‌Alzheimer's & Related Diseases Research Award Fund 

‌In 1982, the Virginia General Assembly established a research award fund entitled the Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF).  "The awards shall be given annually to scientists in Virginia in order to support research into the causes of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, ‌methods of treatment, ways that families can cope with the stresses of the disease, and the impact of the disease on the  citizens of the Commonwealth."

Since ARDRAF's creation, VCoA has provided seed funds for research in Alzheimer's and other dementias at institutions around the state. These funds are used to stimulate innovative research into biomedical and psychosocial aspects of dementia, including cell biology, caregiving, and animal modeling

To learn more, click on the sections below or contact Dr. Constance L. Coogle at (804) 828-1525 or e-mail at ccoogle@vcu.edu.

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  • Letter of Intent due: Friday, March 10, 2017
  • Proposals due: Monday, April 3, 2017

Apply Now image 2017

Purpose +
To stimulate research, foster the application of knowledge, examine the effects, and increase public understanding of Alzheimer's and related diseases.
Goals +

 The ARDRAF is intended to:

  • increase public understanding of how dementing illnesses affect individuals, families, caregivers, and society
  • support pilot projects from a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines 
  • foster the application of knowledge about Alzheimer's and related diseases 
  • investigate the impact of these conditions on the Commonwealth of Virginia 
  • determine appropriate public policy
Representative Areas of Investigation +

Behavioral and cognitive changes, caregiving, clinical assessment, brain chemistry/neurology, cell biology, electrophysiology immunological responses, environmental factors, drug discovery changes.

History +

In 1982, The General Assembly established the Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award fund to be administered by the Virginia Center on Aging (current code § 51.5-153, original code § 2.2-719). 

Since that time, VCoA has supervised the solicitation of applications and the awarding of competitive grants.  VCoA absorbs all administrative costs, passing through each year's full appropriation to the selected researchers.

VCOA celebrated ARDRAF's 25th anniversary in 2007.  To recognize this occasion and commend ARDRAF for its accomplishments, the General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution No. 857. As part of the anniversary celebration, several previous ARDRAF recipients and supporters were invited to comment on their projects and subsequent developments as well as to honor Del. Ken Plum for his championing of the cause of Alzheimer's research. For video of ARDRAF recipients and supporters speaking, click here.

To learn about past awards, click here.

ARDRAF Award Process +

ARDRAF is administered by the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Center is responsible for developing application procedures and review criteria, establishing fiscal controls and reporting requirements, and monitoring the conduct of investigations.   Below is a brief description of the application process.  For full details, click on 2017 Application Guidelines‌ to download.

Applicants submit a non-binding letter of intent with a tentative title, non-technical abstract, and a 4-5-sentence description of the project in common, everyday language for press release purposes by Friday, March 10, 2017.

Applications will be accepted through Monday, April 3, 2017. Once received, applications are assigned to technical reviewers who represent domestic and international scientific and medical communities. In addition, each proposal will be assigned to a peer reviewer recommended by the applicant (see further instructions on the application form). 

The criteria for review are as follows: 

1) Scientific merit with respect to the: 

    • significance of proposed hypotheses
    • adequacy of the methodology and design
    • potential for subsequent funding 

2) Appropriateness of proposal for funding by the ARDRAF 

3) Adequacy of the:  

    • investigation team (with respect to background and training)
    • physical facilities
    • budget

A prestigious review panel convenes in an all-day meeting to analyze the feedback from reviewers, determine the funding priority scores, and make the final funding decisions. 

Applicants will be notified by Friday June 23, 2017. The funding period begins Monday, July 3, 2017 and projects must be completed by Thursday, June 29, 2017. 

Award Amounts +

The number and size of the awards vary each year but are limited to $45,000. VCoA absorbs all administrative costs, passing each year's full appropriation to the award recipients. Applicants are evaluated by a third-party professional awards committee and awards are granted based on a competitive evaluation process. To learn more about past awards, click here.

Impact of ARDRAF Awards +

As a result of ARDRAF's initial seed funds, Virginia researchers have received an additional $36.7 million dollars in funds and published 275 related scientific and professional publications.  This is a $10 return on every dollar invested by the Virginia General Assembly.The quality of ARDRAF recipients' work is reflected by our inclusion in the National Institute of Health's International Alzheimer's Disease Research Portfolio.