Upcoming funding opportunity: BRAIN CONNECTS Data Coordinating Centers

Brain Connects

The upcoming notice will support BRAIN Initiative Connectivity Across Scales (BRAIN CONNECTS), an effort aimed at developing technologies to map neural connections across the entire brain. 

The BRAIN Initiative recently issued a Notice of Intent to Publish (NOITP) to announce an upcoming funding opportunity for Data Coordinating Centers (DCCs) [NOT-NS-24-009] to support BRAIN Initiative Connectivity Across Scales (BRAIN CONNECTS). This program is part of the NIH BRAIN Initiative’s transformative projects, which consist of three large-scale projects that promise to transform neuroscience research and illuminate foundational principles governing the circuit basis of behavior.

Through this funding opportunity, the NIH BRAIN Initiative intends to support one or more DCCs for up to five years. The DCCs will integrate into the BRAIN CONNECTS Network, a research consortium representing projects funded under the BRAIN CONNECTS program. The DCCs will organize network activities, develop and harmonize data pipelines, integrate and disseminate data analysis toolsets, establish a unified knowledge base of brain connectivity data across modalities, and organize the program’s outreach for the greater scientific community and the public. 

BRAIN CONNECTS aims to deepen our understanding of the brain’s inner workings by creating brain-wide wiring diagrams. The launch of recent awards—11 grants projected to total $150 million over 5 years—was recently announced and is a coordinated effort that promises large-scale brain mapping and new discoveries involving wiring principles, cell types, and circuit components.

The BRAIN CONNECTS Network DCC(s) will support the following prior Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs):

  • RFA-NS-22-047 – UM1 Comprehensive Centers for Human and Non-Human Primate Brain (supports projects involving human and non-human primate brain mapping and connectivity)
  • RFA-NS-22-048 – UM1 Comprehensive Centers for Mouse Brain (supports projects involving mouse brain mapping and connectivity)
  • RFA-NS-22-049 – U01 Specialized Projects for Scalable Technologies (supports specialized projects for brain connectivity atlasing in human, non-human primate, and mouse brains)

All applicants will be required to submit a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) as part of the NIH BRAIN Initiative’s efforts to foster diverse and inclusive collaborations that solicit perspectives across the broad scientific community.

The NOITP helps ensure prospective applicants have time to organize and develop necessary collaborations and projects in time for the funding opportunity, which is expected to be published in October 2023, with an approximate receipt date in December 2023. The NIH BRAIN Initiative anticipates supporting 1-3 awards for this opportunity, totaling an estimated $6M per year.

For questions, please email BRAIN-CONNECTS-Inquiries@nih.gov.

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