The NIH Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program seeks to advance understanding of the neural control of organ function, laying a mechanistic foundation for the next generation of therapeutic closed-loop neuromodulation devices. The SPARC team has released two new funding announcements soliciting: 1) applications to develop a Data and Resource Center to support this mission; and 2) applications to develop New Tools to support this mission.
1) RFA-RM-16-008, Data Coordination, Map Synthesis, and Simulation Cores for the SPARC Program:
Develop the SPARC Data and Resource Center, a central online hub with three core functions: 1) store and facilitate access to all data generated by SPARC; 2) build interactive visualizations of nerve-organ anatomy and function; and 3) host models that predict the effects of nerve stimuli on organ function. Bioinformatics and data science experts are encouraged to apply. Letters of Intent (LOI) are required and are due by April 7, 2017. Following LOI submission, a subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full application, which is due by June 2, 2017.
Questions should be addressed to SPARC_Data@mail.nih.gov.
2) RFA-RM-17-009, Technologies to Understand the Control of Organ Function by the Peripheral Nervous System:
Develop new and/or enhance existing tools and technologies to facilitate high-resolution mapping of peripheral neural circuits. Pre-applications will be accepted on a regular basis, beginning May 1, 2017. Specific priorities for the current receipt date are posted at https://commonfund.nih.gov/sparc/FOApriorities; future receipt dates will have different priorities based on program needs. Current priorities include:
· Computational models to assess safety limits of stimulation and/or blocking of neural activity (e.g. biophysics and regulatory science for neural interfaces)
· Computational models of neuromodulation that incorporate variability due to individual subject differences
· Biophysical models of electrical, infrared, or ultrasonic neuromodulation that predict methods for selectively activating or blocking specific fiber types and locations. These computational models should be predictive of side effects (i.e. other fibers that may be activated or blocked).
Questions should be addressed to SPARC_NextGen-Tools@mail.nih.gov
The SPARC team will be holding virtual office hours for potential applicants. We strongly encourage using these as an opportunity to ask questions and discuss your ideas with the SPARC team. Visit http://nihsparc.setmore.com to sign up. We will also hold a webinar at a date to be determined soon.
These announcements solicit applications under the Other Transactions mechanism. Applications will be considered from higher education institutions, small and large corporations, foreign organizations, non-profits, other federal and state agencies, as well as individuals not affiliated with an organization. Potential applicants are encouraged to learn more about Other Transactions, which are not grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements: https://commonfund.nih.gov/sparc/othertransactions.