Advancement of Research in Clinical Neuropsychology (ARC) Pilot Award

A Partnership between the National Academy of Neuropsychology, The Society for Clinical Neuropsychology, and the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology


Applications are being sought for the Advancement of Research in Clinical Neuropsychology (ARC) Pilot Award sponsored by the National Academy of Neuropsychology, Society for Clinical Neuropsychology, and the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. One grant of up to $45,000 is available for innovative pilot research investigations by early-career neuropsychologists.

The ARC is focused on innovative research that demonstrates and broadens the value of neuropsychology, has long-term potential for advancing our field, and has significant potential to secure future funding (including federal) to pursue the proposed line of research. Multi-site and multi-disciplinary collaborations are encouraged, but not required. Within this framework, specific research themes that would be considered responsive to this RFA would include (but are not limited to):

  • Innovative projects focusing on development of novel technology, and or application of existing technology in neuropsychology (e.g., leveraging or repurposing of existing
    technology for neuropsychological practice or research).
  • Studies focused on innovative approaches to address the growing diversity of the population and field; or that examines the impact of cultural experiences on neuropsychological assessment and/or intervention.
  • Studies establishing the feasibility and promise of novel ways to bridge or integrate assessment with intervention.
  • Developing novel methods for increasing access to clinical services.

The proposed research should be feasible within a one-year period, and submissions should focus on critical steps to establish a new line of research or propel an existing line forward in a novel way. Competitive grants will envision approaches that could have broad application within neuropsychology. Although the proposed research activities could be within a “model” condition or disorder, the long-term plan should emphasize broader applications.


  • This funding mechanism is intended to support Early-Stage Investigators, defined as individuals who have completed postdoctoral training in neuropsychology within the past 10 years. Only Early-Stage Investigators are eligible to be the principal investigator of a selected research project.
  • Mid-Career investigators and senior investigators may serve as co-Investigators on the project to strengthen the research team and promote future funding success, but cannot be the principal investigator. Students or postdoctoral fellows may be included in the proposal as a member of the study team but cannot be the principal investigator.
  • Applicant must be a member in good standing of at least one of the partnership organizations to be eligible for the award, and remain so throughout the duration of funding.
  • Applicants can only serve as Principal Investigator on one application; this does not preclude applicants from serving as co-investigator on another application.


  • Requested funds should be explicitly directed toward the conduct of the research.
  • Indirect costs and travel costs (conference) are not allowable expenses. Prior to submitting, applicants should contact their institution’s Grants Management Office to verify that this stipulation will be observed.
  • Reasonable salary support can be requested, pending sufficient justification, but cannot exceed $10,000 of the $45,000 for any given member of the study team in the budget.
  • If the PI is not requesting salary support, provide an explanation for this in the Budget Justification section (discussed further below). In this case, additional documentation supporting the ability of the PI to execute the study without salary support will be required (e.g., letters of support from department chair).


  • Applicants will be required to submit to their IRB within 45 days from the Notice of Award. The funded award period starts upon IRB approval. Funding will not be distributed until IRB approval is documented. Applicants who do not have access to an institutional IRB should consider identifying a collaborator at an institution with an IRB or arranging for review by a commercial/private IRB. Reimbursement for costs for a private IRB can be included in the proposed budget.
  • The investigative team will be asked to record a NAN-supported webinar on research outcomes that will be made available to the membership of SCN, AACN, and NAN.
  • Submission of a paper or poster presentation at AACN, NAN, and/or SCN pertaining to the results of the ARC Pilot Award are highly encouraged (at investigator’s own expense, after research completed).
  • All publications and presentations must acknowledge the joint funding that supported this collaboration (i.e., “This work was supported by an Advancement of Research in Clinical Neuropsychology Pilot Award funded by NAN, SCN, and AACN”).
  • The awardee is required to submit the following reports (templates will be provided) to the Program Officer of the ARC Pilot Award Review Committee, the reports being reviewed by members of the review committee, representing the three partnership organizations:
    • 6-month Progress Report.
    • Final Report is due within 120 calendar days of the end of the project period.
    • Update Report 1-year following completion of the project that specifies how the data acquired via the ARCN Pilot Award were leveraged to submit for / obtain external funding, any conference poster/paper presentations, and full citation for any peer reviewed publications.


