BRAIN Initiative Request for Information (RFI) 2019


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The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is a trans-agency effort with public and private partners started in 2014 with the goal of understanding how the brain works. The NIH has been guided thus far by BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, which outlined a set of Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) recommendations, endorsed by the NIH, based on scientific input from the community. This document describes the overarching vision, scientific priority areas, and specific goals for the BRAIN Initiative® that NIH has used to guide its investments. In the last five years, NIH has implemented the recommendations from this strategic vision and issued multiple Funding Opportunity Announcements aimed at reaching its goals. From these awards, the scientific community has made much progress in identifying and manipulating neural circuits using newly developed neurotechnologies (see This scientific progress necessitates, as the original Working Group of the ACD anticipated, revisiting the BRAIN 2025 recommendations and updating the prospective implementation of the BRAIN Initiative accordingly.

In 2018 NIH established both a new BRAIN Initiative Working Group of the ACD and a BRAIN Initiative Neuroethics Subgroup to review recent scientific progress and propose updates to the BRAIN Initiative scientific and neuroethical strategic plans for the ACD’s consideration. The Working Group has hosted multiple public workshops, town halls, and a previous request for information to obtain feedback on the progress and future of the BRAIN Initiative.

Using this information, the Working Group of the ACD is sharing its initial thoughts for guiding the next stage of the BRAIN Initiative (, and is requesting public input. The BRAIN Initiative Working Group of the ACD will use the responses received through this request for information (NOT-NS-19-041) to revise their findings as appropriate before finalizing a plan for ACD consideration in June 2019.




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