Smart Health interagency solicitation is renewed with BRAIN Initiative participation

This interagency program solicitation by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health will support interdisciplinary high-risk/high-reward research to develop transformative advances for the biomedical and public health communities. 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative funds interdisciplinary collaborations to integrate new technological and conceptual approaches to revolutionize our understanding of human brain function in health and disease. To improve the health of the Nation, there is a need for significant transformations in medical, public health, and healthcare delivery approaches. Recent developments and significant advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, high performance and cloud computing, and availability of new datasets are making transformative integrations achievable. Interdisciplinary teams of researchers are needed to develop the scientific and engineering innovations for these transformations by intelligently collecting, connecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from individuals, devices, and systems to enable discovery and optimize health.

The Smart Health program is an interagency collaboration between the National Science Foundation (NSF)—one of our Federal partners in the BRAIN Initiative—and the NIH. This program supports innovative, high-risk/high-reward research with the promise of transforming biomedical technologies and public health improvements. These transformative advances can be achieved by coordinated, convergent, and interdisciplinary approaches that solve problems across multiple domains such as computer and information science, engineering, mathematical sciences, social, behavioral, cognitive, and/or economic sciences. The Smart Health and Biomedical Research in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Science solicitation was recently revised and re-issued, with many NIH Institutes and Centers participating in the funding opportunity (NOT-OD-23-165). The BRAIN Initiative is now participating in the Smart Health program and may co-fund applications assigned to BRAIN Initiative Institutes/Centers (see the full list on our partner page). 

Any work funded by this solicitation must make fundamental scientific or engineering contributions to two or more disciplines, improving fundamental understanding of human biological, biomedical, public health, and/or health-related processes and addressing a key health problem. Generating these transformations will require fundamental research and development of new tools, workflows, and methods across many dimensions. While not an exhaustive list, BRAIN Initiative research priorities could include projects that:

  • Advance neural data science and artificial intelligence methods and tools for understanding the brain; 
  • Develop innovative multimodal models for quantifying or interpreting brain–behavior relationships across scales; or
  • Engineer transformative sensor systems for measuring neural, cognitive, and behavioral functions in humans or other animals.

Proposals submitted to this solicitation must be integrative and undertake research addressing key application areas by solving problems in multiple scientific domains.

For more information, please view the NSF program solicitation (NSF 23-614) or the NIH funding opportunity (NOT-OD-23-165). Inquiries may be sent to the BRAIN Initiative Smart Health scientific/research contact, Joseph Monaco ( Full proposals are due by November 9, 2023; October 3, 2024; or October 3, 2025.

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