How To Apply For Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant

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Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant

How To Get Grants from Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant – Grants like The Brain Research Foundation (BRF) Seed Grant help young professors get their neuroscience research initiatives off the ground. This two-year, $80,000 grant will go toward helping researchers collect the pilot data that is required to apply for extramural funding from organizations like the National Institutes of Health. Individuals with a full-time appointment as an assistant or associate professor in a neuroscience-related discipline are eligible to apply.

Funds for things like lab supplies and minor equipment are covered by the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant, focusing on new and creative research areas. Submissions must contain both a Letter of Intent and, in the event of an invitation, a complete grant application. Each institution is limited to submitting a single application that has been approved by its leadership.

For more information regarding the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant, check the official website at

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Key Takeaways

  • The Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant offers $80,000 over two years to launch new neuroscience research projects by assistant or associate professors.
  • The grant supports innovative research in cognitive neuroscience, neurodegenerative diseases, and other areas.
  • Applicants must be nominated by their institution and submit a Letter of Intent followed by a full application.
  • The deadline for the Letter of Intent is typically in late November.

What are the benefits of the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant?

The Brain Research Foundation (BRF) Seed Grant provides young faculty members and other neuroscience researchers with several substantial advantages. To kick things off, it offers $80,000 in start-up financing over two years, so researchers may launch novel studies and collect the groundwork they need to apply for larger grants from organizations like the National Institutes of Health. The development of novel research avenues and the advancement of scientific careers can both benefit greatly from this kind of backing.

Cognitive, neurodegenerative, learning, developmental, and disease-related neuroscience are just a few of the many fields that the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant supports. This wide-ranging focus encourages the exchange of ideas and the work of experts from many fields.

Also, the awardees’ work gets more attention and legitimacy thanks to the BRF Seed Grant, usually means more recognition from other scientists. All BRF-funded initiatives undergo a thorough evaluation by the BRF Scientific Review Committee to guarantee they are high-quality and will make a substantial difference.

All things considered, the BRF Seed Grant is a powerful tool for launching new careers, expanding existing ones, and doing ground-breaking brain research.

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Priority areas of Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant

Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant focuses on some crucial areas. These are

Cognitive Neuroscience

Memory, attention, and decision-making are just a few examples of the cognitive processes that the BRF Seed Grant is funding. Research into the mechanisms by which these functions are impaired in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is strongly encouraged.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

It is of the utmost importance to do research on neurodegenerative disorders including ALS, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s, as well as their causes, progression, and possible therapies. We really appreciate creative methods that can help alleviate these issues.

Learning and Development

Projects that aim to understand how the brain works throughout development and learning will receive funding first. Research in educational neuroscience, developmental diseases (such as autism spectrum disorder), and brain plasticity all fall under this category.

Neural, Sensory, and Motor Functions

The sensory processing and motor control brain networks are also the focus of the funded study. Sensory deficits and motor abnormalities can be better treated with an understanding of these systems.

Behavioral and Emotional Functioning

It is critical to do research on mood disorders, anxiety, stress, and other conditions that aim to understand the neurological bases of behavior and emotions. The program strongly welcomes projects that aim to discover innovative therapies for these illnesses.

Eligibility criteria for Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant

Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant has set some eligibility criteria, applicants need to stand up for getting the benefits.

Institutional Invitation

In order for your institution to be eligible to apply for the BRF Seed Grant, the Brain Research Foundation must send an official email invitation. One faculty member from each invited university can submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Faculty Position

An invited U.S. academic institution must have an Assistant or Associate Professor on staff as the Principal Investigator (PI). No academics holding the positions of professor, research assistant, or research associate may apply.

New Research Projects

An original and ground-breaking study in the area of neurology is required for the proposed research project. Its primary objective should be to collect pilot data that would entice potential funders, including the NIH, to provide more cash.

No Overlapping Funding

It is unacceptable for the initiative to receive funds from any other source or to act as a financial bridge between awards. Furthermore, the Principal Investigator (PI) must not hold any BRF funding that coincides with the Seed Grant’s grant duration.

Institutional Endorsement

To confirm the nomination, the letter of intent must have the signature of an official from the school, such as a president or dean. This validates the institution’s support for the planned study and guarantees that only one application per institution is submitted.

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Grantees of Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant-funded research

Here are some grantees who have taken help from the Brain Research Foundation seed for their research.

Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Research that has been supported by the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant has made substantial strides in our knowledge of important facets of brain development, function, and diseases. Dr. Byoung Il Bae’s research on severe neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism and schizophrenia has provided valuable insights into how the human cerebral cortex is particularly susceptible to the loss of the centrosomal protein ASPM. Dr. Bae’s work provides insights that might lead to treatment approaches for these problems by utilizing ferrets as a model organism, which is closer to humans in terms of brain development.

