National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

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NCCAM Grand Opportunities ("GO") Grants

RFA-OD-09-004: Recovery Act Limited Competition for NIH Grants: Research and Research Infrastructure “Grand Opportunities” (RC2) »


The purpose of the Research and Research Infrastructure Grand Opportunities program is to support high impact ideas that lend themselves to short-term, non-renewable funding, and may lay the foundation for new fields of investigation. The program will support large-scale research projects that accelerate critical breakthroughs, early and applied research on cutting-edge technologies, and new approaches to improve the synergy and interactions among multi and interdisciplinary research teams.

This initiative is one of several being offered by NCCAM to help fulfill the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help stimulate the economy through support of biomedical and behavioral research. Additional information the Recovery Act and related NIH opportunities is available through the Office of Extramural Research.

Areas of Scientific Priority

For this initiative, examples of scientific interest areas include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Novel technological approaches to improve verification of origin, identification of components, study of biological effects, and assurance of clinical product integrity of complex natural products
  • Genomic and epigenetic determinants of responsiveness to CAM interventions
  • Identification of biomarkers of:
    • Oxidative stress, to facilitate in vivo study of antioxidant effects of dietary supplements and other natural products, including the relationship between these effects and product efficacy in improving human health
    • Omega-3 fatty acids, to facilitate study of the impact of fatty acids/omega-3 fatty acids on lipid composition and membrane function
    • Social and biological stress, to accelerate research on their effects on immune function
  • Application of systems biology approaches to the study of CAM
  • Imaging correlates of brain states, to provide insight into higher-order states such as awareness of self, focused attention, stress, meditative states, calm and other emotional states; and develop objective measures and rigorous, quantitative evaluation of subjective states
  • Comparative Effectiveness Studies of Non-Pharmacological Treatments for Chronic Low Back Pain - observational studies or secondary data analyses to compare the effectiveness of non-pharmacological treatments or integrative health care approaches for chronic low back pain, when used in addition to and/or as an alternative to standard conventional care
  • Comparative Effectiveness Studies of Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Observational studies or secondary data analyses to compare the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of: 1) CAM used in addition to standard conventional care; 2) CAM or integrative health care versus standard conventional care; or 3) one CAM therapy to another

Funding Priorities

Overall, NCCAM expects to devote $2 million to the Grand Opportunity program.

Key Dates

Opening Date: April 27, 2009
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): April 27, 2009
Application Due Date(s): May 27, 2009

Contact Information

  • Program Contact: For scientific or technical questions relating to research that would be supported by this solicitation, contact Laura Moen, 301-402-5867;

    Send letters of intent to Laura Moen

  • Scientific Review Officer Contact: Dale Birkle-Dreer, 301-451-6570;
  • Grants Management Contact: George Tucker, 301-594-9102;