Progress on ARPA-H

April 28, 2022

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) is slowly starting to take shape. Congress recently approved funding for the agency, and the Biden Administration settled on key details in establishing the new agency.

Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, officially announced that ARPA-H would be placed within the National Institutes of Health. The placement of the agency has been a topic of significant debate in Congress, where members of Congress are still considering authorizing legislation that would provide additional guidance for the new agency.

Secretary Becerra’s announcement provides the NIH Director with authority to administer ARPA-H until a Director is nominated. He stated that “NIH may not subject ARPA-H to NIH policies,” reflecting the Administration’s intent to create a new agency with distinct operations and culture. Additional details and guidance will continue to become available as federal staff work to launch the new agency.

In the meantime, FABBS encourages behavioral and brain scientists to look for new opportunities as ARPA-H evolves. Interested researchers can send a CV, letter of interest, and program ideas to 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.