Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award

Please note, only ONE application from each BWH department (and ONE application from each division within the Department of Medicine) may be submitted for this limited submission funding opportunity. Please seek approval from your department chair or division chief before submitting your application.


Brain Research Foundation has invited eligible US academic institutions to nominate one senior faculty member (Associate and Full Professor) to submit a Letter of Intent for the Scientific Innovations Award (SIA). Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Innovations Award Program provides funding for innovative science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators.


Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee will review the SIA proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Foundation. The Committee consists of senior scientists broadly representing the various neuroscience-related programs. A representative of Brain Research Foundation is also present when the Committee meets.



The objective of the SIA is to support projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in high impact journals.


Funding and Award Period:

Each total award is limited to $150,000 (direct costs) for a two-year grant period. Exact dates will be provided by the BRF upon application approval. The first grant payment of $75,000 will be made upon completion of the SIA Acceptance Form (January 2020). The final payment of $75,000 will be made contingent upon receipt of a Preliminary Progress and Financial Report (January 2021). Funds must be utilized within the grant period. Final financial and progress reports, including a lay summary, will be required within 30 days of the end date of the grant period.


Funding Preferences:

· Funding is to be directed at projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. This should be a unique project for senior investigators who are encouraged to stretch their imagination into areas that can substantially change an area of research.

· Funding of research projects that will likely lead to successful grant applications with NIH and other public and private funding entities.


Allowable costs under this award:

100% of these SIA funds must be utilized for direct costs. These costs may include:

· Purchase and care of laboratory animals

· Small pieces of laboratory equipment, totaling $5,000 or less

· Laboratory supplies

· Salary for scientific (including postdoctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians)


Costs not permitted:

· Facilities and administrative costs

· Salary recovery for the PI

· Domestic and foreign travel

· Conference or seminar fees

· Personal computers, computer hardware or software

· Large laboratory equipment

· Tuition reimbursement

· Indirect costs, including university fees associated with salary, equipment, etc.

· Charges or other costs that support the infrastructure an institution provides researchers


Publications resulting in projects funded in whole or part by Brain Research Foundation SIA will acknowledge Brain Research Foundation as a funding source.



The nominated candidate must be a full-time associate professor or full professor at an invited US academic institution, working in the area of studies of brain function in health and disease. Current major NIH or other peer-reviewed funding is preferred but evidence of such funding in the past three years is essential. Studies should be related to either normal human brain development or specifically identified disease states. This includes molecular and clinical neuroscience as well as studies of neural, sensory, motor, cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning in health and disease. The grant proposal must detail a new research project that is not funded by other sources. This grant is not to be used as bridge funding.


Investigators at institutions that are affiliated with a medical school or university are eligible to apply only through the institution where they hold a full-time faculty position.


Scientists that have previously received a BRF Scientific Innovations Award may not receive the award for a second time until five years has elapsed since the beginning date of the prior award. Grant requirements from all previous awards must be met. Only one PI may apply per application.



1.) PI is ineligible if they are not a full-time faculty member at the institution in which they are applying under.

2.) PI is ineligible if they are an assistant professor or professor emeritus.

3.) PI is ineligible if they are a research associate professor.

4.) PI is ineligible to submit more than one BRF SIA proposal in a funding period.

5.) PI is ineligible if they have BRF funding that will overlap this grant period.

6.) PI is ineligible if they have been awarded prior BRF funding, but have failed to submit scientific and financial reports at the end of their grant period.

7.) PI is ineligible if they are a member of the BRF Scientific Review Committee.

8.) PI is ineligible if they are a relative of BRF a representative, including the SRC, as defined by the Foundation.

Applications accepted from 04/04/2019 12PM to 06/10/2019 11PM.