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. The program is creating the infrastructure in scientific areas rather than building an all-encompassing infrastructure, 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.

The data archives, the standards efforts, and the integration and analysis software in a sub-domain are all required to interact with each other. The data archives implement the software tools, which enables users analyzing the archived data on a cloud environment on the archive without downloading out the data; the data archives and the software tools moreover adopt the data standards to re-enforce data sharing and rigor and reproducibility of experiments.



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