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

Key Dates

Release Date:
September 30, 2020

Related Announcements

NOT-MH-24-140 - Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS) NSF Innovative Approaches to Science and Engineering Research on Brain Function.



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):

  • December 10, 2020; Deadline for FY 2021 competition
  • November 23, 2021; Deadline for FY 2022 competition
  • November 22, 2022; Deadline for FY 2023 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), nine participating National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers (ICs), and Department of Energy (DOE).

The CRCNS announcement is released under NSF 20-609. This announcement supersedes NSF 18-591: 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 U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Department of Energy (DOE); 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 Spain’s State Research Agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigaci n, AEI) and National Institute of Health Carlos III (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, ISCIII) 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 (see Section VIII of the solicitation for country-specific limitations). Collaborating PIs from outside of the United States are referred to Section VIII of the solicitation for further instructions about applying to the appropriate partner funding agency. 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. Community-driven efforts such as workshops or synthesis papers are also encouraged, to map out new frontiers at the interface of neuroscience and other disciplines that could reshape brain research and its applications.

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 Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) or NIH BRAIN Initiative FOAs. Duplicate or substantially similar applications will not be reviewed.

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. CRCNS award sizes have typically ranged from approximately $100,000 to $250,000 per year in combined direct costs (summed over all CRCNS-funded components of the project, inside and outside of the United States), with durations of three to five years. This range is offered as a guide to help proposers understand what has historically been funded. Proposers contemplating multilateral projects with higher budget requirements are advised to consult in advance with the CRCNS Program Coordinator-NSF. Additional agency-specific limitations, including maximum award budgets and durations, are provided in Section VIII of this solicitation. Please carefully review the limitations that apply to all potential funders of your project. 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. Unaffiliated individuals are not eligible to submit proposals in response to this solicitation.

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, none of the proposals that include that person as a PI or co-PI will be reviewed. This limit applies to all PIs and co-PIs, based inside or outside of the United States.

Additional Eligibility Info:

U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories are eligible to submit proposals in response to this solicitation. Other Federal Agencies and FFRDCs are referred to PAPPG Chapter I.E. for guidance.

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 not be reviewed.

Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing Requirements:

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

Not Applicable

Other Budgetary Limitations:

Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

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 notified of the opportunity to submit 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. For informational purposes, NIH Principal Investigators may wish to consult the NIAID website, "Apply for a Grant," which provides excellent generic information about all aspects of NIH grantsmanship, including Renewal Applications (


Please direct all inquiries to:

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

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