October 25, 2023
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing neuroscience through the development and application of innovative technologies to map neural circuits, monitor and modulate their activity, and understand how they contribute to thoughts, sensations, emotions, and behavior. To date, large-scale investment of resources and time through BRAIN has made significant progress in deepening the knowledge about the brain circuits that underlie mental health-relevant domains of function such as cognition, learning and memory, and social processing. Given remarkable progress in technology development, the neuroscience community is poised to apply these new technologies, and accumulated knowledge, to further understand these complex systems-level processes and how their dysfunction might be implicated in mental health illnesses. This NOSI encourages studies seeking to apply innovative BRAIN technologies to understand brain functions in the service of cognition, executive function, reward and motivation, social, or affective processing.
Since its inception in 2013, the BRAIN initiative has supported over 500 projects for over $1 billion to develop new technologies and tools to image, stimulate, record, manage data, and analyze complex signals from multiscale brain circuits. The NIH BRAIN initiative is presently at a critical juncture, embarking on its second phase through the recommendations of the BRAIN 2.0 report. After receiving input from the community, the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) and the NIH director regarding opportunities for keeping pace with the evolving scientific landscape, and the ways to identify new opportunities for research and technology development and dissemination, the report The BRAIN Initiative 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures, was endorsed by the ACD and NIH Director. Moving forward NIH will carefully consider how to integrate the findings of The BRAIN Initiative ??????? 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures in future BRAIN Initiative priorities and investments. Thus, the development of new technologies under the BRAIN initiative 2.0 will be critical for the advancement of basic, translation, and clinical neuroscience toward a better understanding of origins, treatment, and ultimately prevention of mental illnesses and other brain disorders.
NIMH has a vested interest in ensuring that BRAIN technologies become rapidly integrated into mental health-relevant research projects. The goal of this NOSI is to express NIMH’s interest in leveraging these developments to understand nervous system function in the service of cognition, social, or affective processing. NIMH encourages the use of network- or cell-type-specific manipulations to causally probe circuit function. Applicants are encouraged to propose research to understand the functioning of brain circuits in healthy subjects as well as translational work.
For the purposes of this NOSI, NIMH is particularly interested in BRAIN tools that allow large, population-scale in vivo recording, imaging, or circuit manipulation during cognitive, social, or affective behavior.
In order to significantly improve our understanding of the neural circuits that subserve cognitive functions, emotion regulation and social affective processes, NIMH is encouraging the submission of applications proposing to use the following types of tools/technologies developed through the BRAIN Initiative:
For a list of BRAIN Initiative technologies and tools that could potentially be applied in NIMH research applications, please see https://braininitiative.nih.gov/funding/funded-awards for a description of funded projects and their associated principal investigators (this NOSI encourages collaborations with BRAIN investigators). For a list of NIMH strategic research priorities, please see https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/strategic-planning-reports/index.shtml
Application and Submission Information
This notice applies to due dates on or after February 5, 2024, and subsequent receipt dates through May 10, 2027.
Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) or any reissues of these announcements through the expiration date of this notice.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the notice of funding opportunity used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:
Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.
Please direct all inquiries to the Scientific/Research, Peer Review, and Financial/Grants Management contacts in Section VII of the listed notice of funding opportunity.