Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Availability of Urgent Competitive Revisions and Administrative Supplements For Research on Biological Effects of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus on the Nervous System

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

NINDS is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight the urgent need for research on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and on biological effects on the nervous system of its causative agent, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Research of interest must fall within NINDS’s scientific mission, which is to support basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research to expand fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

In order to rapidly improve our understanding of the neurological consequences of infection of SARS-CoV-2 and of COVID-19, NINDS is encouraging the submission of applications for supplements to address the biology, pathophysiology, prevention, diagnosis, sequelae, or treatment of the 2019 Novel Coronovirus that are directly related to the NINDS mission.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from April 15, 2020 to April 14, 2021 at 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization. This NOSI expires on April 15, 2021. An application submitted in response to this NOSI that is received after the expiration date will be withdrawn.

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Research interests include but are not limited to:

Division of Aging Biology (DAB) Research Interests:

  • Studies of the role of inflammation and immunesenescence in older populations with increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent progression to more severe disease, including lung pathology and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
  • Development of aged animal models (including non-human primates) or in vitro models suitable for studies on pathogenesis of the virus and/or pre-clinical testing of therapeutics and vaccines against SARS-Cov-2.
  • Studies of how cellular and molecular mechanisms identified as pillars of aging impact the treatment, recovery, and repair of tissue and organ systems in older individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2. Studies of the identification of predictive biomarkers derived from clinical specimens and data collected from patients are also encouraged.
  • Studies of how host factors, including existing co-morbidities such as respiratory, cardiac, and other conditions, predispose older individuals to acquire SARS-CoV-2 infections and/or develop more severe COVID-19 disease, such as ARDS.

Division of Neuroscience (DN) Research Interests:

  • Studies of neurological and neurocognitive symptoms in COVID-19 and sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection related to the development or aggravation of such symptoms in older adults, e.g., delirium or early alterations in sensory function; studies of the susceptibility of people with Alzheimer's disease or Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) to COVID-19.
  • Studies of mechanisms of underlying SARS-CoV-2 neurological symptoms and pathology in older adults with COVID-19; research on the role of brain barriers in preventing SARS-CoV-2 from gaining access to the neural tissues and mechanisms through which SARS-CoV 2 compromises such barriers and propagates in the central nervous system (CNS); neuropathological studies of COVID-19 and the contribution of brain tissue damage by SARS-CoV-2 to the morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 in older adults.
  • Studies aimed at discovery and development of novel drugs, as well as repurposing and repositioning existing drugs, for preventing and treating COVID-19, particularly drugs that are specific for COVID-19 related CNS targets and CNS mechanisms related to or driving the viral-mediated pathophysiology; studies on blood-brain-barrier penetrant drugs to treat potential SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs in the CNS.
  • Development of computational and informatics methods, e.g., machine learning or artificial intelligence integrating with emerging multi-modal data for COVID-19 diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG) Research Interests:

  • Relationships of individual factors, including co-existing conditions and medications, to resilient or adverse outcomes to SARS-CoV-2 exposure in older adults and comparisons with younger adults.
  • Evaluation of pharmacological or health care delivery intervention strategies in older adults after exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to prevent or mitigate morbidity and/or improve post-infection health and function.
  • Studies in pre-hospital, emergency, or critical care settings to improve screening, risk stratification, care delivery decisions, resource allocation, and clinical outcomes for older adults exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
  • Evaluation of strategies to minimize spread of COVID-19 among older adults and their care providers, particularly within facilities housing older adults, including telemedicine and remote medicine strategies.

Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR) Research Interests:

  • Leveraging longitudinal studies to elucidate how COVID-19-related changes in the social, economic, institutional, and policy environments differentially impact the health and welfare of people across the life course and in vulnerable social groups; comparative studies of regional and national approaches are encouraged.
  • Studies of prevention practices (hand washing, effectively covering a cough, social distancing, etc.) and factors that influence adherence, including individual and age differences and social network effects.
  • Studies of how social distancing requirements impact the care and well-being of vulnerable older adult populations, including individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and AD/ADRD.
  • Evaluating strategies used by health systems to reallocate resources, rapidly train practitioners, communicate preventative practices, and maintain adherence to public health and clinical guidelines, with a particular interest in those that serve high-risk groups (e.g. nursing homes) and resulting racial, ethnic, or regional disparities in access/care.

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 14, 2021