  • A letter of intent (LOI) is required prior to submitting a full application (see LOI Instructions document). The LOI will allow the Review Committee to (a) gauge initial fit with the proposed project and overall goals of this initiative, and (b) begin identifying content experts to serve on the review panel.
  • Applications will be expected to adhere to NIH Guidelines for an R21 proposal (see here for relevant sections and associated page limits: Required elements include:
    • Project Summary/Abstract:
      • Abstract for funded project may be posted on the AACN / NAN / SCN websites.
    • Project Narrative:
      • No more than 2-3 sentences.
      • Using language appropriate for a lay audience.
    • Specific Aims (1 page maximum):
      • Should include clear indication of proposed project’s fit with this specific RFA.
    • Research Strategy (6 pages maximum)
    • Diversity Statement (1 page maximum)
      • Describe ways in which diversity is or is not relevant to the project.
      • This section should not be used to circumvent page limits in other sections.
    • Budget and Budget Justification:
      • Does not count towards the page limit but should not be used to circumvent page limits in other sections.
      • If the proposal is related to ongoing research by any member of the study team, the budget justification must address how the current funds would be used, ensuring no duplication of funds from ongoing or pending research support].
    • Facilities and Other Resources (2 pages maximum):
      • Document resources that are available to the investigative team to support the proposed research.
    • NIH Format Biosketch(s) for PI and Co-PIs including pending, current, and key completed grant support.
    • References (Vancouver style; not counted towards page limit)
  • Letter(s) of support are also required. Although letters from specific individuals are not required, letters must demonstrate the investigative team’s ability to carry out the proposed research, such as:
    • access to population
    • institutional commitment
    • departmental support (time)
    • resources
    • mentorship towards career development and research potential (if applicable)
  • All application materials must be submitted electronically as a single PDF file, to the Chair of the ARC Pilot Award Review Committee:

Kathleen Pagulayan, PhD

Please put the following in your email subject line when submitting the PDF:
“Application for ARC Pilot Award”.


In addition to assessing whether the applicant meets eligibility requirements listed above, each proposal will be evaluated based on the criteria below using the NIH 9-point scoring system.

  • Each criterion will be rated by three reviewers using the 9-point scoring system, with the scores averaged across reviewers for a final score for each criterion. The three reviewers will also provide an “Overall” score (using the 9-point scale).
  • If two or more proposals are tied with respect to their average overall score across reviewers, the average score for each of the criteria will be summed to inform tie breaking.
  • If there is still no agreement within the review committee as to which proposal to fund, the said proposals will be provided to the Presidents of the respective organizations, with applicant identifiers removed. The Presidents will come to agreement as to which proposal to fund.

Review Criteria:

  • Significance:
    Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field of neuropsychology?
    How might this project advance the field of clinical neuropsychology?
    Are the aims consistent with the overall goals of the RFA?
  • Qualifications of Investigator(s):
    Does applicant have the appropriate experience and training to lead the study?
    Do the team members have necessary expertise with a record of accomplishments?
    Is study team appropriate/adequate to ensure the timely completion of the study?
    Is there a plan for effective interaction among members of the research team?
  • Innovation:
    Does the project challenge or seek to shift current research/clinical paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, methodologies, instrumentations, or interventions? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical
    concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
  • Approach:
    Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analytic plans well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project?
    Is it appropriate for pilot level funding?
    Is there a clear timeline and plan for completion in the one-year grant period?
    Is the project feasible?
    Are potential problems and alternative strategies presented?
    If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?
  • Environment:
    Are the institutional support, equipment, and other resources available to the investigator(s) adequate for the project proposed?
  • Budget:
    Is the budget appropriate to the proposed study?
  • Human Subjects Protection:
    Is appropriate attention given to the protection of human subjects?


  • Deadline for Receipt of Letter of Intent: October 1, 2022 (no later than 5:00 PM EST)
  • Deadline for Receipt of Applications: February 10, 2023 (no later than 5:00 PM EST)
  • Anticipated Notice of Award: May 1, 2023
  • Funding anticipated to begin on July 1, 2023. Applicants will be required to submit to their IRB within 45 days from the Notice of Award. The award period starts with distribution of funds upon IRB approval.
  • Award Duration: The proposed award is for 1 year of funding, with an option to apply for a one-time, 1 year no-cost extension granted pending satisfactory progress towards stated goals as determined by the ARC Pilot Award Review Committee.

For questions about this RFA, please contact the Program Officer:

Dean Beebe, PhD, ABPP

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