiness Optimization/Enhancement (R2OE) Translational Research Award (TRA) Funding Opportunity seeks to support research with the goal of evaluating evidence-based interventions and techniques to optimize and enhance resilience and readiness designed to:

(1) Accelerate and enhance the development of effective teams (e.g., first responders, small teams, and remote/isolated units).

(2) Efficiently strengthen unit cohesion in the context of isolated, small teams.

(3) Succeed under significant emotional demands using resilience-building techniques, tools, and strategies to enhance emotion regulation. 

Deadlines:

  • Pre-Application Submission Deadline:  Oct. 5, 2018
  • Application Submission Deadline:  Nov. 16, 2018

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Service members, first responders, and small teams (e.g., Special Operations Forces) are expected to perform under physically and psychologically arduous conditions. Such conditions include being exposed to threats ranging from death and danger to sleep deprivation, noise, lack of privacy, and extended separation from units/larger teams. Other threats include the potential for mission uncertainty, rapid changes in mission sets, and situational ambiguity. 

Maintaining health and optimal performance in this context is a necessary challenge. Research has documented variation in individual response and reaction to stress and has identified the potential for negative sequelae in response to mission-related stressors; such a negative effect has the potential to impact both health and performance. 1 Few studies have documented evidencebased interventions to maintain or boost performance under such conditions. Optimal execution of these tasks requires ongoing coordination of physical and cognitive resources to meet the common and unique demands presented by both task and setting. These resources are adversely impacted by internal and external threats, such as sleep loss, physical stressors, injury, environmental hazards and stressors, changes in nutritional/hydration status, and social/emotional stress. Impaired ability to perform work or training tasks adequately or optimally has significant consequences for the individual and the unit/larger team.

The Joint Forces have an overarching priority to ensure that SMs are operationally resilient. For example, the U.S. Army Operating Concept (AOC) emphasizes the integration of advanced technologies with skilled and well-trained teams. Such teams are also expected to perform under harsh conditions and such demands require continued development of tailored resilience building techniques and tools to enhance and accelerate performance of the individual, teams, and leaders. As the military restructures and organizes in preparation for creating rapid-deploying small teams, research is needed to deliver evidence-based accelerated training, team building techniques, and tools to maximize and sustain operational efficiency and protect SM and first responder health and functioning.

When addressing resilience-related issues in the Services, the primary challenge is understanding and measuring resilience-related outcomes at the individual and unit/team level. In addition, linking individual resilience to human performance optimization is needed. The Joint Forces current resilience training model is shifting to include tailored strategies designed to meet the needs of units. Such evidence-based training will be included on a menu of possible interventions that units can select depending on their interest and requirements. Currently, the Joint Forces incorporates foundational resilience training techniques and performance psychology techniques. Additional and novel techniques are being sought for inclusion to provide units with alternative and additional methods for building resilience and optimizing performance. Thus, novel techniques are sought that can potentially be rolled out to units through existing training resources or using online methodology proven to be effective.

Eligibility Requirements

: Independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent) are eligible to be named as PI. 

Amount Description

The JPC-5/MOMRP expects to allot approximately $7.5 million (M) of the FY18 PH/TBIRP appropriation to fund approximately three R2OE TRA applications, depending on the quality and number of applications received. Funding of applications received in response to this Program Announcement is contingent upon the availability of Federal funds for this program. The maximum period of performance is 3 years. For additional funding information, see Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions.

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Medical
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 5, 2018