Frequently Asked Questions

To help provide timely information about all aspects of the program, this page is updated periodically in response to questions from potential performers. For full information about APECx and the application process, please see the APECx Special Notice on

Proposers' Day

Recordings of Proposers’ Day (PD) will be available following the events. Please check the APECx website after completion of the event for more details. NOTE: the content in the R&D Solicitation supersedes any information presented in the recording.  

Application & Submission

Submissions are open to individuals and groups in academia, industry, or other research entities. The APECx program anticipates teaming will be necessary to accomplish our program goals and metrics.  

ARPA-H will not provide budgetary details for APECx or a budget target number. No budget ceiling has been established; offerors are encouraged to propose a realistic, justifiable, comprehensive, and reasonable budget that aligns with their proposed solution. 

Abstracts (four (4) pages max) describe the technical approach and pitch the proposed solution to the APECx team. The intent of the abstract is to provide guidance on strategies that are within the scope of the program and that are likely to achieve program goals. Please see section “4.2.1. Abstract Format” for additional details.  Proposals fully describe the technical approach, teaming, budget, etc. Full details and formatting guidelines can be found in the R&D Solicitation under section 4.2.2. Please submit all abstract and proposal documents as PDFs. 

Abstracts are due December 15, 2023, 9:00 AM ET. APECx will respond to in-scope, compliant abstracts by either inviting or not inviting submission of a full proposal. More information is available in the R&D Solicitation. 

Abstract submission is required. Based on the content of the abstract, the ARPA-H team may invite the proposer to submit a full proposal. The intent is to save the performers the significant time necessary to assemble a full proposal. The APECx team may request further explanation on unclear elements in the abstract before making a decision.  

Abstracts will be evaluated on Overall Scientific and Technical Merit and Capabilities and/or Related Experience.  Additional details on criteria can be found in the R&D Solicitation under “5.1. Evaluation Criteria”.  

A team of reviewers will evaluate proposals based on four criteria – 1) Overall Scientific and Technical Merit, 2) Capabilities and/or Related Experience, 3) Potential Contribution and Relevance to ARPA-H Mission, and 4) Cost Realism. Additional detail on criteria can be found in the APECx R&D Solicitation Section 5.1.1 to 5.1.4.  

Upon receiving abstracts, ARPA-H will carefully evaluate the abstract and communicate the outcome of the evaluation to entities submitting an abstract. If your abstract is selected, you will be invited to submit a full proposal. The full proposals will be evaluated, and successful proposers will receive notice of selection. Contract negotiations then may commence with the goal of making an award to the selectee. 

In the interest of fairness to all proposers, the APECx team is unable to schedule any related calls or meetings. We recommend submitting an abstract. Specific questions may be submitted to Any questions submitted, and their respective answers may be published on the FAQ page, removing any proprietary information. 

ARPA-H is interested in biomedical research with high impact potential and that are not evolutionary or incremental advances in the current state of the art. More details can be found on the ARPA-H website at

Yes, ARPA-H is frequently announcing new programs and we recommend you look to these first for the newest opportunities. ARPA-H also has an agency-wide Open Broad Agency Announcement (75N99223S0001) accepting abstracts.

The government generally does not take ownership of intellectual property produced under awards. Under Cooperative Agreements, IP ownership is retained by the performer for any IP created under an award. The government receives a license to use the IP for federal purposes. For Other Transaction Agreements, IP will be subject to negotiations between the proposer and ARPA-H. ARPA-H seeks to ensure IP restrictions do not impede the application of breakthrough technologies to the people who can benefit from these technologies. 

The abstract and full proposal need to cover the efforts for the entire project (both Phase 1 and Phase 2).  

The proposed budget should include costs for both phases of the program (5 years total). 

No, at Q3 Yr3 in APECx Phase 1, there will be a Go/No-Go determination based on performance against APECx Phase 1 metrics as well as the competition against each performer group. Please see R&D Solicitation Section 1.2.5 for additional details.  

Yes, each PI from the same institution can submit his/her own separate application. However, a PI can submit only one application as the prime. 

Teaming & Eligibility

While teaming is not required, it is strongly recommended that proposers seek out the strongest possible team member for each of the technical areas (TAs). This will ensure that all program goals are met. We have created a teaming page ( where prospective performers can share their profiles and learn about other interested parties. Note: The APECx team will not suggest or direct teaming.  

Principal Investigators (PI) cannot be changed, but Co-PIs and other team members may be changed if initial capabilities are met or are expanded. 

Yes, but they may be subject to additional scrutiny. Please see the R&D Solicitation for the rules and regulations.  Please see Page 40, 4.2.3 of APECx R&D Solicitation for more details. 

There is no set size or composition for teams. Team size and composition should be appropriate for the project scope. It is strongly recommended teams be constructed with deep expertise in fields across all three Technical Areas. Please see the R&D Solicitation for specific teaming requirements.  

Proposers may join any number of teams as subcontractors and can still submit one proposal as the PI.  Proposers must be very clear on how hours will be charged for each effort and what safeguards are present to ensure time is not double-billed and there are no redundancies in work. 

We will not consider a proposal submitted by a FFRDC as the prime organization. However, if a subprosper holds a dual appointment, they can utilize non-FFRDC portion of their FTE for the proposal.  

Technical & Science Questions

We expect every team to try to achieve the metrics in the APECx R&D Solicitation. However, if the metrics do not have significance in a specific case, the proposing teams can offer their own metrics and explain how these metrics show a quantitative improvement compared to the current best practices. Please see page 18, 1.3 of APECx R&D Solicitation for more details. 

Performers can submit proposals that address all TAs (TA1 – 3) or TA2 only. Teams that apply for TA2 independently will have a unique set of milestones and deliverables to perform as an integrative function across the TA1 – 3 teams. TA1 or TA3 exclusive submission will be deemed non-conforming and not reviewed.  

Yes. Proposers responding only to TA2 will need to address all metrics for TA2-only but NOT metrics listed for the TA1-3 teams.  

It refers to viral proteins or protein complexes that play a significant role in pathogenic events. The structural information should be helpful in developing medical countermeasures, including vaccines and neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). 

Any United States Government (USG) infrastructures such as national synchrotron sources, national nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facilities, Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) centers, and Cryo-electron tomography (Cryo-ET) centers. 

APECx does not support or promote any particular viral genera. However, proposals focusing on virus families that are already well-funded and extensively studied, such as influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and HIV, will not be considered. APECx encourages considering the equity aspect of viral diseases in target selection. 

There is no preference on a platform, however, platforms should have a proven track record of success and have received support from the USG. Additionally, the selected platform should be scalable and allow for low-cost manufacturing that ensures accessibility to all. 

It is unnecessary to consult with USG enablers before submitting your application, particularly during the abstract submission stage. However, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the available services and refer to them in your application. 

Preliminary data and previous research experience are not requirements for your application. Instead, ARPA-H will evaluate your application primarily based on the scientific merit and technical approaches you propose. However, it may be necessary for you to emphasize any past successes to demonstrate the technical feasibility of your approach. 

Small-molecule design does not fit within the scope of the APECx program. 

There are no specific preferences for the tools used if they meet the objective goal. 

Yes, TA2-only teams should provide solutions for both phases of the program (5 years)