Funding Opportunity Announcements

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Title FOA # Status Expires Priority Area Purpose
BRAIN Initiative: Proof of Concept Development of Early Stage Next Generation Human Brain Imaging (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Open September 04, 2019
  • Human Neuroscience
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), in support of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, aims to support early stage development of entirely new and novel noninvasive human brain imaging technologies and methods that will lead to transformative advances in our understanding of the human brain. The FOA solicits unusually bold and potentially transformative approaches and supports small-scale, proof-of-concept development based on exceptionally innovative, original and/or unconventional concepts.

BRAIN Initiative: Non-Invasive Neuromodulation - New Tools and Techniques for Spatiotemporal Precision (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) Open February 15, 2020
  • Human Neuroscience
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits grant applications in two related but distinct areas. The first area is in the development and testing of novel tools and methods of neuromodulation that go beyond the existing forms of neural stimulation. The second distinct area that this FOA seeks to encourage is the optimization of existing stimulation methods.

BRAIN Initiative: Development of Next Generation Human Brain Imaging Tools and Technologies (U01 Clinical Trial not allowed) Open September 04, 2021
  • Human Neuroscience
  • Integrated Approaches
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), in support of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, aims to support full development of entirely new or next generation noninvasive human brain imaging tools and methods that will lead to transformative advances in our understanding of the human brain. The FOA seeks innovative applications that are ready for full-scale development of breakthrough technologies with the intention of delivering working tools. This FOA represents the second stage of the tool/technology development effort that started with RFA-MH-14-217 and RFA-MH-15-200

BRAIN Initiative: Tools to Facilitate High-Throughput Microconnectivity Analysis (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Open October 01, 2020
  • Cell Type

The purpose of this Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is to encourage applications that will develop and validate tools and resources to facilitate the detailed analysis of brain microconnectivity. Novel and augmented techniques are sought that will ultimately be broadly accessible to the neuroscience community for the interrogation of microconnectivity in healthy and diseased brains of model organisms and humans. Development of technologies that will significantly drive down the cost of connectomics would enable routine mapping of the microconnectivity on the same individuals that have been analyzed physiologically, or to compare normal and pathological tissues in substantial numbers of multiple individuals to assess variability. Advancements in both electron microscopy (EM) and super resolution light microscopic approaches are sought. Applications that propose to develop approaches that break through existing technical barriers to substantially improve current capabilities are highly encouraged. Proof-of-principle demonstrations and/or reference datasets enabling future development are welcome, as are improved approaches for automated segmentation and analysis strategies of neuronal structures in EM images.no

Development Optimization, and Validation of Novel Tools and Technologies for Neuroscience Research (SBIR) (R43/R44 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Open
  • Circuit Diagrams
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to support the development of novel tools and technologies through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to advance the field of neuroscience research. This FOA specifically supports the development of novel neurotechnologies as well as the translation of technologies developed through the BRAIN initiative or through other funding programs, towards commercialization. Funding can support the iterative refinement of these tools and technologies with the end-user community, with an end-goal of scaling manufacture towards reliable, broad, sustainable dissemination and incorporation into regular neuroscience practice

Development Optimization, and Validation of Novel Tools and Technologies for Neuroscience Research (STTR) (R41/R42 - Clinical Trials Not Allowed) Open
  • Circuit Diagrams
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to support the development of novel tools and technologies through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to advance the field of neuroscience research. This FOA specifically supports the development of novel neurotechnologies as well as the translation of technologies developed through the BRAIN initiative or through other funding programs, towards commercialization. Funding can support the iterative refinement of these tools and technologies with the end-user community, with an end-goal of scaling manufacture towards reliable, broad, sustainable dissemination and incorporation into regular neuroscience practice.

Theories, Models and Methods for Analysis of Complex Data from the Brain (Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Open September 03, 2019
  • Integrated Approaches
  • Theory & Data Analysis Tools

--- Notice to change the Application Due Dates on BRAIN Initiative - NOT-EB-18-005 - https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-EB-18-005.html --- This FOA solicits new theories, computational models, and statistical tools to derive understanding of brain function from complex neuroscience data. Proposed tools could include the creation of new theories, ideas, and conceptual frameworks to organize/unify data and infer general principles of brain function; new computational models to develop testable hypotheses and design/drive experiments; and new mathematical and statistical methods to support or refute a stated hypothesis about brain function, and/or assist in detecting dynamical features and patterns in complex brain data. It is expected that the tools developed under this FOA will be made widely available to the neuroscience research community for their use and modification. Investigative studies should be limited to validity testing of the tools being developed.

