Brain Research Foundation: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: The Brain Research Foundation’s grant making program awards grants for researchers and scientists conducting innovative research in neuroscience and the treatment of neurological disorders.

IP TAKE: BRF supports innovative projects that might otherwise go unfunded because of their novelty. This makes the foundation a good jumping off point for researchers and scientists that are blazing new paths in neuroscience rather than working in established areas.

PROFILE: The Brain Research Foundation’s (BRF) stated mission is to increase the medical and scientific communities’ understanding of how the human brain functions in both children and adults. It seeks to fund research that might yield “discoveries that will lead to novel treatments and prevention of all neurological diseases.” The foundation makes grants out of its two main programs: the Fay/Frank Seed Grants and the Scientific Innovations Award.

The purpose of Fay/Frank Seed Grants are to provide start-up funds for new neuroscience research projects that show strong promise of later obtaining major funding from sources such as the National Institutes of Health. Seed grants are limited to $80,000 over two years. While the foundation is open to all things neuroscience, grantseekers should keep in mind that BRF typically runs special programs throughout the year focusing on a specific neurological condition.

BRF’s Scientific Innovations program offers awards of up to $150,000 over two years to established research labs conducting innovative research in basic and clinical neuroscience. In this regard, BRF supports “creative, exploratory, cutting edge research.” The foundation expects such projects to "have a high likelihood of producing important findings," which in this case means publication -- as well as additional grant money from other sources.

Grantseekers can explore the foundation’s previously and currently funded research to get an idea of the types of projects and programs it supports.

BRF accepts deadline-driven letters of inquiry throughout the year; however, applicants must first receive a nomination from their respective institution before applying. The LOI deadline for Fay/Frank Seed Grants typically falls sometime in the first week of January and the LOI deadline for Scientific Awards is generally around July 1.

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