Reissue of RFA-NS-18-019: Understanding the dynamic activity of neural circuits is central to the NIH BRAIN Initiative. The invention, proof-of-concept investigation, and optimization of new technologies through iterative feedback from end users are key components of the BRAIN Initiative. This FOA seeks applications to optimize existing or emerging technologies through iterative testing with end users. The technologies and approaches should have potential to address major challenges associated with recording and modulation (including various modalities for stimulation/activation, inhibition and manipulation) of cells (i.e., neuronal and non-neuronal) and networks to enable transformative understanding of dynamic signaling in the central nervous system (CNS). These technologies and approaches should have previously demonstrated their transformative potential through initial proof-of-concept testing and are now ready for accelerated refinement. In conjunction, the manufacturing techniques should be scalable towards sustainable, broad dissemination and user-friendly incorporation into regular neuroscience research. Proposed technologies should be compatible with experiments in behaving animals, validated under in vivo experimental conditions, and capable of reducing major barriers to conducting neurobiological experiments and making new discoveries about the CNS. Technologies may engage diverse types of signaling beyond neuronal electrical activity such as optical, electrical, magnetic, acoustic or genetic recording/manipulation. Applications that seek to integrate multiple approaches are encouraged. If suitable, applications are expected to integrate appropriate domains of expertise, including biological, chemical and physical sciences, engineering, computational modeling and statistical analysis.
Notices of Funding Opportunities
National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs), requests for applications (RFAs), program announcements (PAs), and other NIH Guide announcements are listed below. Search this page to find all notices of special interest (NOSI). Search the Closed Opportunities page to find expired opportunities.
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The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage investigators to pursue translational activities and small clinical studies to advance the development of therapeutic, and diagnostic devices for disorders that affect the nervous or neuromuscular systems. Activities supported in this program include implementation of clinical prototype devices, non-clinical safety and efficacy testing, design verification and validation activities, obtaining an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) for a Significant Risk (SR) study, as well as a subsequent small clinical study. The clinical study is expected to provide information about the device function or final design that cannot be practically obtained through additional non-clinical assessments (e.g., bench top or animal studies) due to the novelty of the device or its intended use. This FOA is a milestone-driven cooperative agreement program and will involve participation of NIH program staff in negotiating the final project plan before award and monitoring of research progress.
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage investigators to pursue a small clinical trial to obtain critical information necessary to advance recording and/or stimulating devices to treat central nervous system disorders and better understand the human brain (e.g., Early Feasibility Study). Clinical studies supported may consist of acute or short-term procedures that are deemed Non-Significant Risk (NSR) by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), or Significant Risk (SR) studies that require an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) from the FDA, such as chronic implants. The clinical trial should provide data to answer key questions about the function or final design of a device. This final device design may require most, if not all, of the non-clinical testing on the path to more advanced clinical trials and market approval. The clinical trial is expected to provide information that cannot be practically obtained through additional non-clinical assessments (e.g., bench top or animal studies) due to the novelty of the device or its intended use. Activities supported by this Funding Opportunity include a small clinical trial to answer key questions about the function or final design of a device. As part of the BRAIN Initiative, NIH has initiated a Public-Private Partnership Program (BRAIN PPP) that includes agreements (Memoranda of Understanding, MOU) with a number of device manufacturers willing to make such devices available, including devices and capabilities not yet market approved but appropriate for clinical research. In general it is expected that the devices' existing safety and utility data will be sufficient to enable new IRB NSR or FDA IDE approval without need for significant additional non-clinical data. For more information on the BRAIN PPP, see http://braininitiative.nih.gov/BRAIN_PPP/index.htm
This is a reissue of RFA-MH-19-136. 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.
Reissue of RFA-NS-19-011: The purpose of the NIH Blueprint and BRAIN Initiative Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students who are from backgrounds that are nationally underrepresented in neuroscience research. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) from the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is intended to support establishment of facilities at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA)-eligible institutions for scaled production and distribution of brain cell type-specific access and manipulation reagents. Reagents will be initially developed in pilot resource projects for brain cell type-specific access and manipulation across vertebrate species from the BRAIN Initiative Armamentarium project. Awardees under this FOA will work with the other Armamentarium awardees to manufacture and distribute the resources for use throughout the neuroscience community. It is envisioned that the awardees will work both with the Armamentarium community as well as with the neuroscience research community to optimize the use of new reagents. The types of reagents to be produced and distributed could include but are not limited to viral vectors, nucleic acid constructs, and nanoparticles designed for selective access to and manipulation of brain cell types. Such reagents will enable neuroscientists to probe circuit function with high precision in experimental animals and ex vivo human tissue and cells. Facilities are needed to contribute to the production and distribution of BRAIN Initiative Armamentarium project reagents broadly to neuroscience users.
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.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (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.