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The BRAIN Initiative

Funding Opportunities

Scientists funded by the NIH BRAIN Initiative will develop tools to simultaneously watch the unique firing patterns of many neurons in hopes of classifying them based on physical characteristics, such as size and shape, and functional characteristics, such as patterns of electrical activity.

Scientists funded by the NIH BRAIN Initiative will develop tools to simultaneously watch the unique firing patterns of many neurons in hopes of classifying them based on physical characteristics, such as size and shape, and functional characteristics, such as patterns of electrical activity. Credit: Vincent Pieribone, Ph.D., John B. Pierce Laboratory, Inc.


Coming Soon:

The following funding concept has been approved and its release is anticipated for fiscal year 2016. We now anticipate release of the FOA late in the 2015 calendar year.

Active BRAIN Funding Opportunities

  • BRAIN Initiative: Technology Sharing and Propagation (R03) (RFA-MH-16-725) (New) - The purpose of this Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage the transfer of new technologies and new data analysis techniques into a research laboratory. One of the key goals of the BRAIN Initiative is to develop new technologies to improve our understanding of the brain. In order for those technologies to be useful, they need to be broadly disseminated beyond the laboratory or company where they originated. This FOA promotes this goal by providing funds to enable the incorporation of new technologies or data analysis techniques into research programs that further the aims of the BRAIN initiative.
    Application Receipt Date(s): January 6, 2016
    Contact Email: ffriedma@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Computational Neuroscience (R25) (RFA-MH-16-700) (New) - To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Courses for Skills Development. This FOA will support short courses to facilitate the development of a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite knowledge and skills in computational neuroscience perspectives and techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data to advance the BRAIN Initiative. For the purposes of this FOA, computational neuroscience encompasses theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques. Each short course is expected to include both didactics and in-person/hands-on experiences. This FOA is intended for participants who are graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and/or early-career faculty.
    Application Receipt Date(s): November 6, 2015
    Contact Email: Erica.Rosemond@nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Theories, Models and Methods for Analysis of Complex Data from the Brain (R01) (RFA-EB-15-006) (New) - This FOA solicits new theories, computational models, and statistical methods to derive understanding of brain function from complex neuroscience data. Approaches could include the creation of new theories, ideas, and conceptual frameworks to organize/unify data and infer general principles of brain function; new computational models to develop testable hypotheses and design/drive experiments; and new mathematical and statistical methods to support or refute a stated hypothesis about brain function, and/or assist in detecting features in complex brain data.
    Application Receipt Date(s): October 21, 2015 and then Standard Dates Apply
    Contact Email: penggr@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Development, Optimization, and Validation of Novel Tools and Technologies for Neuroscience Research (STTR) (R41/R42) (PAR-15-090) - The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to support the development of novel tools and technologies through the through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to advance the field of neuroscience research, including 1) tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of complex circuits and provide insights into cellular interactions that underlie brain function, 2) proof-of-concept testing and development of new technologies and novel approaches for large scale recording and manipulation of neural activity, at or near cellular resolution, at multiple spatial and/or temporal scales, in any region and throughout the entire depth of the brain, and 3) iterative refinement of such tools and technologies with the end-user community with an end-goal of scaling manufacture towards reliable, broad, sustainable dissemination and incorporation into regular neuroscience practice.
    Application Receipt Date(s): Standard Dates Apply
    Contact Email: mgrabb@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Development, Optimization, and Validation of Novel Tools and Technologies for Neuroscience Research (SBIR) (R43/R44) (PAR-15-091) - The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to support the development of novel tools and technologies through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to advance the field of neuroscience research including 1) tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of complex circuits and provide insights into cellular interactions that underlie brain function, 2) proof-of-concept testing and development of new technologies and novel approaches for large scale recording and manipulation of neural activity, at or near cellular resolution, at multiple spatial and/or temporal scales, in any region and throughout the entire depth of the brain, and 3) iterative refinement of such tools and technologies with the end-user community with an end-goal of scaling manufacture towards reliable, broad, sustainable dissemination and incorporation into regular neuroscience practice.
