Request for Information (RFI): Tools and Resources for Research in Neurodevelopment (Neuroscience Blueprint)

Notice Number: NOT-MH-06-114

Updates: The following updates relating to this announcement have been issued:

Key Dates
Release Date: May 31, 2006

Issued by

NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), (
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), (
National Eye Institute (NEI), (
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), (
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), (
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), (
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), (
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), (
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), (
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), (
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), (
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), (
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), (
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), (


This is a time-sensitive RFI directed toward determining how best to accelerate research in developmental neuroscience. Responses to this RFI should be pertinent to the interests of one or more of the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint Institutes listed above. Comments pertaining to normal and/or atypical nervous system development are encouraged.

Neuroscience research is a unifying theme across many NIH Institutes and Centers. The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research was launched in 2004 with 15 participating Institutes and Centers to provide a framework for coordinating research, and developing tools and resources which are broadly useful for advancing neuroscience research ( To this end, the NIH is generating a series of focused initiatives designed to catalyze neuroscience research. In fiscal years 2005 and 2006, the Blueprint supported the creation and distribution of resources that are of broad utility to the entire neuroscience community. In fiscal years 2007-2009 the NIH Blueprint plans to address three specific, cross-cutting themes: neurodegeneration, neurodevelopment, and neuronal plasticity, respectively.

NIH Blueprint Resources Currently Available to the Developmental Neuroscience Community

The NIH Blueprint is presently in its third year, and a variety of tools and resources are already available to the neuroscience community. By pooling resources and expertise, the Blueprint is taking advantage of economies of scale and confronting challenges too large for any single NIH Institute or Center,. This has lead to the creation of research tools and infrastructure that will better serve the neuroscience community. The following websites give an overview of the NIH Blueprint activities already underway, many of which are useful to developmental neuroscientists:

Information Requested

Any aspect of nervous system maturation is of interest to the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint. The study of neural development encompasses many levels of analysis, from molecular to behavioral research. The creation of greater tools and resources will be critical for comprehending normal development and addressing a wide array of nervous system disorders. With this in mind, as part of the initial planning process for blueprint activities related to neurodevelopment, participating NIH Institutes and Centers request responses to the questions below:

1. Considering other ongoing NIH efforts, what specific themes in basic and/or clinical research in neural development would most benefit from an additional focus?

2. Which areas of neurodevelopment research are poised for rapid advancement?

3. What are the major opportunities for, and impediments to, research in neurodevelopment?

4. What are the 2-3 highest priority tools and resources needed to seize these opportunities and overcome these impediments?

5. Would a multidisciplinary focus on a specific neurodevelopmental topic be advantageous? If so, please provide an example. Could such an approach provide a means to understand normal development and treat nervous system disorders?


The NIH Blueprint goal for fiscal year 2008 is to generate novel research tools and resources to rapidly advance the field of neural development. The Blueprint represents a unique means to enhance cooperative activities among the fifteen NIH Institutes and Centers that support research on the nervous system. To that end, the Blueprint encourages visionary ideas that will dramatically stimulate the field developmental neuroscience.

Please send responses to no later than July 21, 2006 (Extended to October 31, 2006 per NOT-MH-06-117).


Specific questions about this Notice may be directed to:

Robert Riddle, Ph.D.
Program Director, Extramural Research Program
Neurogenetics Cluster
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2156, MSC 9525
Bethesda, MD 20892-9525
Telephone: (301) 496-5745
FAX: (301) 402-1501

Beth-Anne Sieber, Ph.D.
Program Director, Developmental Neurobiology Program
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7186, MSC 9641
Bethesda, MD 20892-9641
Telephone: (301) 443-5288
FAX: (301) 402-4740

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