This Notice encourages eligible awardees in The BRAIN Initiative® community to apply for administrative supplements in response to PA-18-906, Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed). The NIH has a strong interest in the diversity of the NIH-funded workforce (see NOT-OD-18-210) and encourages institutions to diversify their populations by enhancing the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.
The foundational BRAIN 2025 report states that "The BRAIN Initiative® should be a catalyst that will drive outstanding young people to enter this area at their most creative career stage." The NIH diversity supplement offers an opportunity for BRAIN awardees to request additional funds to train and mentor the next generation of researchers, including those from underrepresented groups, who will contribute to advancing the goals of The BRAIN Initiative®.
Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) of active BRAIN Initiative research program grants are encouraged to identify eligible individuals across the career development pipeline (from high school students to the faculty level) for support and scientific mentorship under the auspices of this administrative supplement. The research activities proposed in the supplement application must fall within the scope of the parent grant. Proposed career development activities should be appropriate for the career stage of the supplement candidate and should demonstrate both a strong commitment by the mentor and a clear path forward for the candidate. BRAIN Initiative PD/PIs are strongly encouraged to incorporate training activities that will help prepare the supplement candidate to conduct research relevant to the goals of The BRAIN Initiative® 2025 Report.
Educational goals for the NIH component of The BRAIN Initiative® (see BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision) include acquisition of quantitative skills; the appropriate use and integration of newly developed tools, technologies and methods developed under The BRAIN Initiative®; and consideration of the ethical implications of neuroscience research. Special emphasis is placed on training in quantitative neuroscience (i.e., theory and statistics for biologists) and exposing physicists, engineers and statisticians to experimental neuroscience. The BRAIN 2025 Report strongly encourages scientists to cross traditional areas of expertise to conduct interdisciplinary research and emphasizes the need to leverage perspectives from quantitative disciplines (e.g., statistics, computer science, physics, mathematics, and engineering) to address neuroscience questions.