    Application Receipt Date(s): Standard Dates Apply
    Contact Email: mgrabb@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Optimization of Novel Tools and Technologies for Neuroscience Research (R44) (PAR-15-121) - In this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) we seek applications through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for the optimization of existing and emerging technologies and approaches including 1) technologies and novel approaches for large scale recording and manipulation of neural activity, at or near cellular resolution, at multiple spatial and/or temporal scales, in any region and throughout the entire depth of the brain, 2) tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of complex circuits and provide insights into cellular interactions that underlie brain function. This FOA is intended for the iterative refinement of emergent technologies and approaches that have already demonstrated their transformative potential through initial proof-of-concept testing, and are appropriate for accelerated development with an end-goal of broad dissemination and incorporation into regular neuroscience practice. Note, this FOA is distinct from PAR-15-091 only in that it is direct to Phase II. All other goals are the same.
    Application Receipt Date(s): April 28, 2015 and then Standard Dates Apply
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: fertigs@ninds.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: New Concepts and Early - Stage Research for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (R21) (RFA-EY-15-001) - Previous BRAIN FOAs sought technologies ready for in-vivo proof-of-concept testing and collection of preliminary data. This FOA seeks applications for technology at an earlier stage of development. Support might enable simulations or other mathematical approaches, building and testing prototypes, or in vitro or other bench-top models, to validate theoretical assumptions regarding brain signal sources or proposed measurement technologies. Invasive or non-invasive approaches are sought that will enable or reduce barriers to large-scale recording or manipulation of neural activity, compatible with experiments in humans or behaving animals. Applications are encouraged from any qualified individuals, including physicists, engineers, theoreticians, and scientists, especially those not typically involved in neuroscience research.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: brain-initiative-FY15-FOA@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Next-Generation Invasive Devices for Recording and Modulation in the Human Central Nervous System (UH2/UH3) (RFA-NS-15-006) - The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage applications to pursue translational and clinical studies for recording and/or stimulating devices to treat nervous system disorders and better understand the human brain. The program will utilize a cooperative agreement mechanism to support the submission of an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) for a Significant Risk (SR) study or obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for a Non-Significant Risk (NSR) study, and a subsequent small clinical study (e.g., Early Feasibility Study). The small clinical study should provide data to answer key questions about the function or final design of a device. This final device design may require most, if not all, of the non-clinical testing on the path to more advanced clinical trials and market approval. The clinical study is expected to provide information that cannot be practically obtained through additional nonclinical assessments (e.g., bench top or animal studies) due to the novelty of the device or its intended use. Activities supported in this program include implementation of clinical prototype devices, non-clinical safety and efficacy testing, design verification and validation activities, and pursuit of regulatory approval for, and implementation of, a single small clinical study.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: brain-initiative-FY15-FOA@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Clinical Studies to Advance Next-Generation Invasive Devices for Recording and Modulation in the Human Central Nervous System (UH3) (RFA-NS-15-008) - The purpose of this FOA is to encourage applications to pursue a small clinical study to obtain critical information necessary to advance recording and/or stimulating devices to treat central nervous system disorders and better understand the human brain (e.g., Early Feasibility Study). Clinical studies supported may consist of acute or short-term procedures that are deemed Non-Significant Risk (NSR) by an Institutional Review Board, or Significant Risk (SR) studies that require an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) from the FDA, such as chronic implants. The clinical study should provide data to answer key questions about the function or final design of a device. This final device design may require most, if not all, of the non-clinical testing on the path to more advanced clinical trials and market approval. The clinical study is expected to provide information that cannot be practically obtained through additional nonclinical assessments (e.g., bench top or animal studies) due to the novelty of the device or its intended use.