Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS) Innovative Approaches to Science and Engineering Research on Brain Function

Notice Number: NOT-MH-18-054

Key Dates
Release Date:October 9, 2018

Related Announcements

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)

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 Integrative Health (NCCIH)


Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

  • November 27, 2018 Deadline for FY 2019 competition
  • November 25, 2019 Deadline for FY 2020 competition
This Notice announces the reissue of a joint initiative, Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS), among six National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorates and Offices (DOs), and nine participating National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers (ICs).

The CRCNS announcement is released under NSF 18-591 . This announcement supersedes NSF 18-501 NSF: Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS) Innovative Approaches to Science and Engineering Research on Brain Function. At NIH, CRCNS is affiliated with the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research ( ).

Computational neuroscience provides a theoretical foundation and a rich set of technical approaches for understanding complex neurobiological systems, building on the theory, methods, and findings of computer science, neuroscience, and numerous other disciplines.

Through the CRCNS program, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium f r Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR), the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and the State Research Agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigaci n, AEI) and National Institute of Health Carlos III (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, ISCIII), both of Spain, support collaborative activities that will advance the understanding of nervous system structure and function, mechanisms underlying nervous system disorders, and computational strategies used by the nervous system.

Two classes of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation:

Research Proposals describing collaborative research projects, and

Data Sharing Proposals to enable sharing of data and other resources.

Domestic and international projects will be considered. As detailed in the solicitation, international components of collaborative projects may be funded in parallel by the participating agencies. Specific CRCNS opportunities for parallel funding are available for bilateral US-German Research Proposals, US-German Data Sharing Proposals, US-French Research Proposals, US-French Data Sharing Proposals, US-Israeli Research Proposals, US-Israeli Data Sharing Proposals, US-Japanese Research Proposals, US-Japanese Data Sharing Proposals, US-Spanish Research Proposals, US-Spanish Data Sharing Proposals, and multilateral proposals involving the United States and two or more CRCNS partner countries (please see Section VIII of the solicitation for country-specific instructions and limitations).

Appropriate scientific areas of investigations may be related to the interests of any of the participating funding organizations. Questions concerning a particular project's focus, direction, and relevance to a participating funding organization should be addressed to the appropriate person in the list of agency contacts found in Section VIII of the solicitation.

NSF will coordinate and manage the review of proposals jointly with participating domestic and foreign funding organizations, through a joint panel review process used by all participating funders. Additional information is available in Section VI of the solicitation.

Applications submitted in response to this solicitation may not duplicate or be substantially similar to other applications concurrently under consideration by other programs or study sections across agencies, including those in response to NIH investigator-initiated parent FOAs or NIH BRAIN Initiative FOAs. Duplicate or substantially similar applications will be returned without review.

Award Information

As in previous years, it is anticipated that a minimum of $5 million will be available each year for this competition, with potentially $15 to $20 million annually, depending on the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Award sizes for Research Projects (both domestic and international) are expected to range from approximately $100,000 to $250,000 per year in direct costs, with durations of three to five years. Many awards will be on the smaller end of this range. Proposers are strongly discouraged from requesting larger budgets than are necessary for the activities being proposed. Investigators contemplating four- or five-year projects are advised to discuss their project requirements with the appropriate agency contact(s) before submitting. The expected range of award sizes applies to the combined direct costs, expressed in US Dollars, of all components of a collaborative project for which funding is being sought from participating funders, including components inside and outside of the United States. The expected range of award sizes does not include the costs of foreign travel to international partnering institutions. International travel costs can be expected to vary depending on the countries and specific proposed activities and could result in combined direct costs that exceed the expected range.

Awards for Data Sharing Projects will be scaled according to the needs of the project; typically, they will be smaller in size than research awards. Investigators are encouraged to discuss their project requirements with the CRCNS Program Coordinator - NSF before submitting.

Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size and duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Upon conclusion of the review process, meritorious research proposals may be recommended for funding by one or more of the participating funding organizations, at the option of the funders, not the proposer. Subsequent grant administration procedures will be in accordance with the individual policies of the awarding agency.

Further information about agency processes and agency-specific award information is provided in Section VI.B. and Section VIII of this solicitation.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 2

In response to this solicitation, an investigator may participate as PI or co-PI in no more than two proposals per review cycle. In the event that a PI or co-PI does appear in either of these roles on more than two proposals, all proposals that include that person as a PI or co-PI will be returned without review. This limit applies to all PIs and co-PIs, based inside or outside of the United States.

Additional Eligibility Info:

Proposal Limit: Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation may not duplicate or be substantially similar to other proposals concurrently under consideration by other programs or study sections of the participating agencies. Duplicate or substantially similar proposals will be returned without review.

Budgetary Information
Cost Sharing:

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

Foreign organizations that do not have a current U.S. federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s) are limited to a de minimis indirect cost rate recovery of 10% of modified total direct costs. Foreign grantees that have a U.S. federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s) may recover indirect costs at the current negotiated rate.

Other Budgetary Limitations:

Budgets should include travel funds for the PI to attend an annual CRCNS Principal Investigators' meeting

NIH Process
For those proposals that are selected for potential funding by participating NIH Institutes or Centers, the PI will be required to resubmit the proposal in an NIH-approved format directly to the Center for Scientific Review ( ) of the NIH. PIs invited to resubmit to NIH will receive further information on resubmission procedures from NIH. An applicant will not be allowed to increase the proposed budget or change the scientific content of the application in the resubmission to the NIH. NIH budgets may not exceed $250,000 in direct costs, and the total direct costs requested for the all years may not exceed the total requested on the NSF application. However, in some cases, NIH Institutes may request that the budget request be reallocated across the years of the grant to conform to NIH modular budget practices. Indirect costs on any foreign subawards/subcontracts will be limited to eight (8) percent. Applicants will be expected to utilize the Multiple Principal Investigator option at the NIH ( ) as appropriate. These NIH applications will be entered into the NIH IMPAC II system. The results of the review will be presented to the involved Institutes' or Centers' National Advisory Councils for the second level of review. Subsequent to the Council reviews, NIH Institutes and Centers will make their funding determinations and selected awards will be made. Subsequent grant administration procedures for NIH awardees, including those related to New and Early Stage Investigators ( ), will be in accordance with the policies of NIH. Applications selected for NIH funding will use the NIH R01 funding mechanism.

At the end of the project period, renewal applications for projects funded by the NIH are expected to be submitted directly to the NIH as Renewal Applications, rather than as proposals to the CRCNS program. Principal Investigators should contact their NIH Program Officer for additional information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged. Please see the NSF program announcement for names and contact information for each of the participating NSF DOs and/or NIH ICs at