“Fresh ideas and multiple disciplines are needed to advance Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs) research to improve patient care. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides approximately one third of all biomedical research funding in the United States and therefore, the interests and priorities of NIH Institutes and Centers can stimulate research interests and training programs throughout the country. TMDs are not the primary mission of any NIH Center or Institute.” (NAM report, Summary S-5)

NIH Grant Funding Opportunities

We invite you to view a list of the latest National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding opportunities for scientists interested in advancing TMJ research.

Table of Opportunities

HEAL Initiative: Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


Posted: January 10, 2022

Open: March 11, 2022

Expires: April 12, 2022

Link: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-22-009.html


The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to solicit cooperative agreement applications from interdisciplinary teams that will cooperatively form the Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN). The goal of RE-JOIN will be to define the innervation of the different articular and peri-articular tissues that collectively form the joint (including bone, cartilage, synovium, joint capsule, ligament, tendon, fascia and muscle), by sensory neurons that mediate the sensation of pain. Knowledge about the types and distribution of neurites in joint tissues will facilitate the identification of key receptors and mediators that induce pain by activating specific sensory neurons. These mediators and their receptors will provide novel targets for reducing pain.

Each Research Team will conduct a research project to map the sensory innervation of the joint tissues in animal models, human tissues, or both. Research Teams projects must focus on at least one of the high priority joint types listed in the FOA and are encouraged to include a description of specific plans to extend the project to other joints and, if the primary focus is animal models, to human tissue. This FOA also provides the opportunity to further adapt or develop technologies that would improve the ability to map neurons in joint tissues.

Data harmonization, integration and visualization will require extensive coordination between teams. The goal will be to integrate data from the different teams to produce models of innervation in different joints.

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Research on the Health of Women of Understudied, Underrepresented and Underreported (U3) Populations


Posted: December 2, 2021

Open: January 31, 2022

Expires: February 1, 2023

The TMJA welcomes the announcement by the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health of the availability of Administrative Supplements to support research on the health of women in understudied, underrepresented, and underreported populations in biomedical research. The prevalence of TMJ is higher in women and yet support for biomedical research specifically targeted to sex and gender topics in TMJ is lacking. Clearly, more research is needed to address molecular, genetic, musculoskeletal, endocrine, neurological, and bio-behavioral aspects of TMJ in women. We hope this announcement will result in many new avenues of research that will clarify the causes of TMJ, elucidate the arc of disease progression, and ultimately, hasten the development of precision treatments for TMJ patients.

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for HEAL Initiative: Advancing Health Equity in Pain and Comorbidities


Posted: December 14, 2021

Open: April 1, 2022

Link: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-NS-22-040.html

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), with other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research that will advance health equity in pain and comorbidities. The FOA will support research to develop, test, and implement novel, culturally-appropriate pain interventions and/or adapt, test and evaluate efficacy and effectiveness of existing pain interventions, in populations that disproportionately experience negative health outcomes. Desired outcomes of these interventions include reduction of pain and pain-related symptoms, and improvement in overall health outcomes, including function and quality of life. Interventions that target populations that experience health disparities with chronic pain in addition to at least one comorbid condition (OUD, mental health disorders and/or chronic health conditions) are of the highest priority.

Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN): Biologic-based Drug Discovery and Development for Disorders of the Nervous System

U44 Clinical Trial Optional

Posted: April 23, 2021

Open: July 10, 2021

Expires: April 06, 2024

Link: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-21-233.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

The Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network for Biologics (BPN-Biologics) provides support for biologic-based therapeutic discovery and development, from lead optimization through phase I clinical testing. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) supports preclinical discovery and development of potential therapeutic Biotechnology Products and Biologics including, but not limited to, large biologic macromolecules, (e.g., proteins, antibodies, and peptides), gene-based therapies (i.e., oligonucleotide- and viral-based), cell therapies, and novel emerging therapies (e.g., microbial and microbiome therapies). Applicants will collaborate with NIH-funded consultants and can augment their project with NIH contract research organizations (CROs) that specialize in manufacturing, scaling, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and Phase I clinical testing. BPN-Biologics awardee institutions retain their assignment of IP rights and gain assignment of IP rights from the BPN-Biologics contractors (and thereby control the patent prosecution and licensing negotiations) for biotherapeutic candidates developed in this program.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

NIDCR is interested in BPN Biologics development for craniofacial disorders and painful disorders of the orofacial region including temporomandibular joint disorders, trigeminal neuropathies, burning mouth syndrome, oral cancer pain, dental pain and other conditions. Recent advances in genomics and phenotyping of subjects with orofacial pain conditions have expanded the scope of potential targets to treat these conditions. Receptor systems, ion channels, and pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules have been implicated in chronic pain. NIDCR is interested in supporting research that will lead to highly efficacious and specific pharmacological treatments of subjects with orofacial pain disorders.

