NIH announces the release of new RFA for Medical Rehabilitation Research Centers

April 05, 2024

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) invites grant applications from institutions/organizations that propose to build a Medical Rehabilitation Research Center. The centers will have a specific rehabilitation research theme and be comprised of a research project supported by 3 cores. The 3 cores will have functions within the center as well as functions nationwide. Together, the cores will support: administrative functions (including an optional pilot program), resource sharing, and community engagement and outreach. The Medical Rehabilitation Research Centers will contribute to medical rehabilitation research infrastructure by developing and disseminating techniques, data, theories, research programs, and expertise with the goal of enhancing the capability of medical rehabilitation investigators to understand mechanisms of functional recovery, develop therapeutic strategies, identify clinical care gaps, and improve the lives of people with disabilities. Applications must include a plan for inclusion of People with Lived Experience (as a required other attachment) that is relevant to the research theme of the center and increases the potential impact of the center. 

Key Dates

April 3, 2024         Posted Date
June 30, 2024       Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
June 30, 2024       Letter of Intent Due Date
July 30, 2024        Application Due Date (All applications are due by 5:00 p.m. local time of applicant organization)
July 31, 2024        Expiration Date

Find full details of the Notice of Funding Opportunity and learn how to apply here.


The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) is located within the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Through basic, translational, and clinical research, NCMRR aims to foster development of scientific knowledge needed to enhance the health, productivity, independence, and quality of life of people with physical disabilities. NCMRR provides support for scientists to conduct research into functional changes associated with chronic physical conditions and rehabilitative strategies to promote function, increase participation, and improve quality of life. NCMRR is also tasked with coordinating rehabilitation research activities with other NIH Institutes and Centers and other federal agencies.

The 21st Century Cures Act defines “medical rehabilitation” as “the science of mechanisms and interventions that prevent, improve, restore or replace lost, underdeveloped or deteriorating function.” For purposes of this NOFO, NCMRR will utilize the same definition of “medical rehabilitation” or, simply, “rehabilitation”. Investigators supported by NCMRR/NICHD and other NIH Institutes explore medical rehabilitation by reducing pathophysiology, enhancing functional recovery, promoting learning and adaptation, preventing secondary complications, reducing societal barriers, enhancing community rehabilitation services to include partnerships with caregivers and care providers, and enhancing overall health and quality of life for people with physical disabilities and their family caregivers across the lifespan. Research across these domains requires the integration of biological, engineering, and socio-behavioral approaches to understand the basis of chronic conditions, potential secondary complications, therapies, and the interaction of the individual with their environment. A multidisciplinary approach to these goals is fundamental to medical rehabilitation practice.

Read full text of announcement here.