Since the BRAIN Initiative's launch in 2013, FAS Research Development has disseminated information via this newsletter about all of the funding opportunities related to the initiative. We send this newsletter to a targeted list of faculty, including faculty affiliates of the Center for Brain Science (CBS) and the Mind Brain Behavior (MBB) Interfaculty Initiative. This project is being carried out in collaboration with the Center for Brain Science. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to interested colleagues. All Harvard University faculty and administrators may subscribe here, and recipients may unsubscribe at any time. In addition, you may access the Science Division Funding Spotlight here. Harvard affiliates also have access to Pivot, a funding opportunity database, and Harvard Linka system developed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) to provide personalized suggestions on research funding opportunities. For an archive of past newsletters, or for information about additional Research Development support (finding funding, proposal development resources, etc.), please visit the Research Development website. 

A Note from the Research Development Team: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team will be working remotely. We are available to provide assistance via email, phone, or Zoom conferencing. As circumstances are evolving quickly, please also refer to our FAS RAS website and the OSP website for information about submitting proposals and managing your awards.

Funding Opportunities
Sponsor Deadlines for Full Proposals: March 10, 2021
Award Information: Application budgets are not limited. The maximum project period is 3 years. NIH intends to commit an estimated total of $6M per year to fund 4 to 8 awards.

This FOA intends to accelerate the use of scalable technologies and tools to enhance brain cell census research, including the development of technology platforms and/or resources and the generation of spatiotemporal cell census data and/or resources. Applications are expected to address limitations and gaps of existing technologies/tools as a benchmark against which the improvements or competitive advantages of the proposed ones will be measured. The improvements include throughput, sensitivity, selectivity, scalability, spatiotemporal resolution and reproducibility in cell atlas analyses. The projects funded under this FOA will align with the overarching goals of the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) and are expected to enable the generation of a large amount of cell census data using the proposed technologies or via collaboration with the BICCN.
Sponsor Deadlines for Letters of Intent (required only for Frontiers proposals): December 15, 2020; December 15, 2022
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadlines for Full Proposals: February 15, 2021 (Foundations and Frontiers proposals); February 14, 2022 (Foundations proposals only); February 15, 2023 (Foundations and Frontiers proposals)
Award Information: The total budget request for a Foundations project should not exceed $1M (including direct and indirect costs, for a project with a duration of 2 to 4 years). Smaller Foundations projects (up to $250,000) are also welcome. The total budget request for a Frontiers project should not exceed $1M per integrative research thread (including direct and indirect costs, for a project with a duration of up to 5 years). NSF anticipates that approximately 10 Foundations awards will be made in each annual competition, and that 3 to 5 Frontiers awards will be made each year in FY2021 and FY2023.

This program calls for innovative, convergent, boundary-crossing proposals that can best capture new opportunities to understand complex aspects of neural and cognitive systems through integrative multidisciplinary approaches, and map out new research frontiers. NSF seeks proposals that pursue high-value scientific and technical risks by transcending the perspectives and approaches typical of disciplinary research efforts. This solicitation extends the NCS program for three years, from FY2021 through FY2023, including biennial competitions for the Frontiers proposal class.

The NCS program focuses on four aspects of neural and cognitive systems that are current targets of converging interdisciplinary interests. NCS projects must advance the foundations of one or more of these focus areas, as described further within the solicitation:
  1. Neuroengineering and Brain-Inspired Concepts and Designs
  2. Individuality and Variation
  3. Cognitive and Neural Processes in Realistic, Complex Environments
  4. Data-Intensive Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
NCS will consider two classes of proposals. Foundations awards will support high-risk, high-payoff projects that advance the foundations of one or more NCS focus areas. Frontiers awards (FY2021 and FY2023 competitions only) will support ambitious, highly integrative, interdisciplinary projects that advance and connect multiple integrative research threads to tackle challenges that would be intractable without a high level of collaboration and coordination. Community-driven efforts such as workshops or synthesis papers are also encouraged, to map out new frontiers at the interface of neuroscience and other disciplines that could reshape brain research and its applications.

An individual may participate as PI, Co-PI, or Senior Personnel on only one full proposal per year in response to this solicitation.

News & Announcements
Questions about this newsletter or proposal submission may be directed to:

Jennifer Corby
Research Development Officer | 617-495-1590

To see previous BRAIN Initiative Funding Newsletters, please visit our email archive.
Research Development | Research Administration Services |