Development and Validation of Novel Tools to Analyze Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in the Brain (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Open September 06, 2019
  • Cell Type
  • Circuit Diagrams
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

The purpose of this Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is to encourage applications that will develop and validate novel tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of complex circuits and provide insights into cellular interactions that underlie brain function. The new tools and technologies should inform and/or exploit cell-type and/or circuit-level specificity. Plans for validating the utility of the tool/technology will be an essential feature of a successful application. The development of new genetic and non-genetic tools for delivering genes, proteins and chemicals to cells of interest or approaches that are expected to target specific cell types and/or circuits in the nervous system with greater precision and sensitivity than currently established methods are encouraged. Tools that can be used in a number of species/model organisms rather than those restricted to a single species are highly desired. Applications that provide approaches that break through existing technical barriers to substantially improve current capabilities are highly encouraged.

Development of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in Human and Non-Human Primate Brain (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Optional) Open September 28, 2020
  • Cell Type
  • Circuit Diagrams
  • Human Neuroscience
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

The purpose of this Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative funding opportunity announcement is to encourage applications that will develop and validate novel tools to facilitate the detailed analysis and manipulation of complex circuits in large brains. Critical advances in the treatment of brain disorders in human populations are hindered by our lack of ability to monitor and manipulate circuitry in safe, minimally-invasive ways. Clinical intervention with novel cell and circuit specific tools will require extensive focused research designed to remove barriers to delivery of gene therapies. In addition to identification and removal of barriers, the need to specifically target dysfunctional circuitry poses additional challenges. Neuroscience has experienced an impressive influx of exciting new research tools in the past decade, especially since the launch of the BRAIN Initiative. However, the majority of these cutting-edge tools have been developed for use in model organisms, primarily rodents, fish and flies. These cutting-edge tools, such as viral delivery of genetic constructs, are increasingly adaptable to larger mammalian brains and more importantly are emerging as potential human therapeutic strategies for brain disorders. A pressing need to develop tools for use in large brains or those that are more directly relevant to the human brain is the focus of this initiative. The initiative will support initial proof of principle studies aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of this approach in humans and other mammalian species (non-human primate [NHP]/sheep/pigs).

New Concepts and Early - Stage Research for Large - Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Open October 29, 2020
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

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-17-003) or to optimize existing technology ready for in-vivo proof-of-concept testing and collection of preliminary data (RFA-NS-17-004) 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. 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.

Optimization of Transformative Technologies for Large Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System - Clinical Trials Not Allowed Open October 29, 2020
  • Interventional Tools
  • Monitor Neural Activity

Understanding the dynamic activity of neural circuits is central to the NIH BRAIN Initiative. Although invention and proof-of-concept testing of new technologies are a key component of the BRAIN Initiative, to achieve their potential these technologies must also be optimized through feedback from end-users in the context of the intended experimental use. This FOA seeks applications for the optimization of existing and emerging technologies and approaches that have potential to address major challenges associated with recording and manipulating neural activity, at or near cellular resolution, at multiple spatial and temporal scales, in any region and throughout the entire depth of the brain. This FOA is intended for the iterative refinement of emergent technologies and approaches that have already demonstrated their transformative potential through initial proof-of-concept testing, and are appropriate for accelerated development of hardware and software while scaling manufacturing techniques towards sustainable, broad dissemination and user-friendly incorporation into regular neuroscience practice. Proposed technologies should be compatible with experiments in behaving animals, and should include advancements that enable or reduce major barriers to hypothesis-driven experiments. Technologies may engage diverse types of signaling beyond neuronal electrical activity for large-scale analysis, and may utilize any modality such as optical, electrical, magnetic, acoustic or genetic recording/manipulation. Applications that seek to integrate multiple approaches are encouraged. Applications are expected to integrate appropriate domains of expertise, including where appropriate biological, chemical and physical sciences, engineering, computational modeling and statistical analysis.

New Technologies and Novel Approaches for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System - Clinical Trial Not Allowed Open October 29, 2020
  • Interventional Tools

Understanding the dynamic activity of neural circuits is central to the NIH BRAIN Initiative. This FOA seeks applications for proof-of-concept testing and development of new technologies and novel approaches for largescale recording and manipulation of neural activity to enable transformative understanding of dynamic signaling in the nervous system. In particular, we seek exceptionally creative approaches to address major challenges associated with recording and manipulating neural activity, at or near cellular resolution, at multiple spatial and/or temporal scales, in any region and throughout the entire depth of the brain. It is expected that the proposed research may be high-risk, but if successful could profoundly change the course of neuroscience research. Proposed technologies should be compatible with experiments in behaving animals, and should include advancements that enable or reduce major barriers to hypothesis-driven experiments. Technologies may engage diverse types of signaling beyond neuronal electrical activity for large-scale analysis, and may utilize any modality such as optical, electrical, magnetic, acoustic or genetic recording/manipulation. Applications that seek to integrate multiple approaches are encouraged. Where appropriate, applications are expected to integrate appropriate domains of expertise, including biological, chemical and physical sciences, engineering, computational modeling and statistical analysis.