Over the next several years, the FAS Research Development group will track and disseminate all funding opportunities related to the BRAIN InitiativeThese 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. For additional Research Development support (finding funding, proposal development resources, etc.), please visit the Research Development website.
Funding Opportunities
Sponsor Deadline: December 7, 2016
OSP Deadline: November 30, 2016 
Award Information: The combined budget for direct costs for the two-year project period may not exceed $300,000. No more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year. 
A central goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to understand how electrical and chemical signals code information in neural circuits and give rise to sensations, thoughts, emotions and actions. While currently available technologies can provide some understanding, they may not be sufficient to accomplish this goal. For example, non-invasive technologies are low resolution and/or provide indirect measures such as blood flow, which are imprecise; invasive technologies can provide information at the level of single neurons producing the fundamental biophysical signals, but they can only be applied to tens or hundreds of neurons, out of a total number in the human brain estimated at 85 billion.

Other BRAIN FOAs seek to develop novel technology (RFA-NS-16-006) or to optimize existing technology ready for in-vivo proof-of-concept testing and collection of preliminary data (RFA-NS-16-007) for recording or manipulating neural activity on a scale that is beyond what is currently possible. This FOA seeks applications for unique and innovative technologies that are in an even earlier stage of development than that sought in other FOAs, including new and untested ideas that are in the initial stages of conceptualization.

In addition to experimental approaches, the support provided under this FOA might enable calculations, simulations, computational models, or other mathematical techniques for demonstrating that the signal sources and/or measurement technologies are theoretically capable of meeting the demands of large-scale recording or manipulation of circuit activity in humans or in animal models. The support might also be used for building and testing phantoms, prototypes, in-vitro or other bench-top models in order to validate underlying theoretical assumptions in preparation for future FOAs aimed at testing in animal models. It is expected that this research would be at a very early stage where preliminary data would not be available. Invasive or non-invasive approaches are sought that will ultimately enable or reduce the current barriers to large-scale recording or manipulation of neural activity, and that would ultimately be 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 with neuroscience research. 

Sponsor Deadline for Letters of Intent (requested): December 10, 2016 and September 11, 2017
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: January 10, 2017 and October 11, 2017
OSP Deadlines: January 3, 2017 and October 4, 2017 
Award Information: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.The maximum project period is 2 years. Issuing IC and partner components intend to commit an estimated total of $3 million to fund 4-5 awards in both FY17 and FY18.
This FOA solicits applications to develop standards that describe experimental protocols that are being conducted as part of the BRAIN Initiative. It is expected that applications will solicit community input at all stages of the process. It is recommended that the first step of standard development will involve sharing data between different key groups in the experimental community in order to ensure that the developing standard will cover the way that all of those groups are collecting data. The developed standard is expected to be made widely available. 

Sponsor Deadline for Letters of Intent (requested): December 17, 2016 and September 19, 2017
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: January 17, 2017 and October 19, 2017
OSP Deadlines: January 10, 2017 and October 12, 2017 
Award Information: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.The maximum project period is 5 years. Issuing IC and partner components intend to commit an estimated total of $3 million to fund 3-5 awards in both FY17 and FY18. It is expected that costs will be substantially higher after the first year of these awards.
This FOA solicits applications to develop web-accessible data archives to capture, store, and curate data related to BRAIN Initiative activities. The data archives will work with the research community to incorporate tools that allow users to analyze and visualize the data, but the creation of such tools is not part of this FOA. The data archives will use appropriate standards to describe the data, but the creation of such standards is not part of this FOA. A goal of this program is to advance research by creating a community resource data archive with appropriate standards and summary information that is broadly available and accessible to the research community for furthering research. 

Sponsor Deadline for Letters of Intent (requested): December 19, 2016 and September 26, 2017
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: January 19, 2017 and October 26, 2017
OSP Deadlines: January 12, 2017 and October 19, 2017 
Award Information: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.The maximum project period is 3 years. Issuing IC and partner components intend to commit an estimated total of $4 million to fund 10 awards in both FY17 and FY18. 
This FOA solicits applications to develop informatics tools for analyzing, visualizing, and integrating data related to the BRAIN Initiative or to enhance our understanding of the brain.

Sponsor Deadline for Letters of Intent (requested): February 15, 2017
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: March 15, 2017
OSP Deadline: March 8, 2017 
Award Information: Award budgets are composed of stipends, tuition and fees, and institutional allowance. Individuals may receive up to 3 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training grants (e.g., T32) and an individual fellowship award. The BRAIN Initiative intends to fund an estimate of 20 awards, corresponding to a total of $1.3M, for fiscal year 2017.  

The purpose of the BRAIN Initiative Fellows (F32) program is to enhance the research training of promising postdoctorates, early in their postdoctoral training period, who have the potential to become productive investigators in research areas that will advance the goals of the BRAIN Initiative. Applications are encouraged in any research area that is aligned with the BRAIN Initiative, including neuroethics. Applicants are expected to propose research training in an area that complements their predoctoral research. Formal training in quantitative perspectives and analytical tools is expected to be an integral part of the proposed research training plan. In order to maximize the training potential of the F32 award, this program encourages applications from individuals who have not yet completed their terminal doctoral degree and who expect to do so within 12 months of the application due date. On the application due date, candidates may not have completed more than 6 months of postdoctoral training.   

OSP Deadline: December 12, 2016
Award Information: Award sizes for Research Projects (both domestic and international) are expected to range from approximately $100,000 to $250,000 per year in direct costs, with durations of three to five years. Awards for Data Sharing Projects will be scaled according to the needs of the project; typically they will be smaller in size than research awards.15 to 25 awards are anticipated per year and $5,000,000 to $20,000,000 is anticipated in total funding to be made available through this program.
Computational neuroscience provides a theoretical foundation and a rich set of technical approaches for understanding complex neurobiological systems, building on the theory, methods, and findings of computer science, neuroscience, and numerous other disciplines.

Through the CRCNS program, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR), and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) support collaborative activities that will advance the understanding of nervous system structure and function, mechanisms underlying nervous system disorders, and computational strategies used by the nervous system.

Two classes of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation:

Research Proposals describing collaborative research projects; and
Data Sharing Proposals to enable sharing of data and other resources.

Domestic and international projects will be considered. As detailed in the solicitation, international components of collaborative projects may be funded in parallel by the participating agencies. Specific CRCNS opportunities for parallel funding are available for bilateral US-German Research Proposals, US-German Data Sharing Proposals, US-French Research Proposals, US-French Data Sharing Proposals, US-Israeli Research Proposals, US-Israeli Data Sharing Proposals, and multilateral proposals involving the United States and 2 or more partnering countries (Germany, France, and/or Israel).

Appropriate scientific areas of investigations may be related to the interests of any of the participating funding organizations. NSF will coordinate and manage the review of proposals jointly with participating domestic and foreign funding organizations, through a joint panel review process used by all participating funders. Upon conclusion of the review process, meritorious research proposals may be recommended for funding by one or more of the participating funding organizations, at the option of the funders, not the proposer.

Additional Information
Questions about this newsletter or proposal submission may be directed to:

Jennifer Corby
Research Development Officer
jcorby@fas.harvard.edu | 617-495-1590

To see previous BRAIN Initiative Funding Newsletters, please visit our email archive.
Research Development | Research Administration Services | research.fas.harvard.edu