Yvette Fisher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Similar to how neuropsychiatric illnesses frequently impair cognitive flexibility, Dr. Yvette Fisher’s work on the dynamic regulation of synaptic plasticity during spatial exploration has shed light on the processes underpinning this ability. This insight has the potential to open the door to tailored treatments that can enhance cognitive function in certain diseases.

Erin M. Gibson, Ph.D., Stanford University

In addition, our knowledge of neurodevelopmental diseases and brain aging has been enhanced by the work of Drs. Sarah C. Goetz and Erin M. Gibson, who have studied the circadian control of oligodendroglial senescence and the function of primary cilia in neuron signaling, respectively. The results of this study provide new and exciting opportunities for the treatment of neurological diseases and illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, MS, and others.

Sarah C. Goetz, Ph.D., Duke University

Using Eph/Ephrin communication in neurons as an example, Dr. Goetz investigates a new function of primary cilia. She hopes to learn more about the causes of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases by studying the signaling pathways controlled by neural cilia. This discovery has the potential to provide light on the role of primary cilia in neuronal formation, function, and viability; this, in turn, might improve our knowledge of many neurological disorders.

How to apply for the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant ?

There are six easy steps, you as an applicant need to follow and get the benefits. These are as follows.

Internal Background Check

Please use the internal competition submission site at your institution to submit a pre-application. Never miss an internal deadline or a set of rules set by your school. Stony Brook University, for one, has a deadline for pre-applications in order to choose a nominee.

Support from Establishments

An endorsement from your research institution’s dean or president is required for your pre-application. This stamp of approval verifies your school’s selection procedure and makes sure that no one institution submits more than one application.

Get the LOI ready

If your school is one of the chosen ones, you should get a LOI ready to send to the Brain Research Foundation. Bear in mind to include the following details: the principal investigator’s name, department, academic title, contact information, project title, and signature.

Research Plan and Biographical Sketch

Outline the next procedures for the study in a concluding paragraph and include statistics (if applicable) in a comprehensive research plan (up to 3,500 words). Create a brief biography (no more than five pages) in accordance with the current NIH guidelines.

Upload the Letter of Intent (LOI)

Late November is a common time to submit the LOI. We do not accept entries that are more than one day late, so please read the submission rules carefully.

Await Feedback

After reviewing your letter of intent, the program will ask you to complete the grant application by a certain date in March. To ensure that your application meets all criteria for submission, please refer to the invitation for specific instructions.

Tips for writing a Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant proposal

If you want to be the winner of the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant benefits, you need to follow the steps.

Know the Goals

Learn about the BRF Seed Grant’s objectives. Focus on cognitive neuroscience, neurodegenerative disorders, and behavioral functioning in your proposal.

Make a Research Plan

A well-defined research strategy should include project goals, methods, and projected results. Explain the relevance and novelty of your planned work.

Highlight Preliminary Data

Highlight any preliminary data or pilot studies that demonstrate your research’s viability and effect. Show how your study will create extramural funding-relevant data.

Address Evaluation Criteria

Your proposal must meet BRF importance, innovation, method, investigator credentials, and environment requirements.

Get Feedback

Ask BRF grant-savvy colleagues or mentors for input before submitting. Use their feedback to improve your proposal’s clarity, coherence, and competitiveness.

Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant deadlines

The Brain Research Foundation’s (BRF) 2024 Seed Grant Program has several deadlines:

Internal review: October 13, 2023

Letter of Intent (LOI): November 21, 2023 at 5 PM PT

External: March 15, 2024

Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant contact information

There are two possible ways to contact the Brain Research Foundation (BRF) Seed Grant program, even if the website doesn’t give a particular contact

Contact Us

The BRF website has a general contact page .


In order to encourage junior faculty to push the boundaries of knowledge in neuroscience, The Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant is an essential source of funding. Researchers are able to gather critical preliminary data for future extramural funding applications and career advancement thanks to the grant’s substantial money, stringent evaluation procedure, and focus on ground-breaking research.

The Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant has a big impact on our knowledge of the brain and its problems by encouraging multidisciplinary cooperation and tackling important topics in cognitive neuroscience, neurodegenerative illnesses, and behavioral functioning. By staying involved and providing ongoing funding, the Brain Research Foundation is a key player in advancing scientific knowledge and bettering human health.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a PhD to apply for the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant?

No, The Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant does not need a doctorate degree. A full-time post as an assistant or associate professor in an American university is required of all applicants.

What are the chances of getting a Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant?

A Brain study Foundation Seed Grant’s likelihood of approval is conditional on a number of variables, including the strength and originality of the planned study, how well it fits in with the priorities of the grant, and how many other applicants there are. Nevertheless, there are only so many funds that the foundation can hand out each year due to the high volume of applicants.

Can I apply for the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant if I’m not in the US?

Regrettably, faculty personnel at academic institutions in the United States are the only ones eligible for the Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant. No applicants from outside the United States will be considered.

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