Internal Deadline
Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/5/2023

Scientific Innovations Award (SIA)

Brain Research Foundation is inviting eligible US academic institutions to nominate one senior faculty member (Associate and Full Professor) to submit a Letter of Intent for the Scientific Innovations Award (SIA). Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Innovations Award Program provides funding for innovative science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators.

Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee will review the SIA proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Foundation. The Committee consists of senior scientists broadly representing the various neuroscience-related programs. A representative of Brain Research Foundation is also present when the Committee meets. 

The objective of the SIA is to support projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in high impact journals.

BRF will only accept one LOI per institution.


  • Duke Internal Deadline: May 23, 2023
  • Letter of Intent: June 22, 2023
  • Invited Applications: Oct. 10, 2023

Full Guidelines:

Eligibility Requirements

The nominated candidate must be a full-time associate professor or full professor at a US academic institution that was invited directly by BRF via email, working in the area of studies of brain function in health and disease. Current major NIH or other peer-reviewed funding is preferred but evidence of such funding in the past three years is essential. Studies should be related to either normal human brain development or specifically identified disease states. This includes molecular and clinical neuroscience as well as studies of neural, sensory, motor, cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning in health and disease. The grant proposal must detail a new research project that is not funded by other sources. This grant is not to be used as bridge funding.

Investigators at institutions that are affiliated with a medical school or university are eligible to apply only through the institution where they hold a full-time faculty position.


1.) PI is ineligible if they are not a full-time faculty member at the institution in which they are applying under.

2.) PI is ineligible if they are an assistant professor or professor emeritus.  

3.) PI is ineligible if they are a research associate professor.

4.) PI is ineligible to submit more than one BRF SIA proposal in a funding period.

5.) PI is ineligible if they have BRF funding that will overlap this grant period.

6.) PI is ineligible if they have been awarded prior BRF funding, but have failed to submit scientific and financial reports at the end of their grant period.

7.) PI is ineligible if they are a member of the BRF Scientific Review Committee. 8.) PI is ineligible if they are a relative of BRF a representative, including the SRC, as defined by the Foundation. 

Amount Description

Each total award is limited to $150,000 (direct costs) for a two year grant period. Exact dates will be provided by the BRF upon application approval. The first grant payment of $75,000 will be made upon completion of the SIA Acceptance Form. The final payment of $75,000 will be made contingent upon receipt of a Preliminary Progress and Financial Report. Funds must be utilized within the grant period.

Duke Awardees
2016 Scientific Innovations Award Fan Wang, Ph.D. Department of Neurobiology - Unravel the Neuronal Pathways Underlying Anesthesia-Induced Loss of Consciousness
Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

1. Cover page
    -Name and academic title of PI
    -Contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, fax number, and email address
    -Title of program project

2. Brief summary of program project (2 page maximum, 10 pt. font minimum)

Include closing paragraph that explains how this research will develop(next steps)

3. Biographical sketch with other support page (5 page maximum)

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code: ILN)

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:


Funding Type