Awardees will be required to comply with the NIDCR Clinical Terms of Award for activities that involve human subjects research that have been determined by NIDCR to need additional oversight. Investigators are encouraged to contact NIDCR program staff to discuss potential research projects prior to application submission to determine alignment of the planned studies with priorities of the Institute mission and strategic plan.

NIH Pain Consortium Grant Mechanism Webinar Series

The NIH Pain Consortium has developed a webinar series on NIH grant mechanisms in pain research across career stages (training, transition and independent stages).

The first webinar will be held on April 8, 2021, from 3:00-4:15 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time), and will focus on clinical mentoring grants. There will be nine more webinars on other grant types held over subsequent months; please see the schedule in the registration link.

The goal of this webinar series is to inform the pain research community of funding opportunities and other resources provided by the NIH. Each webinar will cover information on specific types of grant mechanisms and funding opportunities at individual career stages.

Each webinar will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, and will consist of recorded presentations on specific types of grant mechanisms followed by a live question and answer session. NIH program staff from multiple NIH institutes and centers participating in the NIH Pain Consortium will be available for discussion and answering specific questions.

There is no cost for these webinars, but attendees must register in advance. The link to register can be found here. You may choose to register for any one of the sessions at this time, but we will also send out reminders as each one approaches.
The webinars will be recorded and after each one concludes it will be posted on the NIH Pain Consortium Website [https://www.painconsortium.nih.gov/] for those who are unable to participate live and for future reference.

Please consider joining to learn about the wide range of training and funding opportunities in pain research available from NIH, as well as policies and procedures on application preparation, submission, selection and award processes, and post-award monitoring/reviews.

Achieving Tissue Robustness Through Harnessing Immune Systems Plasticity

R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed

R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed

Posted: January 29, 2019

Open: May 16, 2019

Expires: May 8, 2022

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages state-of-the-art, systematic research approaches to elucidate the role of immune system plasticity in health and in the pathogenesis of dental, oral, and craniofacial (DOC) diseases. This FOA encourages applications that will seek to determine mechanisms underlying the ability or inability of the immune system to dynamically maintain its functional role against internal and external perturbations. The expectation is that new knowledge derived from this research will facilitate development of novel, personalized immunomodulatory-based therapies that shift the balance between degenerative and regenerative processes toward regeneration disease management in a patient-specific manner across the lifespan.

Recent advances in understanding diseases and conditions involving DOC tissues – periodontitis, peri-implantitis, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), oral and oropharyngeal cancers, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and HIV/AIDS with its associated oral opportunistic infections, among others – demonstrate that the immune system significantly contributes to disease onset, progression, and persistence.

The Biomarkers Consortium

The Biomarkers Consortium, a research partnership managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, is soliciting concepts for biomarker projects. Researchers are encouraged to submit project concepts online at Biomarkers Consortium. If a concept is approved for development by the consortium, the Foundation for NIH will seek funds to support the project.

The consortium is a large-scale, public-private research partnership formed in 2006 to identify and qualify biomarkers. It encourages participation by academia, government, industry, patient advocacy groups and other non-profit organizations. In addition to the Foundation for NIH, founding members of the consortium include the NIH, the Food and Drug Administration and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Mechanisms Underlying the Contribution of Sleep Disturbances to Pain

R01 Clinical Trial Optional

R21 Clinical Trial Optional

Posted: February 28, 2019

Open: May 16, 2019

Expires: May 8, 2022

Information about the Foundation for NIH is available at http://www.fnih.org.

The purpose of this FOA is to encourage mechanistic research to investigate the impact of sleep disturbances on pain. The mechanisms and processes underlying the contribution of sleep and sleep disturbances to pain perception and the development and maintenance of chronic pain may be very broad. This FOA encourages interdisciplinary research collaborations by experts from multiple fields—neuroscientists, psychologists, endocrinologists, immunologists, geneticists, pharmacologists, chemists, physicists, behavioral scientists, clinicians, caregivers, and others in relevant fields of inquiry. Applications proposing to study the impact of pain on sleep will be considered low priority and are unlikely to be funded under this FOA.