Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS)

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

Computational neuroscience provides a theoretical foundation and a rich set of technical approaches for understanding complex neurobiological systems, building on the theory, methods, and findings of computer science, neuroscience, and numerous other disciplines.

Through the CRCNS program, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Department of Energy (DOE); the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF); the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR); the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF); Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT); and Spain’s State Research Agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigación, AEI) and National Institute of Health Carlos III (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, ISCIII) support collaborative activities that will advance the understanding of nervous system structure and function, mechanisms underlying nervous system disorders, and computational strategies used by the nervous system.

Two classes of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation:

Research Proposals describing collaborative research projects, and

Data Sharing Proposals to enable sharing of data and other resources.

Domestic and international projects will be considered. As detailed in the solicitation, international components of collaborative projects may be funded in parallel by the participating agencies. Specific CRCNS opportunities for parallel funding are available for bilateral US-German Research Proposals, US-German Data Sharing Proposals, US-French Research Proposals, US-French Data Sharing Proposals, US-Israeli Research Proposals, US-Israeli Data Sharing Proposals, US-Japanese Research Proposals, US-Japanese Data Sharing Proposals, US-Spanish Research Proposals, US-Spanish Data Sharing Proposals, and multilateral proposals involving the United States and two or more CRCNS partner countries (see Section VIII of the solicitation for country-specific limitations). Collaborating PIs from outside of the United States are referred to Section VIII of the solicitation for further instructions about applying to the appropriate partner funding agency.

Appropriate scientific areas of investigations may be related to the interests of any of the participating funding organizations. Questions concerning a particular project's focus, direction, and relevance to a participating funding organization should be addressed to the appropriate person in the list of agency contacts found in Section VIII of the solicitation.

NSF will coordinate and manage the review of proposals jointly with participating domestic and foreign funding organizations, through a joint panel review process used by all participating funders. Additional information is available in Section VI of the solicitation.

Community-driven efforts such as workshops or synthesis papers are also encouraged, to map out new frontiers at the interface of neuroscience and other disciplines that could reshape brain research and its applications.

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  Dec. 10, 2020; November 23, 2021; November 22, 2022

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

In response to this solicitation, an investigator may participate as PI or co-PI in no more than two proposals per review cycle. In the event that a PI or co-PI does appear in either of these roles on more than two proposals, all proposals that include that person as a PI or co-PI will be returned without review. This limit applies to all PIs and co-PIs, based inside or outside of the United States.

Amount Description

As in previous years, it is anticipated that a minimum of $5 million will be available each year for this competition, with potentially $15 to $20 million annually, depending on the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

CRCNS award sizes have typically ranged from approximately $100,000 to $250,000 per year in combined direct costs (summed over all CRCNS-funded components of the project, inside and outside of the United States), with durations of three to five years. This range is offered as a guide to help proposers understand what has historically been fundable. Proposers contemplating multilateral projects with higher budget requirements are advised to consult in advance with the CRCNS Program Coordinator-NSF.

Additional agency-specific limitations, including maximum award budgets and durations, are provided in Section VIII of this solicitation. Please carefully review the limitations that apply to all potential funders of your project.

Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size and duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Upon conclusion of the review process, meritorious research proposals may be recommended for funding by one or more of the participating funding organizations, at the option of the funders, not the proposer. Subsequent grant administration procedures will be in accordance with the individual policies of the awarding agency.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
International Opportunities
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

November 22, 2022