New SPARC Other Transaction (OT) Funding Opportunity Announcements!

December 1, 2015

The NIH Common Fund Program on Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) has released new funding opportunity announcements which may be of interest. These FOAs solicit applications that address two separate but interrelated research foci:

Comprehensive Functional Mapping of Neuroanatomy and Neurobiology of Organs – Projects that support a full, multi-expertise approach to understanding both afferent and efferent components of nervous system control of major organ function. These large projects will comprehensively provide data for the detailed, predictive functional and anatomical neural circuit map for neural control of medically relevant functions of a specific organ and its functionally-associated structures (for example, the bladder and associated sphincter).

Foundational Functional Mapping of Neuroanatomy and Neurobiology of Organs Projects that focus on filling current knowledge gaps in order to provide the foundational functional neuroanatomy and neurobiology data for major organs, potentially leading to a subsequent large Comprehensive Functional Mapping project.

SPARC is uniquely positioned to serve as a community resource that provides the broader public and private research communities with the scientific foundation necessary to pilot new and/or improved closed-loop neuromodulation devices and stimulation protocols to treat diseases and conditions through precise neural control of peripheral end-organ system function. The SPARC program is comprised of four interrelated research components with joint aims to support multidisciplinary teams of investigators to deliver detailed, predictive, functional and anatomical neural circuit maps of the innervation of multiple major internal organs in humans. These FOAs serve as part of the SPARC program’s first phase by focusing on anatomical and functional mapping using current state-of-the-art technologies. It is anticipated that the resulting projects will enable later competitive high resolution mapping projects and pre-clinical testing for new therapies.

Detailed in the FOAs, the Other Transaction (OT) mechanisms will afford the program the agility necessary to make rapid progress toward program goals. In addition, the OT mechanisms will enable the SPARC Program Manager and funded awardees to quickly and fluidly incorporate relevant breakthroughs and discoveries, engage non-funded pioneers, and establish SPARC awardee collaborations and partnerships. For more detail on the management of SPARC Other Transaction awards visit our SPARC Other Transaction page. Guidelines for these OT processes are listed within the NIH Other Transaction Award Policy Guide for the SPARC Program. This document describes the various laws, regulations, guidelines and polices to which the SPARC program will adhere.

The SPARC program staff encourages individuals and organizations to promote and disseminate this FOA information in related newsletters, publications, or on organizational websites. Please contact SPARC_Biology@mail.nih.gov if you have any questions regarding these funding opportunities.

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