This week, we will highlight BRAIN Initiative notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) for fiscal year 2024. Today’s post features funding opportunities for BRAIN Initiative transformative projects and tools and technologies for cells and circuits.
Welcome to our annual NOFO week! Each day, we will summarize BRAIN funding opportunities for fiscal year 2024. Today we’re especially excited to highlight funding opportunities for tools and technologies to study specific cell types and circuits and to support the BRAIN Initiative’s three transformative projects—the BRAIN Connectivity across Scales (BRAIN CONNECTS) program, the BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network (BICAN), and the Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access. Advancing these areas of research promise to transform the field of neuroscience, illuminating foundational principles governing the circuit basis of behavior and informing new approaches to the treatment of human brain disorders.
BRAIN Initiative Connectivity across Scales
BRAIN Initiative Connectivity Across Scales (BRAIN CONNECTS) is a BRAIN Initiative transformative project focused on developing the research capacity and technical capabilities to generate wiring diagrams that can span entire brains across multiple scales. The funding opportunities below will support multiple approaches for imaging and reconstructing brain connectivity.
RFA-NS-24-028 BRAIN Initiative Connectivity across Scales Data Coordinating Center (BRAIN CONNECTS DCC) (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
This funding opportunity solicits applications for one or more Data Coordinating Centers (DCCs) to support BRAIN CONNECTS, a networked consortium of Comprehensive Centers and Specialized Projects funded under RFA-NS-22-047, RFA-NS-22-048, and RFA-NS-22-049. The goals of these awards are to develop the research capacity and technical capabilities for comprehensive brain-wide connectivity mapping in mouse, human, and non-human primate models. Please read the full NOFO for more details. Applications are due January 29, 2024.
RFA-NS-22-049 BRAIN Initiative Connectivity across Scales (BRAIN CONNECTS): Specialized Projects for Scalable Technologies (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
This funding opportunity supports Specialized Projects to develop current or emerging technologies to generate comprehensive atlases of brain connectivity, with an emphasis on human, non-human primate, and mouse models. Applications may address any aspects of the data collection, analysis, and dissemination pipelines, to enable faster and more cost-effective generation and interpretation of brain-wide wiring diagrams. Please read the full NOFO for more details. Applications are due June 13, 2024.
BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network
The goal of the BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network (BICAN) is to build reference brain cell atlases that will be widely used throughout the research community, providing a molecular and anatomical foundational framework for the study of brain function and disorders.
RFA-MH-22-292 BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network (BICAN): Specialized Collaboratory on Human, Non-human Primate, and Mouse Brain Cell Atlases (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
This funding opportunity intends to support a group of Specialized Collaboratories that will adopt scalable technology platforms and streamlined sampling strategies and assay cascade to create comprehensive and highly granular brain cell atlases in humans, non-human primates, and mice, in coordination and collaboration with other BICAN projects. In particular, the Specialized Collaboratories are expected to complement the Comprehensive Centers in BICAN with distinct capabilities, competencies, and research aims. Please read the full NOFO for more details. Applications are due February 1, 2024.
Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access
The goal of the BRAIN Initiative Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access is to generate a collection of molecular genetic tools to specifically access, manipulate, and monitor brain cell types across multiple vertebrate species.
RFA-MH-22-245 BRAIN Initiative: Engineering and optimization of molecular technologies for functional dissection of neural circuits (UM1 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
This BRAIN Initiative funding opportunity is designed to further develop molecular tools of high impact that are targetable to brain cell types for the monitoring and manipulation of neural circuits in experimental animals. This funding opportunity is part of the BRAIN Initiative Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access transformative project. This will support iterative improvement of molecular payloads capable of monitoring and manipulating neural cell activity and that can be delivered to specific brain cell types using targeting technologies. Please read the full NOFO for more details. Applications are due October 17, 2024.
Tools and Technologies for Cells and Circuits
RFA-MH-24-280 BRAIN Initiative: Development and Validation of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in the Brain (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
This funding opportunity encourages 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. 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. Please read the full NOFO for more details. Applications are due June 7, 2024.
RFA-MH-23-295 BRAIN Initiative: Development of Novel Tools to Probe Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in Human and Non-Human Primate Brain (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Optional)
This funding opportunity is designed to support the development and validation of novel tools to facilitate the detailed analysis and manipulation of complex circuits in organisms with 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. Many cell- and circuit-specific mapping, monitoring, and manipulating tools have been developed for use in model organisms, primarily rodents, fish and flies. These cutting-edge tools 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. Please read the full NOFO for more details. Applications are due June 7, 2024.
Please visit the BRAIN Initiative Tools and Technologies for Brain Cells and Circuits webpage for more details about the program.
As part of the NIH BRAIN Initiative’s efforts to promote more impactful science through the inclusion of diverse perspectives, many of these funding opportunities will require a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives as part of the application. Please visit the BRAIN Initiative’s funding opportunities webpage for more details on these and any additional opportunities that may arise.