Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Research Tools and Methods (R25)

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Issued by

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

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)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)


The NIMH and the following NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), NEI, NIA, NIAAA, NIBIB, NICHD, NIDCD, NIDA, NINDS, and NCCAM, intend to publish a new Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research educational programs (R25). The goal of this BRAIN Initiative R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. The primary focus of the FOA will be on courses for skills development. The FOA will support short, intensive courses that will build the participants’ foundational knowledge and skills in the rigorous use of state-of-the art scientific tools and methods that contribute to, and are developed in response to, the major goals of the BRAIN Initiative. Each short course is expected to include both didactics and in-person/hands-on experiences. This FOA is intended for participants who are graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, and/or early-career faculty.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations, identify program faculty, and create responsive research education programs.

The FOA is expected to be published in January 2015 with an expected application due date in March 2015.

This FOA will utilize the R25 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

There is a growing need for researchers to develop and use new tools and methods in order to expand our insight about how the nervous system functions in health and disease. To address this need, the BRAIN Initiative intends to issue a new FOA with the goal of educating the research workforce about emerging neuroscience research tools and methods.

This FOA will support the development and implementation of short, intensive courses that will prepare participants to expertly use state-of-the-art technologies and prepare to adopt new, transformative tools and methods under development in the major research areas identified for the BRAIN Initiative. By preparing a new, highly expert cohort, this FOA will have additional impact as this cohort collaborates, trains and interacts with other scientists.

Course content must include one or more of the following BRAIN high-priority areas:

  • Tools for cell census, including genetic and non-genetic tools to deliver genes, proteins, and chemicals to cell populations of interest
  • Technologies for anatomic reconstruction of neural circuits that vary in resolution from synapses to the whole brain
  • Tools for neuronal recording, including methods based on electrodes, optics, molecular genetics, and nanoscience
  • Tools for circuit manipulation, including optogenetics, chemogenetics, and biochemical and electromagnetic modulation

This Notice encourages investigators who have expertise in the above-mentioned, BRAIN high-priority areas to consider applying for this new FOA. Investigators should also have strong track records as educators in the scientific area related to the topic of the proposed short course.



Please direct all inquiries to:

Erica Rosemond, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-3107