Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 8/18/2023

Open Call | 2024 Allen Discovery Center -- Neurobiology in Changing Environments

We are excited to announce a 2024 Allen Discovery Center (ADC) initiative to support research that will elucidate the molecular, cellular and/or circuitry-level neurobiology governing fundamental biological processes (development, reproduction, etc.) in response to anthropogenic-driven environmental perturbation. Up to one award will be made for up to $10 million in total funding support provided over four years.  

The nervous systems of organisms around the globe are coping with rapid and unpredictable change. Mechanistic understanding of the architecture and constraints of neurobiological components underlying key survival processes is insufficient for most species and hampers our ability to predict resilience and design high-impact mitigation and conservation investments.  

This anthropogenic change in the environment provides “natural experiments” that could reveal molecular, cellular, and developmental elements underlying nervous system sensitivity and resilience and could (1) leverage existing or potentially new animal model systems particularly useful for cross-species comparative studies and (2) open opportunities for new technological approaches as probes.

Teams embracing the call will integrate the interdisciplinary expertise needed to connect neurobiological resilience capabilities with phenomenological observations. We expect competitive proposals will leverage existing field and neurobiological baseline data to reveal fundamental adaptation principles, employ innovative technology, use rigorous experimental methodology and analytical tools, and integrate expertise in fields including but not limited to control theory, engineering, and computation. Preference will be given to approaches that chart a course for others and shed light on the adaptive capacity of neural systems writ large.  

Projects are encouraged to embrace complexity while strategically utilizing reductionist models.  Less preference will be given to projects that focus on species in isolation, or that rely disproportionately on classical neurobiological or ecological approaches without significant integration. It is unlikely for this initiative to support projects with the primary goal of establishing a new model organism. 

We seek Letters of Intent (LOIs) by noon Pacific Time September 20, 2023. Selected LOIs will be invited to submit full proposals to be considered for an ADC award in 2024.

Potential applicants at Duke should consult with Steve Murray, Foundation Relations (stephen.murray@duke.edu) before applying. 

Eligibility Requirements

US or international scientists associated with nonprofit research organizations are eligible to apply. Leaders must possess at least seven years of independent research experience (e.g., level of associate professor or similar positions). Current Allen Institute employees or advisors are not eligible to apply during their tenure at the Allen Institute. Eligible research organizations are nonprofit institutions with current 501(c)(3) Public Charity status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), non-federal government entities, IRS-recognized tribes, and other organizations that conduct charitable activities. Applicants may not be private foundations as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.  

Amount Description

There will be up to one award made for up to $10M in total funding support provided over four years.