Funding Opportunity Announcements for 2022: Training, neuroethics, and small business

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This week, a series of blog posts will highlight BRAIN Initiative funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for fiscal year 2022. Today’s post focuses on awards for training, equity, and inclusion; neuroethics; and small business.

Welcome to our annual FOA week! Each day, we’ll summarize BRAIN funding opportunities for fiscal year 2022. While this series will reflect active BRAIN funding opportunities, keep an eye on this blog space as additional funding becomes available.

Funding for 2022 will continue to accelerate neuroscience discovery by building upon recent achievements led by BRAIN researchers and their teams. To name a few, just this year, researchers published the first mammalian brain cell census and atlas of the primary motor cortex and developed an innovative device to wirelessly record brain activity from people living with Parkinson’s disease.

This week, we’re especially excited to highlight funding for new Transformative Projects aimed to develop and disseminate resources to the neuroscience community, as well as other FOAs that will allow us to go beyond BRAIN toward developing tools designed to uncover the neural circuit basis of behavior in health and disease. Today’s awards support training, neuroethics, and small business.

Training, Inclusion, and Equity

RFA-NS-21-012 NIH Blueprint and BRAIN Initiative Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00; Reissue of RFA-NS-19-011; Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Jointly sponsored by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research and the NIH BRAIN Initiative, this award seeks to provide outstanding graduate students from diverse backgrounds with a defined career pathway. This two-phase award facilitates completing a doctoral dissertation and helps students transition to strong, competitive neuroscience postdoctoral positions. The award supports 1-2 years of dissertation research training and up to 4 years of mentored postdoctoral training, as well as career development opportunities. Learn more about D-SPAN here. Applications are due on April 15 and Dec 15, 2022.

RFA-MH-20-620 BRAIN Initiative Fellows: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32; Reissue of RFA-MH-18-510)

This FOA seeks to enhance the research training of promising postdoctoral scientists. Applications that align with any of the BRAIN Initiative research priority areas are encouraged, including neuroethics. The award is open to postdocs who are in their first year of training and graduate students who have not yet completed their doctoral degree but expect to do so within 12 months of the application receipt date. The next application due dates are April 11 and December 9, 2022.

RFA-NS-19-043 BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00; Clinical Trial Not Allowed) and RFA-NS-19-044 (K99/R00; Clinical Trial Required)

This FOA aims to enhance workforce diversity in neuroscience and foster a strong cohort of highly skilled, well-trained independent investigators working in BRAIN Initiative research areas. The training program is for members of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women. Applications are due on February 10, June 8, and October 11, 2022.

Did you know that BRAIN awardees can request additional funds to train and mentor individuals from groups underrepresented in biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences? To learn more, please see the notice (NOT-NS-22-012) to encourage investigators to submit applications for administrative research supplements to promote diversity in health-related research (PA-21-071).


RFA-MH-21-205 Research on the Ethical Implications of Advancements in Neurotechnology and Brain Science (R01; Reissue of RFA-MH-19-400; Clinical Trial Optional)

A schematic image of a brain, showing the BRAIN neuroethics logo.

This FOA supports research addressing core ethical issues associated with research focused on the human brain and resulting from emerging technologies and advancements supported by the BRAIN Initiative. Topics relevant to this award include research participant engagement, special populations, societal implications, as well as data collection, storage, and sharing. Please read the full FOA for a detailed list of topics. Applications from multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged. The next application due date is on October 11, 2022.

In addition to the R01, investigators can apply for administrative supplements aimed to integrate neuroethics into current BRAIN-funded research projects. See NOT-MH-22-040 or check out this blog post for details.

Small Business

NOT-MH-21-125 Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Translation of BRAIN Initiative Technologies to the Marketplace

This NOSI encourages the translation of BRAIN Initiative-supported technologies from academic and other non-small business research sectors to the marketplace. Small Business Concerns (SBCs) are encouraged to submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications that propose to further develop, optimize, validate and scale such technologies for commercial dissemination. Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following FOAs or any reissues of these announcements through the expiration date (January 6, 2024) of this notice:

  • PA-21-259 SBIR Omnibus/Parent Clinical Trial Not Allowed
  • PA-21-262 STTR Omnibus/Parent Clinical Trial Not Allowed

Applications for awards are due on January 5, April 5, and September 5, 2022.

Many BRAIN grant applications now require plans for data sharing (see NOT-MH-19-010) and a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP; NOT-MH-21-310). Please carefully review each FOA to see if an award falls under one or both policies.

Curious about other awards? Please visit the BRAIN Initiative’s Funding Opportunities webpage for details about our current funding opportunities.