Over the next several years, the FAS Research Development group will track and disseminate all funding opportunities related to the BRAIN Initiative. These funding opportunities will be sent to a targeted list of faculty. That list includes faculty affiliates of the Center for Brain Science (CBS) and the Mind Brain Behavior (MBB) Interfaculty Initiative. This project is being carried out in collaboration with the Center for Brain Science. All opportunities will be archived and recipients may unsubscribe at any time.
National Science Foundation
Research Traineeship Program (NRT)
Internal Harvard Deadline (internal competition required as Harvard is limited to submitting 2 proposals for each track): November 23, 2015 
Sponsor Deadline for LOIs (required): December 9, 2015
Sponsor Deadline for Full Applications: February 9, 2016
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Award Information: NRT Traineeship Track Awards (14-15 anticipated; FY 2016) are expected to be up to 5 years in duration with a total budget up to $3,000,000.
NRT IGE Track Awards (14-20 anticipated; FY 2016) are expected to be up to 3 years in duration with a total budget between $300,000 and $500,000.

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that ensure that graduate students in research-based master's and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. The NRT program includes two tracks: the Traineeship Track and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track.

The Traineeship Track is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. For FY2016, there are four priority areas: (1) Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE), (2) Understanding the Brain (UtB), (3) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), and (4) any other interdisciplinary research theme of national priority. The priority research areas for the FY2017 competition will be (1) UtB, (2) INFEWS, and (3) any other interdisciplinary research theme of national priority.

The IGE Track focuses on test-bed projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education. IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. While the Traineeship Track promotes building on the current knowledge base to develop comprehensive programs to effectively train STEM graduate students, the IGE Track supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches.

The NRT program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. For both tracks, strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged.
Grand Challenge Announcement: Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing
Anticipated Funding Opportunities: TBD

Grand challenges are an element of the President's Strategy for American Innovation that help catalyze breakthroughs needed to advance national priorities. A nanotechnology-inspired grand challenge is an ambitious but achievable goal that harnesses nanoscience, nanotechnology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and has the potential to capture the public's imagination. This Grand Challenge addresses three Administration priorities: the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), and the BRAIN initiative, by inviting applicants to create a new type of computer that can proactively interpret and learn from data, solve unfamiliar problems using what it has learned, and operate with the energy efficiency of the human brain. This grand challenge will bring together scientists and engineers from many disciplines to look beyond the decades-old approach to computing based on the Von Neumann architecture as implemented with transistor-based processors, and chart a new path that will continue the rapid pace of innovation beyond the next decade. To meet this challenge, major breakthroughs are needed not only in the basic devices that store and process information, but in the way a computer analyzes images, sounds, and patterns, interprets and learns from data, and identifies and solves problems.  

No new funding opportunities are being announced at this time. Significant Federal resources are already available through programs associated with the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the National Strategic Computing Initiative, and the BRAIN Initiative. Before additional resources can be focused on achieving this challenge, the scientific and engineering community must chart the most promising path forward. Over the coming months, Federal agencies, professional societies, industry groups, and non-profit organizations will be coming together in workshops and other forums to facilitate discussions about future directions. As the associated R&D priorities are determined, it is likely that Federal and non-Federal funding opportunities will be announced accordingly.
Additional Information:

Contact Us:
Questions about this announcement or proposal submission may be directed to Jennifer Corby
(jcorby@fas.harvard.edu, 617-495-1590) or Susan Gomes (sgomes@fas.harvard.edu 617-496-9448).


For Research Development Support (Finding Funding, Proposal Development Resources), go to research.fas.harvard.edu/research-development-support