Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: Funding from the Brain Behavior and Research Foundation goes to individual investigators whose research is aimed at preventing, treating, and possibly curing mental illnesses. 

IP TAKE:  If you are just getting started in the field of mental health research as a post-doctoral student or associate professor, you should absolutely apply to BBRF as grant alumni are more likely to receive additional funding from other organizations down the road.

PROFILE: The Brain Behavior and Research Foundation (BBRF), formerly known as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression or NARSAD, awards grants to support work in three different areas: basic research, new technologies, and next generation therapies. Three main grants — the Young Investigator Grant, the Independent Investigator Grant, and the Distinguished Investigator Grant — are distributed each year to investigators who prove to be extraordinary in their mental health work. BBRF awards grants for a number of different mental illnesses including:

  • ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Autism
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression

The foundation is also interested in funding other mental illnesses, though this support may be on a smaller scale than that of its main areas of funding interest.

The foundation has three different grant programs:

NARSAD Young Investigator Grant  
Grants awarded are for two years at $35,000 per year for a total grant amount of $70,000. The Young Investigator grant supports young scientists researching brain and behavior disorders including mood and anxiety disorders.

What’s interesting about the Young Investigator grant is that the higher-ups at BBRF have kept tabs on its former grantees over the years. As it turns out, Young Investigator grantee alumni are awarded an average of 11 times the original grant amount they received from the foundation, from other grantmaking organizations.

NARSAD Independent Investigator Grants 
These grants are reserved for scientists who are at the associate professor level or the professional equivalent. Grants are awarded at $50,000 per year for a total of $100,000. Eligible scientists and researchers must be studying schizophrenia, major affective disorders such as Bipolar Disorder or other serious mental illnesses.

NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant
This is a one-year, $100,000 grant. Eligible researchers must be experienced investigators at the full investigator level or the equivalent.

Grantees are chosen by the Foundation's Scientific Council, a large cohort of accomplished professionals within the brain and behavior research fields. The council also mentors those investigators chosen as Young Investigator grant recipients. To apply for one of BBRF's grants, simply email the foundation for a grant application.

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