Request for Information on the Proposal for Updating the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Plan

Notice Number: NOT-NS-19-041

Key Dates
Release Date: March 28, 2019
Response Date: May 15, 2019

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This Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit input on potential strategies for updating the goals set forth in BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision( to keep pace with the advancing science supported by this bold research initiative. These draft findings reflect a wide array of stakeholder input solicited by the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD). NIH is soliciting input from all interested stakeholders, including members of the scientific community, the private sector, health professionals, professional societies, advocacy groups, patient communities, and other interested members of the public.


The BRAIN Initiative is a trans-agency effort with public and private partners started in 2014 with the goal of understanding how the brain works. The NIH has been guided thus far by BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, which outlined a set of findings for consideration by the NIH ACD based on scientific input from the community. This document describes the overarching vision, scientific priority areas, and specific goals for the BRAIN Initiative that NIH has used to guide its investments. In the last five years, NIH has implemented the recommendations from this document and issued multiple Funding Opportunity Announcements aimed at reaching these goals. From these awards, the scientific community has made much progress in identifying and manipulating neural circuits using newly developed neurotechnologies (see This scientific progress necessitates, as the original Working Group of the ACD anticipated, revisiting the BRAIN 2025recommendations and updating the prospective implementation of the BRAIN Initiative accordingly.

In 2018 NIH established both a new BRAIN Initiative Working Group of the ACD ( and a BRAIN Initiative Neuroethics Subgroup ( to review recent scientific progress and propose updates to the BRAIN Initiative scientific and neuroethical strategic plans for the ACD’s consideration. The Working Group has hosted multiple public workshops, town halls, and a previous RFI ( to obtain feedback on the progress and future of the BRAIN Initiative.

Using this information, the Working Group of the ACD is sharing its initial findings for the next stage of the BRAIN Initiative (From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures,found here: This draft is now open for public comment via this RFI. The BRAIN Initiative Working Group of the ACD will use the responses received through this RFI to revise their findings as appropriate before transmitting the final document for ACD consideration in June 2019.

Information Requested

Please submit feedback related to the following themes of the proposed document:

  • Scientific research priorities of the BRAIN Initiative
  • Approaches to training and tool dissemination by the BRAIN Initiative
  • Considerations for data sharing within the BRAIN Initiative
  • Integration of neuroethics into the BRAIN Initiative
  • Any other feedback relevant to From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures

How to Submit a Response

To ensure consideration, your responses must be received by May 15, 2019. Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically using the web-based form at or via email to with "BRAIN RFI" in the subject line.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Individual feedback will not be provided to any responder. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. This Request for Information (RFI) is for planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the United States (U.S.) Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for the preparation of any comment submitted or for its use of that comment.


Please direct all inquiries to: