Gatsby Charitable Foundation: Grants for Brain Research

OVERVIEW: The Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s neuroscience grants focus on theoretical neuroscience, basic research, circuits and behavior, multidisciplinary consortia, and building centers for neuroscience research.

IP TAKE: To begin the process, grantseekers should contact the foundation and introduce their work. This is not the most approachable funder, but if Gatsby staff believes a grantseeker’s work would be a good fit for one of the other 17 Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust nonprofits, they may pass that information on.

PROFILE: The Gatsby Charitable Foundation is just one of the 17 nonprofits belonging to the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Each foundation is a separate legal entity. Based in the United Kingdom, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation was established in 1967 by David Sainsbury, now Lord Sainsbury of Turville, and supports a wide variety of causes that its founder happens to be passionate about. These program areas include Plant Science, Neuroscience, Education, Africa, Public Policy, and the Arts.

The overall goal of Gatsby’s Neuroscience grantmaking is to “support world-class research” by funding “experimental research projects in the area of neural circuits and behaviour via consortia around the world.” This program currently has four priority focus areas:

  • Circuits and Behavior aims to “understand the anatomical and functional development and operation of neural circuits that underlie behaviour.”

  • Centres of Excellence funds the development of research institutes such as the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London, and the upcoming Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behavior.

  • Theoretical Neuroscience grants support the development of computational models that “will contribute not only to refining data analysis, but will also lead to new theories about network function, and generate new predictions for further experiments.”

  • Finally, World Class Basic Research grants invest in a variety of “innovative collaborative research programmes around the world in the broad area of neural circuits and behaviour.”

Though the foundation does award the occasional grant over $500,000, amounts typically range from $100,000 to $300,000. To learn more about Gatsby grantees, explore its annual reports. Gatsby grants tend to prioritize medical research institutions and major universities around the world. Past neuroscience recipients include the Salk Institute, the University of Oxford, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Gatsby Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding, but is open to establishing new relationships with organizations that share the foundation’s mission and goals. The foundation does not apply geographic restrictions to its neuroscience grantmaking.

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