NIH Institutes and Centers participating in The BRAIN Initiative® recently announced the notice of a data sharing policy for The BRAIN Initiative® (NOT-MH-19-010). Read more information on our Blog.


The BRAIN Initiative® has made significant investments in a program to build the infrastructure that is needed to effectively share and interpret data. The goal of the program is to:

  • Build data science or informatics infrastructure that is useful to the research community; 
  • Make data and tools openly available to the research community;
  • Help to enhance FAIR principles of data sharing and improve the rigor and reproducibility of BRAIN Initiative research; and
  • Enable or facilitate secondary analysis or data mining of BRAIN Initiative datasets.

Currently, the informatics program consists of three components: a) data archives; b) data standards; and c) software tools for data integration and analysis. Rather than building an all-encompassing infrastructure, the program is creating the infrastructure for individual scientific areas, such as:

  • Integrated approaches to understanding circuit function in the nervous system;
  • Invasive devices for recording and modulation in the human central nervous system;
  • Non-invasive neuromodulation;
  • Next generation imaging;
  • Integrated approaches to cell census or atlas of the brain.

Data archiving, promoting data standards, and efforts around integration and analysis all require interaction and interoperability. The data archives provide access and software tools, which enables users to analyze the archived data on a cloud environment without downloading the data to local machines. Additionally, the data archives adopt and update data standards to re-enforce data sharing and facilitate continued rigor and reproducibility for experiments and analysis. For detailed information on publicly available datasets and how to access them, please see the individual archive websites linked below.

  • RFA-MH-20-600: Data Archives for the BRAIN Initiative (R24 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • RFA-MH-22-220: Integration and Analysis of BRAIN Initiative Data (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • RFA-MH-22-145: Standards to Define Experiments Related to the BRAIN Initiative (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


Ming Zhan, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-827-3678