Request for Information (RFI): Proposed Funding Priorities for Neuroscience Research, Resources and Tools (NIH Neuroscience Blueprint)

Notice Number: NOT-MH-11-016

Key Dates
Release Date: July 21, 2011
Response Date: September 9, 2011

Issued by
NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
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 Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
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 Request for Information (RFI) soliciting ideas from the neuroscience research community on how best to support or accelerate neuroscience research. Responses to this RFI should be pertinent to the interests of more than one of the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint Institutes listed above.

Neuroscience research is a unifying theme across many NIH Institutes and Centers. The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (NIH Blueprint) was launched in 2004 with 16 participating Institutes and Centers to provide a framework for coordinating research, and developing tools and resources which are broadly useful for advancing neuroscience research ( By pooling resources and expertise, the NIH Blueprint is taking advantage of economies of scale and confronting challenges too large for any single NIH Institute or Center.

NIH Blueprint Resources Currently Available to the Neuroscience Community

The NIH Blueprint is presently in its seventh year, and has funded a variety of tools and resources available to the neuroscience community that are broadly relevant across diseases and participating NIH ICs. The following website gives an overview of the NIH Blueprint activities underway and resources available to neuroscientists:

Information Requested

The NIH Blueprint is considering how best to invest its funds in future fiscal years. For FY2012 and FY2013, it is anticipated that limited funding will be available each year (no more than $4 million) while FY2014 may provide greater flexibility as several NIH Blueprint projects come to an end. Keeping in mind that the NIH Blueprint is interested in ideas that are broadly relevant across diseases and participating ICs, responses are requested to the questions below:

  1. Identify areas of neuroscience research that could be accelerated by the development of specific research resources or tools.
  2. What are the major opportunities for, and impediments to, advancing neuroscience research?
  3. What are the 2-3 highest priority tools or resources needed to capitalize on the scientific opportunities and overcome obstacles to progress in neuroscience research?
  4. Describe how NIH Blueprint might best facilitate the development of these tools/resources.


Responses to this RFI are voluntary and will be kept anonymous. Any identifiers (e.g., names, institutions, e-mail addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled. Only the processed, anonymized results will be shared internally with working groups convened by the NIH Blueprint, as appropriate. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s). The NIH may use the information gathered to develop grant, contract, or other funding initiatives.

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or individual NIH Institutes and Centers. The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.

How to Submit a Response

All comments must be submitted electronically to: Responses to this RFI will be accepted through September 9, 2011. You will receive an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.


Inquiries regarding this Notice may be directed to:

Susan Marino, Ph.D.
NIH Blueprint Executive Secretariat
National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke
31 Center Dr, Room 8A/52 MSC 2540
Bethesda, MD 20892-9641
Telephone: (301) 596-4470