Emergency Awards RADx-RAD: Screening for COVID-19 by Electronic-Nose Technology (SCENT) (U18 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is issuing this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) in response to the declared public health emergency issued by the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency FOA provides an expedited funding mechanism as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Radical (RADx-rad) initiative. Specifically, this FOA seeks to fund a single cooperative agreement for a Data Coordination Center (DCC) to serve as a communication center and data hub for RADx-rad awardees.

Specifically, this FOA is seeking applications for a portable sensing device to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs, i.e., scents or odors) emanating from skin or exhaled breath, saliva and different oral tissues from the oral cavity. These sensing devices must be able to associate VOC patterns to patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19. These devices are expected to actively detect VOCs from skin and oral cavities of COVID-19 patients, without being invasive, or affecting the integrity of the skin and oral cavity. For VOC monitoring, these sensing devices can be Electronic-nose (E-nose) technology or Gas Chromatography (GC). Therefore, this program is called SCENT, which stands for Screening for COVID-19 by Electronic-Nose Technology. This FOA seeks to advance novel biosensing technologies that are innovative, safe, and effective using integrated artificial intelligent, pattern recognition and machine learning systems that would make it possible for the detection, diagnosis, prediction, and monitoring of COVID-19 in clinical, community and everyday settings.

This FOA requires multidisciplinary collaborations to ensure project success. Disciplines may include: biomedical engineers, material scientists, biosensing experts, software engineers, chemists, dentists, clinicians, virologists, clinical trialists, biostatisticians, data analysts and/or other relevant experts in academia and industry.

The funding for this initiative is provided from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, 2020.

Only one application per institution is allowed. 


  • Duke Internal: Interested applicants at Duke should contact Paul Noe (paul.noe@duke.edu) as early as possible.
  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): August 18, 2020
  • Application Due Date(s): September 18, 2020


RFA-OD-20-017 Expiration Date September 19, 2020




Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

September 18, 2020