HEAL Initiative: Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program: Mechanistic Research Centers (U19 Clinical Trial Optional)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites research applications to plan and implement Interdisciplinary Mechanistic Research Centers (MRC) in Low Back Pain (LBP) with the NIH Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program. BACPAC is a patient-centric research program focused on translational and clinical research for discovery of chronic low back pain (cLBP) mechanisms, and on identification and testing of new interventions targeted to individual patients. BACPAC will utilize novel analytics and technologies to extensively phenotype patients with low back pain (LBP), develop an integrated model of cLBP, produce new and improved diagnostic and treatment algorithms, and test new therapies in Phase 2 clinical trials. The MRCs will conduct translational and clinical research projects addressing critical gaps and opportunities in LBP with advanced analytics and approaches to improve understanding of disease and identify new targets for intervention. The MRCs will generate data for deep patient phenotyping and for the development of patient-based algorithms. The MRCs will conduct collaborative, adaptive design, multimodal therapy studies in cLBP with the aim of improving the use of therapies targeted to individual patients.  The MRCs will run in parallel and synergize with projects supported in the BACPAC Data Integration, Algorithm Development and Operations Management Center, Technology Research Sites and Phase 2 Clinical Trials.  BACPAC is part of the multi-pronged HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. (https://www.nih.gov/research-training/medical-research-initiatives/heal-initiative). HEAL will build on extensive, well-established NIH research to address the opioid crisis and provide safer therapies for people with pain.

Companion FOAs:

RFA-AR-19-027  U24 Resource-Related Research Projects – Cooperative Agreements

RFA-AR-19-028  UH2/UH3 Phase Innovation Awards Cooperative Agreement

RFA-AR-19-029  UG3/UH3 Exploratory/Developmental Phased Award Cooperative Agreement  


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date
  • Application Due Date(s): March 20, 2019

RFA-AR-19-026 Expiration Date March 21, 2019

Agency Website

Amount Description


Funding Type





Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

March 20, 2019