Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the BRAIN Initiative: Short Courses in Computational Neuroscience (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 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 this initiative is on courses for skills development. The FOA will support short courses designed to help develop a sophisticated cadre of investigators with the requisite knowledge and skills in computational neuroscience perspectives and techniques that are needed to analyze and interpret complex, high-dimensional neuroscience data. For the purposes of this FOA, computational neuroscience encompasses theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistical perspectives and techniques. 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 with an expected application due date in .

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 elevating the general competencies and strengthening the computational and quantitative neuroscience perspectives and techniques of the relevant research workforce.

Short courses are required to emphasize the applied use of and interpretation of complex, high-dimensional data sets relevant to the BRAIN Initiative such as:

  • Functional and structural neuroimaging (e.g. radiography, MRI, fMRI, MEG, PET, SPECT and DTI)
  • Electrophysiology (e.g. EEG, ECoG, LFP, spike trains)
  • Imaging (e.g. calcium and voltage)
  • Anatomy (e.g. light and electron microscopy)
  • ‘Omics’ data (e.g. genomics, proteomics, epigenomics)
  • Quantifiable behaviors (e.g. motion detection, wearable sensors)

Course content could include one or more of the following topic areas:

  • Theory and practice of studying complex, interconnected circuits with multiple feedback pathways
  • Statistics of coding information in spike trains
  • Non-linear methods of analysis
  • Causal inference
  • Computational models specifically related to the analysis of circuits
  • Multi-scale methods of analysis
  • Informing computational models with experimental data
  • Dimensionality reduction/compression methods
  • Cloud or cluster computing designed to handle large neural datasets
  • Real-time, online analysis of neural data streams
  • Control theory as applied to Brain Computer Interfaces

This Notice encourages investigators who have expertise in the areas of theoretical neuroscience, computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems, and/or statistics as they relate to the major goals of the BRAIN Initiative 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