DoD Tick-Borne Disease Research Program Idea Award

Tick-borne pathogens
Argas monolakensis tick. Credit: NIAID

The U.S. Department of Defense Tick-Borne Disease Research Program (TBDRP) aims to prevent tick-borne diseases and better diagnose and resolve associated illnesses.

TBDRP was established in FY 2016 to support innovative and impactful research that addresses these fundamental issues and gaps in tick-borne diseases. The Idea Award mechanism encourages applications from investigators in the early stages of their careers. The New Investigator category of this award mechanism is designed to allow postdoctoral fellows in the process of developing independent research careers and applicants still early in their faculty appointments to also compete for funding and bring new, innovative ideas to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases research.

There are currently at least 16 known tick-borne illnesses, with emerging diseases being discovered all the time. In the United States, the yearly cases of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, including spotted fever rickettsiosis, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis, have been increasing steadily for years, currently totaling tens of thousands of people diagnosed annually, with more likely undiagnosed. Globally, the US Military prioritizes tick-borne Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever as an operational threat abroad.

The FY17 TBDRP intends to support conceptually innovative, high-risk/potentially high-reward research in the early stages of development that could lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will accelerate progress in improving outcomes for individuals affected by Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne illnesses.

This award mechanism promotes new ideas that represent innovative approaches to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases research and have the potential to make an important contribution toward the TBDRP mission. Applications should include a well-formulated, testable hypothesis based on strong scientific rationale that is established through inferential reasoning and/or critical review and analysis of the literature.

Applications must address at least one of the following specific focus areas in Lyme disease and/or other tickborne diseases with emphasis on reducing public health burden:

  • Direct detection of agents of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases or their products in humans
  • Biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and cure
  • Mechanisms of persistence of Lyme disease
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • New research tools to support studies of pathogenesis

Estimated total program funding is $1.2 million with individual awards limited to $250,000. Further details are available via Solicitation Number: W81XWH-17-TBDRP-IA. The response deadline is Oct 11, 2017.

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