BRAIN Initiative: New Concepts and Early-Stage Research for Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (R21) (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This NOFO seeks applications for unique and innovative recording and/or modulation technologies that are in the earliest stage of development, including new and untested ideas that are in the initial stages of conceptualization. Some projects may aim to increase recording or modulation capabilities by many orders of magnitude, while others may aim to improve the precision and selectivity of recording or modulation (also referred to as stimulation, perturbation, or manipulation). A wide range of modalities are appropriate including acoustic, chemical, electrical, magnetic, and optical, as well as the use of genetic tools.

Invasive or non-invasive approaches are sought that will enable large-scale recording and/or precise manipulation of neural activity, and that would ultimately be compatible with experiments in humans or behaving animals. Applications are encouraged from any qualified individual, including chemists, physicists, engineers, theoreticians, materials scientists, and others from fields not typically involved with neuroscience research.

This NOFO requires a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), which will be assessed as part of the scientific and technical peer review evaluation.  Applications that fail to include a PEDP will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn.

Application Due Date(s): November 14, 2023; June 18, 2024; June 17, 2025; June 15, 2026

RFA-EY-23-001 Expiration Date June 16, 2026

Agency Website



Amount Description

Application budgets may not exceed $400,000 total direct costs over a maximum three-year funding period. No more than $200,000 in direct costs may be requested in any single year.

    Funding Type





    Engineering and Physical Sciences
    Medical - Basic Science
    Medical - Clinical Science
    Medical - Translational

    External Deadline

    November 14, 2023