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ARPA-H Overview and News

The Research & Innovation Office is soliciting expressions of interest from researchers who are interested in pursuing ARPA-H funding (see below). Note: Proposers should use the Heilmeier Catechism questions as a framework for developing expressions of interest.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) is a new federal funding agency advancing high-potential, high-impact biomedical and health research with the potential to radically improve health. The agency will prioritize projects—spanning the molecular to the societal—not readily accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity. Focus areas include: Health Science Futures, Scalable Solutions, Proactive Health and Resilient Systems. The agency, which is modeled after DARPA, will use a streamlined awards process to fund projects quickly and at scale. As ARPA-H recruits program managers and develops new funding programs, details will be provided on this site. 

Keep up with news and announcements through the ARPA-H newsletter, ARPA-H Vitals

If you’d like to keep up with the new ARPA-H and what’s happening in the domain of federal funding for health innovation, here is the link for signing up for their regular newsletter. ARPA-H says that Vitals is the one way to stay updated on ARPA-H, learn about opportunities, and to send queries about challenges and solutions.

ARPA-H Current Opportunities

ARPA-H Precision Surgical Interventions (PSI)

  • Precision Surgical Interventions (PSI) Broad Agency Announcement
  • Goal: A new program of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), Precision Surgical Interventions (PSI) aims to help all surgical procedures reach their intended goal with no errors and no need for re-operation. The program will advance solutions for two major surgical problems: tumor edge visualization and critical anatomy visualization. ARPA-H expects that applications will represent different fields with knowledge of oncology, surgery, imaging technology and others to enhance the visualization needs of surgeons and improve patient.  See PSI FAQs for more information.
  • Program Manager: Ileana Hancu, PhD
  • Submission Process:
    1. Due 9/21 by 12 pm EDT: Abstracts (optional): Abstracts are not required for submission of a full proposal but are encouraged. More information will be available in mid-August 2023 when the BAA is released. We expect abstracts will be due in mid-September 2023.
    2. Due 11/16 by 5 pm EST: Full Proposals

    Learn More

    ARPA-H Open Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)

    • Goal: Proposals should investigate unconventional approaches and challenge accepted assumptions to enable leaps forward. Also encourages concepts to advance the objectives of the Cancer Moonshot. Proposals should fall within one of four areas: Health Sciences Futures, Scalable Solutions, Proactive Health, and Resilient Systems. NIH will review abstracts on a rolling basis and the sooner they are submitted, the more competitive they may be.
    • ARPA-H office directors Jennifer Roberts (Resilient Systems) and Amy Jenkins (Health Science Futures) will coordinate this open-office call. 
    • Submission Process: Submit abstracts through https://ecps.nih.gov
    • Submission Deadline: March 14, 2024, 1pm MT
    • Awards: Multiple anticipated
    • Open BAA Proposers’ Day Event Recording (April 4, 2023)

    Learn More

    ARPA-H Past Opportunities

    ARPA-H Novel Innovations for Tissue Regeneration in Osteoarthritis Program (NITRO)

    • Goal: What if we could make our joints heal themselves? NITRO aims to address current issues surrounding osteoarthritis treatment by developing new ways of helping the human body repair its own joints.  Focus is on three technical areas: (1) injectable bone regeneratives; (2) injectable cartilage regeneratives; and (3) replacement joints built from human cells. 
    • VIew Full NITRO Funding Announcement (BAA)
    • NITRO Proposers’ Day Recording
    • Program Manager: Ross Uhrich, DMD, MBA
    • Submission Process:
      • Abstracts (optional):
        • While welcome, abstracts are not required for submission of a full proposal. Abstracts can be submitted through the Abstract Submission Portal by June 23, 2023, by 5 pm EDT. 
      • Full proposals (required):

    Learn More

    CU Boulder Support

    The Research & Innovation Office coordinates with campus units, research leaders and others to provide specialized support and guidance to ARPA-H investigators and teams.

    • Present on ARPA-H opportunities
    • Advice and guidance from ARPA-funded PIs
    • Office of Contracts & Grants (OCG) administrative support, including budget development for inclusion in Cost Proposals, for Rough Order of Magnitude estimates, application instruction compliance and collection of subcontract materials
    • Program Management Office (PMO) support on integrated submission strategies and post award project management advice and guidance resourcing
    • Review and feedback on abstracts
    • Help identifying potential collaborators and/or industry and community partners
    • Assistance with human subjects and other regulatory requirements
    • Assistance in identifying and describing research resources and instrumentation
    • Assistance navigating the commercialization ecosystem, if applicable
    • Proposal development and editing (if invited to submit a full proposal)

    Upcoming Events

    Check back here or keep an eye on the RIO Bulletin for event updates.


    ARPA-H Focus Areas

    Health Science – Focused on new tools, technologies, and platforms. Disease-agnostic approaches are encouraged but not required.

    • Novel molecular platforms to modulate host systems, reach targets with spatial and temporal precision, and mitigate off-target effects
    • Microbial cellular engineering
    • Gene, cell, tissue, and organ replacement for accessible personal interventions
    • AI-enabled, empirically validated physiological models
    • Miniaturization of complex hardware

    Scalable Solutions – Focused on access and affordability challenges:

    • Treatments that adapt to pediatric patient development
    • Manufacturing to reduce cost, speed production, and eliminate supply chain risk
    • Standardization, automation, and democratization of complex procedures
    • Methods to enhance rural or low-resource delivery
    • Reduce or eliminate health disparities
    • Diagnose and treat rare diseases wherever patients are

    Proactive Health – Focused on reducing the need for medical intervention:

    • Vaccine/therapy to reduce disease spread of disease and eliminate risk factors
    • Reduce disparities, especially in mental health, substance use, maternal morbidity and mortality, and chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease
    • Measure, analyze, and enhance health-promoting activities, including aging independently
    • Injury/stress recovery, including regenerating brain tissue after trauma or stroke to end paralysis and cognitive loss
    • Non-invasively characterizing brain and other deep tissue and organ health
    • Machine-enhanced computational models to predict changes in health status, reduce medical errors, and improve clinical settings

    Resilient Systems – Focused on improving reliability in crises such as pandemics, social disruption, climate change, molecular disturbances, and economic instability:

    • Engineer resilient tissues, microbiomes, and biophysical systems
    • Rapidly integrate off-the-shelf solutions, decision tools, and adapt supply chains, manufacturing, logistics, and workforces in emergencies
    • Protect, secure, integrate, analyze, communicate, and present health data
    • Use homes, community centers, pharmacies, and other accessible locations for clinical trials, to diversify participation and integrate end-user feedback into designs
    • Build trust in healthcare system and distribute high-quality guidance
    • Real-time tracking of health outcomes, performance of interventions, especially for underserved communities
    • Health information, consent, data reuse, biosecurity, band potential unintended consequences


     Lisa Nanstad, Research Development Strategist, RIO, lisa.nanstad@colorado.edu.