Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): NIDCD is Interested in Supporting Research on the Impact of COVID-19 on Mission Specific Sensory and Communication Disorders

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a recently emerged human disease caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). There is a paucity of data on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the sensory and communicative functions within the scientific mission areas of NIDCD. NIDCD invites applications for research on COVID-19 in relation to NIDCD’s scientific programs of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech and language (HBTSVSL). Given the early stage of COVID-19 research, it is critical that there is a strong premise for research proposals submitted in response to this NOSI. When appropriate, NIDCD encourages multi-disciplinary approaches to move the research beyond in vitro and animal models.


Areas of COVID-19 related research encouraged through this Notice include, but are not limited to studies on or related to:

  • The effects of prolonged oral intubation on laryngeal function and voice production
  • Short-term and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the auditory, vestibular or olfactory systems
  • The prevalence, onset, and resolution of acquired deficits (i.e. HBTSVSL) among patients with COVID-19 across the lifespan and in association with various underlying genetic predispositions and health conditions
  • The molecular mechanisms underlying chemosensory dysfunction due to SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • The impact of stress/isolation on speech, language or fluency recovery/development in children or adults
  • The impact of potential congenital transmission of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection to the newborn in relation to the auditory, vestibular, olfactory, or vocal function and/or the impact on speech production or language acquisition
  • Potential ototoxicity from therapeutics or vaccination related to COVID-19
  • Worsening of communicative function because of physical distancing, sheltering in place, and wearing of protective personal equipment during mitigation of this infectious pandemic
  • Telehealth service delivery to individuals with communication disorders
  • Multidisciplinary collaborative teams including clinicians, basic biologists, geneticists, quantitative scientist, epidemiologists or other researchers to study COVID-19 related human conditions and behaviors, bioethical considerations, health-service delivery, health services in low-resource areas, and health disparities within NIDCD mission areas
October 05, 2020

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