The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), is a new federal scientific research agency created by the Biden Administration to “support the development of high-impact research to drive biomedical and health breakthroughs to deliver transformative, sustainable, and equitable health solutions for everyone. ARPA-H’s mission focuses on leveraging research advances for real world impact.” With a current budget of over $2 billion, ARPA-H has the potential to support competitive research proposals from the population research community. Program managers will play a very important role in determining priorities and making award decisions.

If you have a bold, ambitious idea and feel you would be a good fit for ARPA-H, please complete the form and submit your cover letter, CV, and idea or concept that addresses the ARPA-(H)eilmeier Questions below.

ARPA-H will support concepts brought to life directly from Program Managers that have not only identified a key problem in health today, but are also passionate about a vision to bring forward revolutionary solutions to solve the problem, and do so in an equitable way. ARPA-H embraces a culture of open innovation and empowers its program managers to fearlessly pursue health breakthroughs that cannot readily be accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity.

Program managers at ARPA-H will serve a term-limited appointment of three years, and no more than six years total, to ensure a constant rotation of new ideas and diverse perspectives.

Application Process


1. Reach out to us

Submit your cover letter, CV, and program concepts (3-page summary of each program idea, answering the ARPA-(H)eilmeier Questions). We’ll reach back out if we think proceeding to Step 2 is a good fit.

Submission Form here


2 Talk with us

An ARPA-H technical lead will reach out to schedule a meeting to learn more about your ideas and answer your questions about the process and life as a Program Manager. Well-defined problems and clear expertise to move them toward solutions will help you progress to Step 3.


3 Prepare to pitch

You will work with your ARPA-H contact to build a more fully fleshed out program idea and a program “pitch” deck that will be the basis of your introductory talk to your potential future ARPA-H colleagues. When ready, will invite you in to give that talk.


4 The Pitch!

You will present your program idea(s) to your potential future colleagues, including ARPA-H leadership. If selected to join the ARPA-H team, we’ll empower you to take on that bold, ambitious idea to change the world by creating new health futures for everyone.


ARPA-(H)eilmeier Questions

*Answers required as part of your program concept submission

Based on a set of questions developed by former DARPA Director, George H. Heilmeier (1975-1977), known as the “Heilmeier Catechism,” the ARPA-(H)eilmeier Questions provide potential ARPA-H PMs high-level guidance for what information should be included in their proposals, as well as allow PMs to communicate to ARPA-H leadership what they hope to accomplish with the program.

  1. What are you trying to do? What health problem are you trying to solve? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
  2. How is it done today? What are the limitations of present approaches?
  3. What is new about your approach? Why do you think you can be successful at this time?
  4. Who cares? If you succeed, what difference will it make?
  5. What are the risks? Identify any risks that may prevent you from reaching your objectives, as well as any risks the program itself may present.
  6. How long will it take?
  7. How much will it cost?
  8. What are your mid-term and final exams to check for success?
  9. To ensure equitable access for all people, how will cost, accessibility, and user experience be addressed?
  10. How might this program be misperceived or misused (and how can we prevent that from happening)?

We know you are here for a short time to solve important problems, and are committed to help you “level up” professionally while you are here too.

See more and the application here.

More information: What is a Program Manager?

ARPA-H Mission Deck (PDF)

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