Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)


About

Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) is a new federal agency established in 2022. It will support transformative high-risk, high-reward research to drive biomedical and health breakthroughs — ranging from molecular to societal — that would provide transformative solutions for all patients. 

ARPA-H is a new potential funder for research projects. President Biden's FY23 budget request for $5 Billion for ARPA-H will enable it to take on big bets: running trials, building tools, and testing new approaches. ARPA-H is intended to complement NIH’s investments.

Additional information is available here.

ARPA-H Resources

Click the button below to access a recorded presentation and PowerPoint about ARPA-H and the expected Program Manager.

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As of July 2022, where ARPA-H will be headquartered is still an active discussion. All 16 congressional representatives joined together to form a bipartisan Georgia Delegation urging the DHHS Secretary to locate ARPA-H in Georgia.

Review the delegation’s letter here.

ARPA-H will adopt the “DARPA model” that positions program managers (PMs) in a relatively flat organizational structure. Term-limited PMs are typically scientists from academia or industry and serve for 4-5 years. Unlike NIH, the “DARPA model” does not rely on peer review to score proposals. Instead, PMs drive the establishment and direction of funding programs. PMs typically start by funding small seedling projects to move a program goal from impossible to merely doubtful. PMs explore multiple approaches and solutions to well-defined problems. Subsequent rounds of funding expand and can quickly pivot based on lessons learned.

Additional information:

The Heilmeier Questions will inform everything ARPA-H does. All programs and research projects must respond to and will be evaluated using the Heilmeier Questions.

Heilmeier Questions

  1. What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
  2. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
  3. What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
  4. Who cares? If you are successful, what difference will it make?
  5. What are the risks? How much will it cost? How long will it take?
  6. What are the mid-term and final “exams” to check for success?
  7. (ARPA-H question) What can you do to ensure the innovation impact is equitable?

Submit a proposal to the ARPA-H Seed Program administered by the Office of SVPR. The RFP for this program has been released on Emory’s InfoReady site. Applicants are asked to prepare proposals that respond to the Heilmeier Questions.

During the seed program, successful applicants will work closely with the Office of Research Development to continue to refine their responses to the Heilmeier Questions and their pitch.

Program managers will be key to achieving the ARPA-H mission, and researchers are invited to express interest at this time. Program managers will bring a well-defined problem that is: (1) clearly important, (2) clearly hard, and have (3) clear ways to measure progress to solving to the agency.

Interested researchers can send a CV, letter of interest, and program ideas to JoinARPAH@nih.gov. ARPA-H leadership will use these contacts to hit the ground running as they begin to hire staff who will lead ambitious research programs using the “DARPA model” to accelerate breakthroughs in health.

The Office of Research Development is available to deliver presentations on ARPA-H and to respond to other ARPA-H questions. Please contact ResearchDevelopment@emory.edu.