BRAIN Initiative: Technology Sharing and Propagation (R03)

BRAIN Initiative: Technology Sharing and Propagation (R03)
Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) InitiativeSM is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. It is expected that the application of these new tools and technologies will ultimately lead to new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders.

NIH is one of several federal agencies involved in the BRAIN Initiative. Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN Initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, “BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision,” which details seven high-priority research areas and calls for a sustained federal commitment of $4.5 billion over 12 years. This FOA and other BRAIN Initiative FOAs are based on careful consideration by the NIH of the recommendations of the BRAIN 2025 Report, and input from the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group (MCWG, Roster).  Information about MCWG meetings is available at

In addition to the national BRAIN Initiative, the NIH continues to have a substantial annual investment in neuroscience research. The Institutes and Centers contributing to the NIH BRAIN Initiative support those research efforts through applications received via parent announcements as well as through specific FOAs. Potential applicants to this FOA are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research Contact if they have any questions about the best FOA for their research.

To promote progress in development of new technologies as well as in theory and data analysis, the BRAIN Initiative encourages collaborations between neurobiologists and researchers with expertise in statistics, physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science, and NIH welcomes applications from investigators in these disciplines.

Research Objectives

This FOA seeks applications from investigators who can identify new technologies which, if introduced into their laboratory, will enable or promote new research activities that further the aims of the BRAIN initiative as described in the BRAIN 2025 Report.  Injection of these new technologies, whether experimental, theoretical or data analytical, into the applicant’s research program must newly enable experimentation in areas that are relevant to the NIH BRAIN Initiative.  Projects that are successful will result in a publication or other concrete deliverable that will allow the awardee to apply that technology or method in future research, and thus enhance research infrastructure.  This FOA is meant to support work on a particular research project that will illustrate that the technology has been mastered by the receiving laboratory.

NIH also supports dissemination activities between tool developers and the research community in other ways such as the dissemination activities of the BD2K Centers, the collaboration, service, and dissemination activities of the Biomedical Technology Research Resources and various NIH Career Development Awards.  This funding opportunity is distinct in its focus on the dissemination of tools related to the goals of the BRAIN Initiative.

The primary intent of this FOA is to inject technology into a particular laboratory that does not have experience with that technology, with the potential for sustained enhancement of the research conducted by that laboratory.  In some cases, effort may be needed by the developer of the technology to fit the needs of the recipient laboratory.  Such collaborations are welcome since a major purpose of the BRAIN Initiative is to support the development of new tools.  Although the new technology is transferred to a single research group, subsequent dissemination to other groups, performing research related to the aims of the BRAIN initiative, is welcomed.  While it is not required that the awardee have plans to re-distribute their newly gained expertise, groups with the intent and capability to more broadly disseminate their new expertise should briefly describe their plans.

Examples of supported activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Sending a faculty member, graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or technical staff to a company or academic laboratory that has developed a new technology, to collaborate on applying the technology to a problem of interest to the BRAIN initiative.
  • Bringing a member of a company or academic laboratory with a new technology to a research laboratory to establish or train members of the awardee laboratory, in applying the new tool in the context of a specific research project.
  • Establishing a collaboration whereby experts in theory, modeling, computer science, or statistics (TMCS) can introduce newly developed data analytics into the research program of the recipient laboratory. Such collaborations are likely to be most valuable early in the design of an experiment.  As with the tool development examples, the TMCS expert could either host a member of the academic laboratory or could visit that laboratory to disseminate expertise.

General Information

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-MH-16-725
Funding Opportunity Title: BRAIN Initiative: Technology Sharing and Propagation (R03)
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Education
Income Security and Social Services
Category Explanation:
Expected Number of Awards: 10
CFDA Number(s): 93.173 — Research Related to Deafness and Communication Disorders
93.213 — Research and Training in Complementary and Integrative Health
93.242 — Mental Health Research Grants
93.273 — Alcohol Research Programs
93.279 — Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs
93.286 — Discovery and Applied Research for Technological Innovations to Improve Human Health
93.853 — Extramural Research Programs in the Neurosciences and Neurological Disorders
93.865 — Child Health and Human Development Extramural Research
93.866 — Aging Research
93.867 — Vision Research
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

Posted Date:Aug 24, 2015

Creation Date:Aug 24, 2015

Original Closing Date for Applications:Jan 6, 2016

  Current Closing Date for Applications:Jan 6, 2016  

Archive Date:Feb 6, 2016

Estimated Total Program Funding:$1,000,000

Award Ceiling:$100,000

Award Floor:


Eligible Applicants:
Special district governments
City or township governments
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
State governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Small businesses
County governments
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Private institutions of higher education
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
For profit organizations other than small businesses
Additional Information on Eligibility: Other Eligible Applicants include the following: Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions; Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISISs); Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government; Faith-based or Community-based Organizations; Hispanic-serving Institutions; Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized); Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations); Regional Organizations; Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs) ; U.S. Territory or Possession.

Additional Information

Agency Name: National Institutes of Health
Description: The purpose of this Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage the transfer of new technologies and new data analysis techniques into a research laboratory. One of the key goals of the BRAIN Initiative is to develop new technologies to improve our understanding of the brain. In order for those technologies to be useful, they need to be broadly disseminated beyond the laboratory or company where they originated. This FOA promotes this goal by providing funds to enable the incorporation of new technologies or data analysis techniques into research programs that further the aims of the BRAIN initiative.
Link to Additional Information: