The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, also known as ARPA-H, has announced its first agency wide Broad Agency Announcement (Open BAA) for funding proposals. The call for proposals is intended to advance breakthrough research and technological advancement that improves health outcomes across patient populations and communities, as well as across diseases and health conditions. Psychological and behavioral scientists are encouraged to apply for ARPA-H support.
The solicitation states that, “Proposals should investigate unconventional approaches, and challenge accepted assumptions to enable leaps forward in science, technology, systems, or related capabilities.” Interested applicants can find more information for the Open BAA on the contract solicitation page here. ARPA-H has provided slides from an April 4th webinar with additional details about the agency and the funding solicitation. Those slides can be accessed here.
ARPA-H is an independent agency housed within the National Institutes of Health. Although administratively housed within NIH, the ARPA-H director reports directly to the Health and Human Services Secretary. Congress approved legislation authorizing the establishment of ARPA-H in 2022. President Biden also signed the legislation into law that year.
ARPA-H’s mission is to advance, “high-potential, high-impact biomedical and health research that cannot be readily accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity”. Program Managers will be hired for set years during which they will be allowed to chose projects deemed to have the most impact on major health issues. The agency is modeled after DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which has a successful track record for producing technological innovations including GPS and investments in the technology that led to the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.