The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) ( is tasked by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) with prioritizing, designing, implementing and conducting clinical research to address the growing public health threat of antibacterial resistance.

The ARLG has identified four high-priority areas of research: infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria, antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention, and diagnostics. The ARLG will be accepting proposals from the scientific community for clinical research that addresses one or more of these high-priority areas.

The ARLG Structure includes seven committees: The Executive Committee (EC) is ultimately responsible for all ARLG activities, including high-level scientific and management decisions, finalizing the research agenda, and approving and funding studies for protocol development and implementation. The EC is charged with ensuring optimal stewardship of precious ARLG resources, including reallocation as needed. It also oversees and coordinates three centers: the Leadership and Operations Center (LOC), the Laboratory Center (LC), and the Statistics and Data Management Center (SDMC).

The Steering Committee (SC) facilitates communication between the ARLG leadership, Scientific Subcommittees, and Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs). It reports to and advises the ARLG EC. The SC has primary responsibility for setting scientific priorities and the research agenda. This includes proposing protocols that advance the ARLG scientific agenda, reviewing research proposals, identifying new developments in the field, assessing medical needs, providing scientific oversight of protocols during design and execution, and, prioritizing and re-prioritizing studies as needed.


There are four Scientific Subcommittees, each corresponding to one of the four prioritized research areas: 1) the Gram-Negative Subcommittee, 2) the Gram-Positive Subcommittee, 3) the Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention Subcommittee, and 4) the Diagnostics and Devices Subcommittee. There are three SEPs: 1) Special Populations, 2) Pharmacokinetics, and 3) Pediatrics. The purpose of these SEPs is to serve as a cross cutting resource for the Scientific Subcommittees and the Executive Committee. The Scientific Subcommittees and SEPs provide topic-specific expertise and are responsible for reviewing and evaluating research proposals to ensure high quality protocols that advance the ARLG scientific agenda are selected.

Research proposals can originate from any source including the general scientific community, sites, industry, or from within ARLG infrastructure. Regardless of origin, all research proposals undergo a standardized process of evaluation for scientific merit, impact and feasibility. Proposals are reviewed and evaluated on the basis of four key questions: 1) Is the proposed research responsive to the scope or mission of the ARLG? 2) Is it scientifically important? 3) Can it be completed on time and within budget? 4) Is this a unique opportunity to conduct research that could not be accomplished by other means?

Standardized forms have been developed to facilitate the submission and review process. The application consists of an on-line (, one-page concept sheet describing the key elements of the proposal and a four-page form for supplemental documentation. Research proposals are reviewed by one or more Scientific Subcommittees and Special Emphasis Panels, as appropriate. For example, a study involving Gram-negative infections in children would be assigned to the Gram-negative Subcommittee for primary review and the Pediatric Special Emphasis Panel for secondary review. Proposals will be evaluated for significance, innovation, approach, and overall impact and ranked according to the overall impact score. Reviewers' comments and scores will be reported to and reviewed by the SC which will make recommendations to the EC as to which projects should undergo further review for feasibility and possible implementation.

Application types. Applications are of three general types:

  1. Research Proposals - Proposals for clinical studies (e.g., randomized controlled trials that may become part of regulatory submissions, case-control studies, cohort studies) to prevent, diagnose, treat, or eradicate antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens will be considered responsive to the scientific mission of ARLG. Applications that propose pre-clinical or non-clinical research, studies of non-bacterial infections, or research not directly related to antibiotic resistance will be considered non-responsive. Apply at
  2. Early Stage Investigator (ESI) Seed Grants - ESIs (defined as MD, PhD, or PharmD students, graduate or post-graduate trainees, or individuals with a faculty appointment for < 5 years) may apply for seed grants of up to $50,000 direct costs. Seed grants provide a mechanism by which ESIs can obtain funds for an AR-related research project. Apply at
  3. ARLG Fellowship Training Program - The ARLG Fellowship is a two-year, fully funded, competitive opportunity to acquire expertise in AR-relevant clinical research. Participants gain both hands-on and formal didactic training by immersion in ARLG projects and operations and class work leading to a Masters of Health Sciences in Clinical Research or equivalent degree. Initially, this fellowship will be at Duke due to the central location with ARLG operations at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), but later fellowships could be at other institutions, provided that appropriate infrastructure and involvement in day-to-day ARLG clinical trial operations are available. Fellowship applications are due at the end of October each year to begin the following July. Apply at

The hope is that PIDS membership will create applications suitable for consideration. There is a real opportunity to do clinical studies, unique to children and gain funding for them with dollars that originate at NIAID.

Questions are welcome. Please contact me or any member of the Pediatric SEP by Email or by any other means. We would love to help.

Thanks Robert Daum MD. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on behalf of the Pediatric Special Emphasis Panel. (Buddy Creech, Charlie Huskins, Theo Zaoutis and Danny Benjamin).