Must be received by 5:00 pm ET on the deadline date.

Letter of Intent
January 19, 2018

Invited Full Proposal
February 9, 2018

Letter of Intent
April 13, 2018

Invited Full Proposal
May 11, 2018

Letter of Intent
July 13, 2018

Invited Full Proposal
August 10, 2018

Letter of Intent
October 12, 2018

Invited Full Proposal
November 9, 2018


Average Duration

1–2 years with potential for follow-on funding

Average Award

$150,000-$300,000 based on stage and scope of research. For studies requiring additional support, co-funding from other funding agencies or investors is encouraged.


Funding is open to researchers, clinicians, and postdoctoral fellows in the U.S. and worldwide working in:

  • Academic medical centers and universities or nonprofits
  • Biotechnology companies that demonstrate a clear need for nonprofit funding. Funding is provided through mission-related investments (MRIs) that require return on investment based upon scientific and/or business milestones. Existing companies and new spinouts are both eligible.


Clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias have been hindered, in part, by the limited number of biomarkers that can (1) accurately diagnose these diseases, (2) properly stratify cohorts and enrich for patients with target pathology, (3) demonstrate target engagement for novel therapies, and (4) reliably monitor disease progression and response to treatment. While currently available biomarkers have helped to accelerate clinical trials, many are expensive, invasive, or both, and have been concentrated on a small set of disease targets.

This RFP seeks to support the development and validation of biomarkers that will enhance the design and performance of clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. This includes companion biomarkers for specific clinical-stage therapies and biomarkers with broader applicability across trials and therapeutic targets.


Peripheral biomarkers (including but not limited to modalities such as blood, saliva, urine, and ocular biomarkers) will no longer be considered through this RFP. If you are developing one of these peripheral biomarkers, please apply through the Diagnostics Accelerator: Peripheral Biomarkers RFP.

Funding Priorities

Neuroimaging: Positron emission tomography (PET) ligands for target engagement and pharmacodynamic measurements of novel and repurposed therapeutics, and novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods to measure structural, blood flow, and white matter changes in the brain

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers: Multiplex ELISA or mass spectrometry of specific target(s) or transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, or lipidomics signatures

Functional activity measures: Electroencephalogram (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

Other novel approaches that are supported by compelling evidence

Biomarker targets: Current biomarker target areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Neuroinflammation
  • Synaptic integrity and/or activity
  • Vascular injury & blood-brain barrier integrity
  • Mitochondria & metabolic function
  • Calcium regulation
  • Proteostasis
  • Oxidative stress
  • White matter changes

The ADDF has limited interest in funding measures of cognition and function, as well as CSF assays of Aβ and tau levels.


Priority is given to projects that:

  • Validate biomarkers previously identified in samples from well-characterized human subjects
  • Focus on biomarkers with a rational biological connection to the disease process and are supported by a reasonable body of preliminary data
  • Use validated methods for quantifying and qualifying biomarkers. Developing novel technologies is a lower priority


Review the Application Instructions for steps on applying.




For program-related inquiries, please contact:
Meriel Owen, PhD, Scientific Program Officer

For application submission inquiries, please contact:
Grants and Mission-Related Investments Team