Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs -- Tick-Borne Disease Research Program -- Idea Development Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The FY23 TBDRP Idea Development Award is intended to support research that could lead to impactful discoveries or significant advancements that will accelerate progress toward reducing the burden of Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne diseases and conditions and improve patient care, and/or the quality of life for military Service Members, Veterans, and their beneficiaries, as well as the American public.

This research should be conceptually innovative, introduce a new concept or question, challenge existing paradigms, approach issues from a new perspective, or exhibit other uniquely creative qualities and should not merely be a next logical step or an incremental advance on published data. 

In addition, applications must describe the evidence-based burden of disease on public health and how the proposed research may alleviate that burden in the short- and long-term. This award mechanism promotes basic through translational research, including preclinical and clinical research, as well as correlative studies associated with an existing clinical trial to establish proofof-principle for further development in future studies.


• Pre-Application Submission Deadline: May 25, 2023

• Invitation to Submit an Application: July 2023

• Application Submission Deadline: August 24, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Applications submitted to the FY23 TBDRP should be focused on Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne diseases/conditions with emphasis on reducing public health burden. Particularly encouraged are applications focused on persistent Lyme disease, and other tick-borne diseases and conditions endemic to the United States ( Proposed research must focus on directly impacting the health of the U.S. military (active-duty or Veteran), their beneficiaries, and/or the American public. Idea Development Award applications must respond to at least one of the following specific FY23 TBDRP Focus Areas:

• Prevention ○ Drugs and/or prophylactic antibodies, or other novel non-vaccine approaches that can be utilized prophylactically to prevent human tick-borne diseases ○ Identification, validation, and/or improvement of tick- or reservoir-targeted prevention and control interventions that are safe and non-toxic to non-target species

• Pathogenesis ○ The interaction among tick-borne pathogens in ticks and/or mammals, and consequences on pathogen synergy and competition, the local and systemic immune response, or disease severity, with an emphasis on Lyme disease and its associated co-infections ○ Mammalian immune evasion, host tolerance, or pathogen-host immunosuppression associated with Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne infections ○ Persistent clinical manifestations associated with Lyme disease, with studies providing insight into neurologic symptoms particularly encouraged ○ Understanding the role of tick-borne diseases on maternal health and pregnancy outcomes or the long-term impact on children with maternal-to-fetal transmission of tickborne infections

Eligibility Requirements

Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent) may be named by the organization as the PI on the application.

For the Idea Development Award – Career Development Option:

• PI ○ The PI must be an early-career research scientist, physician scientist, or other qualified clinical scientist, within 10 years of completion of their terminal degree at the time of application submission deadline (excluding time spent in residency or on family medical leave) and exhibit a strong desire to pursue a career in tick-borne diseases research. Time spent as a postdoctoral fellow is not excluded. ○ Institutional commitment to the PI’s independent career should be demonstrated, including a minimum of 75% protected research time for all tick-borne disease research projects by the PI and a confirmation of the laboratory space

• Mentor ○ The mentor must hold a position at or above the level of Associate Professor (or equivalent). ○ The mentor must be an experienced researcher as demonstrated by a recent (last 5 years) history of funding and publications in tick-borne disease research and should ideally have experience mentoring other independent scientists. Collectively, the PI/mentorship team should have demonstrated experience in the field (pathogen/disease and associated methods) of the proposed studies. The mentor must demonstrate a commitment to developing the PI’s career in tick-borne disease research.

The PI and the mentor do not need to be located within the same organization.

Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY23 TBDRP Idea Development Award should not exceed $500,000.

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY23 TBDRP Idea Development Award – Career Development Option will not exceed $300,000.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

May 25, 2023