Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for Embedded Ethicists into BRAIN Initiative Supported Research
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

November 19, 2021

First Available Due Date:
November 24, 2021
Expiration Date:
April 02, 2022

Related Announcements

PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

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 Integrative Health (NCCIH)


The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to  announce the availability of administrative supplements to integrate neuroethics perspectives and approaches into existing BRAIN Initiative supported research.


The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. It is expected that the application of these new tools and technologies will ultimately lead to new ways to identify, treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders.

As one of several federal agencies involved in the BRAIN Initiative, NIH's contributions to the BRAIN initiative were initially guided by "BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision," a strategic plan that detailed seven high-priority research areas. This plan was updated and enhanced in 2019 by: "The BRAIN Initiative 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures" and "The BRAIN Initiative and Neuroethics: Enabling and Enhancing Neuroscience Advances for Society."

The NIH encourages BRAIN Initiative applications from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce (see data at and the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). Such individuals include those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Supplement applications are encouraged from currently funded BRAIN Initiative projects that can readily incorporate core ethical questions associated with research focused on the human brain related to emerging technologies and advancements in research supported by the BRAIN Initiative. The goal of this NOSI is to accelerate the scientific impact of the BRAIN Initiative grants by supporting activities that advance the aims by integrating a grounded neuroethics perspective to the funded project. The intent is that efforts supported through this administrative supplement would be both complementary to and integrative with the transformative, breakthrough neuroscience discoveries supported through the BRAIN Initiative. The requested supplemental component(s) must be within the scope of the original aims.

Examples of relevant activities that integrate neuroethics perspectives may include but are not limited to:

Research Participant Engagement, Special Populations, and Social Implications

  • The ethical implications of access to and use of emerging neurotechnologies and their relationship to informed consent
  • Stakeholder perspectives about monitoring or modulating brain function for purposes of improving our understanding of human brain function and/or reducing illness and disability due to brain diseases and disorders
  • Considerations of cultural differences, treatment/access barriers, and efforts to enhance inclusion in BRAIN Initiative research
  • Research regardiing long-term obligations to patient populations involved wiht BRAIN Initiative novel neurotechnology
  • Studies that empirically consider different perspectives on the distinction between invasive versus non-invasive brain imaging and/or neuromodulation; particularly as those views are similar or different between groups such as participants, researchers, physicians, families, and the broader public view
  • Ethical issues associated with predictive/diagnostic research related to brain disorders

Data collection/storage/sharing and model systems

  • Studies that probe the ethical implications/considerations of both collecting large volumes of brain data and the sharing of such for broader scientific purposes
  • Studies that explore the evolving richness of collected human neural data and considerations such as data ownership, access, de-identification and re-use practices, privacy, and unintended uses
  • Ethical issues unique to research that leverages opportunities with human brain tissue

In each case, the work proposed should advance the aims and be feasible to complete within a one-year timeframe with the funds permitted (see below). Investigators should also consider whether their proposed project might be suitable for independent support through the BRAIN Initiative Neuroethics RFA-MH-21-205

Description of circumstances for which administrative supplements are available.

Application and Submission Information

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunity or its subsequent reissued equivalent.

  • PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-20-272 must be followed, with the following additions:

  • Application Due Date(s) – NIMH will accept and review administrative supplement applications in response to this announcement on a continuous basis until April 1, 2022, by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization. All supplement applications must be received by April 1, 2022 and any applications submitted after that date will not be accepted.
  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-MH-22-040” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.
  • Requests may be for one year of support only.
  • The parent award must be active when the supplement application is submitted (e.g., within the originally reviewed and approved project period).
  • The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 6 pages.
  • Only existing awardees of the NIH BRAIN Initiative are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the program contact at the Institute supporting the parent award that a request has been submitted in response to this FOA in order to facilitate efficient processing of the request.
  • Individual requests can be no more than $100,000 in direct costs exclusive of Facilities and Administrative costs on sub-contracts and may be for one year only.


Please direct all inquiries to:

James Churchill
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-3621