The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to provide an expedited funding mechanism for research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). NIAID is issuing this FOA in response to the declared public health emergency issued by the Secretary, HHS, for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that has recently been identified as the causative agent of COVID-19, a respiratory disease that exhibits a wide range of clinical outcomes from mild disease to severe viral pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). SARS-CoV-2 is able to spread efficiently from person-to-person and cases have been detected in most countries. On March 11, the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was classified as a pandemic by the WHO. Transmission characteristics and the associated morbidity and mortality, viral pathogenesis, host immunity, natural history, and host range are currently poorly understood. Research is an important component of the public health emergency response before, during and after the emergency. Given this, there is an urgent public health need to better understand SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, particularly to improve understanding of fundamental virology, immunology, and the development of animal models, reagents, and medical countermeasures and to share findings quickly and broadly.
Areas of high priority include, but are not limited to, studies to understand critical aspects of viral infection/replication, studies to understand critical aspects of viral transmission, development and testing of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic candidates, and studies to inform the development of vaccination strategies for at-risk populations.