Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW:  The Brain Behavior and Research Foundation funds individual investigators whose research seeks to prevent, treat, and possibly cure mental illnesses. 

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

PROFILE: Created in 1987, the Brain Behavior and Research Foundation (BBRF) was formerly known as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression or NARSAD. The foundation seeks to alleviate “the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.” It awards grants to support work in three different areas: basic research, new technologies, and next generation therapies.

Each year, the foundation distributes three main grants — the Young Investigator Grant, the Independent Investigator Grant, and the Distinguished Investigator Grant — 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 also funds 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.

According to BBRF, 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 support 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 study 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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