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. 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 .  

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the shutdown of the federal government, information about this opportunity may not currently be available online. For more information about the operations of federal grantmaking agencies during the shutdown, please see this  Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum. Agency-specific contingency plans are posted  here
Funding Opportunity
OSP Deadline:  5 business days prior to submission 
Sponsor Deadlines for Letters of Intent (required): February 20, 2018, January 8, 2019 and January 8, 2020 for FOUNDATIONS Awards; December 7, 2018 for FRONTIERS Awards; CORE+ SUPPLEMENTS proposals do not require an LOI
Sponsor Deadlines for Full Proposals: April 17, 2018, February 26, 2019 and February 6, 2020 for FOUNDATIONS Awards and CORE+ SUPPLEMENTS Awards; February 26, 2019 for FRONTIERS Awards
Award Information:  Total budgets for FOUNDATIONS awards will typically range from a total of $500,000 to $1,000,000 (including direct and indirect costs), with durations of 2 to 4 years.  The NCS program also welcomes proposals for smaller FOUNDATIONS projects  (typically requesting less than $250,000) that would lead to ambitious new research agendas. Hard limits have not been set on the budget range for individual FRONTIERS projects which may have a duration of up to 5 years. CORE+ SUPPLEMENTS funding may be requested up to 20% of the existing award, not to exceed $200,000.
The complexities of brain and behavior pose fundamental questions in many areas of science and engineering, drawing intense interest across a broad spectrum of disciplinary perspectives while eluding explanation by any one of them. Rapid advances within and across disciplines are leading to an increasingly interwoven fabric of theories, models, empirical methods and findings, and educational approaches, opening new opportunities to understand complex aspects of neural and cognitive systems through integrative multidisciplinary approaches.

This program calls for innovative, convergent, boundary-crossing proposals that can best capture those opportunities and map out new research frontiers. NSF seeks proposals that are bold and risky, and transcend the perspectives and approaches typical of disciplinary research efforts. This cross-directorate program is one element of NSF's broader effort directed at Understanding the Brain, a multi-year activity that includes NSF's participation in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. NSF envisions a connected portfolio of transformative, integrative projects that create synergistic links across investigators and communities, yielding novel ways of tackling the challenges of understanding the brain in action and in context.

This solicitation extends the NCS program for three years, from FY2018 through FY2020, and offers the FRONTIERS proposal class, for larger projects, in FY2019. Integrative projects will be supported at scales reflecting increasing levels of collaboration and coordination toward strategic, potentially transformative research goals.

The 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 full program 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
Proposals must address both risk and reward: high-risk, high-payoff approaches are expected.  Proposals must also be consistent with the missions of the participating directorates, while going beyond the scope of any NSF core program, or they will not be considered responsive to the solicitation.

NCS will consider three classes of proposals. FOUNDATIONS awards (CISE, EHR, ENG, and SBE Directorates; referred to as INTEGRATIVE FOUNDATIONS in earlier NCS solicitations) will support high-risk, high-payoff projects that advance the foundations of one or more NCS focus areas. FRONTIERS awards (CISE, EHR, ENG, and SBE Directorates; FY2019 competition only) will support ambitious, highly integrative, interdisciplinary projects that advance and connect multiple integrative research threads to tackle challenges that, without a high level of collaboration and coordination, would remain intractable. CORE+ SUPPLEMENTS (CISE, EHR, and ENG Directorates) will provide additional support to existing funded projects in the participating directorates, to enable activities that will connect those projects to significant new integrative opportunities in neural and cognitive systems.
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 |