The Washington University Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC@WUSTL) is now accepting proposals for an investigator initiated R01 to embed within its 2025 competing renewal application. The funding mechanism for IDDRCs requires an embedded R01 project, and the inclusion of a compelling project which utilizes and represents the institutional strengths of the IDDRC can have a significant impact on the scoring of the overall renewal. Historically these embedded R01s have been allowed 200K in the IDDRC FOA’s, however at this phase please do not consider this budget as limiting your approaches – the final allowable budget might be increased by NIH or other sources. Thus, at this time we are looking for the most impactful applications, regardless of scale.
Applicants should submit the following:

  • Name(s) of principal investigator(s) and proposed project title.
  • Specific Aims page (NIH-format).
  • 300 word statement outlining how this project will integrate with the mission/themes of the IDDRC, including a plan for utilizing IDDRC Core Services

For the most compelling proposals, the respective investigators will be invited to develop a full R01 proposal (with the assistance of leading scientists within the IDDRC@WUSTL). The expectation is that a complete R01 application will be prepared by September 15, 2024. From these applications, one finalist will be selected for integration and inclusion in the 2025 IDDRC@WUSTL renewal application. It is anticipated that all invited R01s, whether or not selected for final inclusion in the renewal application, would be eligible for separate submission as stand-alone grants, with timing of submission at the discretion of the investigators. Specific stipulations of the proposed R01 are as follows:

A) The proposal must not be a renewal of an existing NIH study, and must critically relate to developmental disabilities research, and include at least one element of future translational relevance (e.g., relating to risk assessment, outcomes assessment, biomarkers, or developing targets for biological or behavioral interventions).

B) The proposal must substantively utilize at least one Scientific Core Facility of the IDDRC@WUSTL. Additional information on these core facilities can be found on the IDDRC@WUSTL website. Core services can also be potentially expanded to suit the needs of the embedded project, especially if this builds key new capacities for the IDDRC. Discuss any such innovations with core directors.

C) The proposal must fit within a modular R01 budget for direct costs acquired through this mechanism, however can capitalize upon available funding from other sources.

D) The proposal should address one or more of the four research themes of the IDDRC@WUSTL, broadly defined. Examples are included below, but should not be limiting to an aims page submission.

IELUCIDATION OF INTERMEDIATE PHENOTYPES: Core neurobehavioral features of IDDs that clarify causal origins, trace familial transmission, and index response-to-intervention.MSCCross-species studies of behavioral deficits in IDD
DNCRelate behavioral endophenotypes to neural signatures
CTCState-of-the-art developmental and behavioral assessment and phenotyping technologies; genotype-phenotype correlation, D/I
IICHARACTERIZATION OF THE DEVELOPING BRAIN: Identification of neural signatures to elucidate mechanisms of disability at the level of whole brain or circuit and contribution to the discovery of high-specificity biomarkers.MSCNeuropathology of rodent models of IDD
DNCLongitudinal imaging of infants at risk for IDD
CTCComprehensive behavioral phenotyping to establish relationships between neuroimaging and neurobehavioral manifestations of IDD, D/I of biomarkers
IIIFUNCTIONAL GENOMICS FOR DISCOVERY OF CONVERGENT PATHOGENIC MECHANISMS:  Elucidation of pathways shared by diverse causes of IDD, to inform novel therapeutic targets for the largest possible number of patients.MSCAnimal and cellular models of monogenic DD syndromes
DNCImaging of genetic sub groups, incl. severe IDD syndromes
CTCIdentifying functional homologies across DD sub groups defined by clinical characteristics ascertained via behavioral and genomic characterization
IVTAILORING INTERVENTION TO SPECIFIC GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL INSULTS TO THE DEVELOPING BRAIN: Harnessing genomic information and new insights on pathogenic mechanisms for personalized intervention.MSCRescue experiments involving manipulation of the genome
DNCIdentification of early neural signatures of DD risk that trigger presymptomatic intervention
CTCBuilding infrastructure for IDD-specific clinical trials
MSC: Model Systems Core; DNC: Developmental Neuroimaging Core; CTC: Clinical Translation Core; D/I: Dissemination/Implementation

DEADLINES and Important Dates:

Recipients receiving prior pilot funds from the IDDRC are eligible and encourage to apply. Feel free to update your prior aims based on the outcomes of your pilot studies, or use the same aims, at your discretion.

Applications should be submitted as a pdf attachment to the IDDRC@WUSTL email: (cc: with “IDDRC Flagship R01 Specific Aims” in the subject line of the email message. We will confirm receipt of your submission.

Additional guidance for the development of specific aims for this proposal can be provided by IDDRC@WUSTL scientific liaisons Drs. Harrison Gabel, Rafael Galindo, and Chad Sylvester, as well as Center leadership (core and unit directors).

Administrative Support: Program Manager, Anna Abbacchi (; Grants Specialist, Diane Robison (

DEADLINES and Important Dates:

  • Specific Aims Page– Due April 15, 2024 (DEADLINE)
  • Up to 3 investigators selected to submit final proposals – May 20, 2024
  • Draft R01s (Aims, Research Strategy, Budget) due – July 1, 2024
  • IDDRC Flagship project selected by IDDRC leadership – Aug 1, 2024
  • Selected Investigators’ full proposals due – September 15, 2024
  • Anticipated NIH P50 IDDRC Grant Application Due Date – January 25, 2025 ** Dates are subject to change based on the issuance of the RFA from NICHD.