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: brain-initiative-FY15-FOA@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Computational Neuroscience (R25) (RFA-MH-15-215) - This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support short courses to facilitate the development of a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite knowledge and skills in computational neuroscience perspectives and techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data to advance the BRAIN Initiative. For the purposes of this FOA, computational neuroscience encompasses theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques. Each short course is expected to include both didactics and in-person/hands-on experiences. This FOA is intended for participants who are graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and/or early-career faculty.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: Erica.Rosemond@nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Research Tools and Methods (R25) (RFA-MH-15-220) - This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Courses for Skills Development that will build participants’ foundational knowledge and skills in the rigorous use of state-of-the art scientific tools and methods that contribute to, and are developed in response to, the major goals of the BRAIN Initiative. Each short course is expected to include both didactics and in-person / hands-on experiences. This FOA is intended for participants who are graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and/or early-career faculty.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: Erica.Rosemond@nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Development and Validation of Novel Tools to Analyze Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in the Brain (RFA-MH-15-225) — This announcement supports development and validation of novel tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of complex circuits and provide insights into cellular interactions that underlie brain function.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: BRAIN-info-NIMH@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Planning for Next Generation Human Brain Imaging (R24) (RFA-MH-15-200) — This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), in support of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, aims to support planning activities and the initial stages of development of entirely new or next generation brain imaging technologies and methods that will lead to transformative advances in our understanding of the human brain.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: BRAIN-info-NIMH@mail.nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: New Technologies and Novel Approaches for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (U01) (RFA-NS-15-003) — Understanding the dynamic activity of neural circuits is central to the NIH BRAIN Initiative. This FOA seeks applications for proof-of-concept testing and development of new technologies and novel approaches for large scale recording and manipulation of neural activity, to enable transformative understanding of dynamic signaling in the nervous system.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: NINDS-Brain-Initiative@nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Optimization of Transformative Technologies for Large Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (U01) (RFA-NS-15-004) — Although invention and proof-of-concept testing of new technologies are key components of the BRAIN Initiative, to achieve their potential these technologies must also be optimized through feedback from end-users in the context of the intended experimental use. In this FOA we seek applications for the optimization of existing and emerging technologies and approaches that have potential to address major challenges associated with recording and manipulating neural activity, at or near cellular resolution, at multiple spatial and temporal scales, in any region and throughout the entire depth of the brain.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: NINDS-Brain-Initiative@nih.gov
  • BRAIN Initiative: Integrated Approaches to Understanding Circuit Function in the Nervous System (U01) (RFA-NS-15-005) — The purpose of this FOA is to promote the integration of experimental, analytic, and theoretical capabilities for large-scale analysis of neural systems and circuits. This FOA seeks applications for exploratory research studies that use new and emerging methods for large scale recording and manipulation of neural circuits across multiple brain regions. Applications should propose to elucidate the contributions of dynamic circuit activity to a specific behavioral or neural system.
    Announcement Closed
    Contact Email: NINDS-Brain-Initiative@nih.gov
  • Request for Information (RFI): BRAIN Initiative Industry Partnerships for Early Access to Neuromodulation and Recording Devices for Human Clinical Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Read our Applicant FAQs.

FY 2014 Opportunity Announcements

FY 2014 funding opportunities for the BRAIN Initiative are closed. New announcements will be posted when available.

NIH released six funding opportunities in early 2014 focused on advancing our technological capabilities for understanding how circuits of interacting neurons function to create behavior. There was a robust response; 340 applications were submitted, with 58 grants receiving funding (17.1% success rate).

NIH Awards Initial $46 million for BRAIN Initiative Research, September 30, 2014.
NIH announces Informational Conference Calls for Prospective Applicants, January 6, 2014
News release: NIH announces six funding opportunities for the BRAIN Initiative in fiscal 2014, December 17, 2013

 

THE BRAIN INITIATIVE is a service mark of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). BRAIN RESEARCH THROUGH ADVANCING INNOVATIVE NEUROTECHNOLOGIES® is a registered trademark of HHS.

This page last reviewed on September 2, 2015