Informatics Program

The NIH BRAIN Initiative informatics program supports development of the informatics infrastructure for NIH BRAIN Initiative research. This infrastructure development includes establishing and managing data archives, creating and adopting data standards, and developing computational tools to analyze, visualize, and integrate data. Importantly, the data coordination enabled by this program facilitates data sharing across different projects of NIH BRAIN Initiative research.

The goals of the NIH BRAIN Initiative informatics program include:

  • Building data science or informatics infrastructure that is useful to the research community. 
  • Making data and tools openly available to the research community.
  • Supporting FAIR principles of data sharing and improving the rigor and reproducibility of BRAIN Initiative research.
  • Promoting secondary analysis and reuse of BRAIN Initiative datasets.

Rather than building an all-encompassing infrastructure, the NIH BRAIN Initiative informatics program creates infrastructure to serve particular domains of scientific research. The domains include but are not limited to:

  • Integrated approaches to understanding circuit function in the nervous system.
  • Invasive devices for recording and modulation in the human central nervous system.
  • Non-invasive neuromodulation.
  • Next-generation imaging.
  • Integrated approaches to building a cell census or atlas of the brain.

Data archiving, promoting data standards, and efforts around developing software for integration and analysis all require coordination and interoperability. The data archives provide access and software tools, which enable users to analyze the archived data on a cloud environment without downloading the data to local machines. Additionally, the data archives adopt and update data standards to support data sharing, scientific rigor, and reproducibility for experiments and data analysis. For information on publicly available datasets and how to access them, see the individual archive websites linked below.

Funding Opportunities

  • Integration and Analysis of BRAIN Initiative Data (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) [RFA-MH-23-270]
  • Brain Behavior Quantification and Synchronization – Data Coordination and Artificial Intelligence Center (U24 Clinical Trial Optional) [RFA-MH-23-130]
  • Standards to Define Experiments Related to the BRAIN Initiative (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) [RFA-MH-22-145]
  • Data Archives for the BRAIN Initiative (R24 Clinical Trial Optional) [RFA-MH-600]

BRAIN Initiative Data Archives


Ming Zhan, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)