SPARC: Technologies to Understand the Control of Organ Function by the Peripheral Nervous System (OT1)

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-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; 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).

Only tool and technology categories listed on the SPARC FOA Priorities page for the current receipt date are responsive to this funding opportunity. Future receipt dates will have different priorities based on program needs. Current priorities include sample preparation, imaging and targeting, modeling and simulation, surgical access tools, neural interfaces, and serving as a consortium-wide service provider for specified activities.

Questions should be addressed to

Potential applicants may view the RM-17-009 Informational Webinar slides (PDF).

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 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: letters of intent are not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research contacts before submitting their proposal.

See the announcement here: RM-17-009 (PDF)

Applications are accepted quarterly on or around the 1st of the month:

May 1, 2017

August 1, 2017

November 1, 2017

February 1, 2018

May 1, 2018

August 1, 2018

November 1, 2018

Activity Code (e.g., RO1, U01)
Funding Announcement Number
Posted Date
Expiration Date
Application Due Date
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