This FOA solicits applications for research projects that seek to understand how circuit activity gives rise to mental experience and behavior using innovative, methodologically-integrated approaches. The goal is to support adventurous projects that can realize a potentially transformative outcome within 5 years. Applications are expected to address circuit function in the context of specific behaviors or neural systems, such as sensation, perception, attention, reasoning, intention, decision-making, emotion, navigation, communication, or homeostasis. Projects should link theory, data analysis, and/or computational approaches to experimental design and should produce predictive models (conceptual or quantitative). Projects should aim to improve the understanding of circuits of the central nervous system by systematically controlling stimuli and/or behavior while actively recording and/or manipulating dynamic patterns of neural activity. Diverse species or experimental systems and a cross-species/comparative approach are welcome and should be chosen based on their power to address the specific question at hand and to reveal generalizable and fundamental neuroscience principles.
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, will show 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 treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders.
NIH is one of several federal agencies involved in the BRAIN Initiative. Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, which details seven high-priority research areas and calls for a sustained federal commitment of $4.5 billion over 12 years. This report can be found at http://braininitiative.nih.gov/. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and other FOAs issued in Fiscal Year 2020 are based on careful consideration by the NIH of the recommendations of the BRAIN 2025 Report, and input from advisory councils supported by the NIH BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group. Videocasts of the NIH BRAIN Multi-council Working Group are available at http://www.braininitiative.nih.gov/about/mcwg.htm.
In addition to the National BRAIN initiative, the NIH continues to have a substantial annual investment in neuroscience research. The Institutes and Centers contributing to the NIH BRAIN Initiative support those research efforts through investigator-initiated applications as well as through specific FOAs. Potential applicants to this FOA are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Program staff if they have any questions about the best FOA for their research.
To enable rapid progress in development of new technologies as well as in theory and data analysis, the BRAIN Initiative encourages collaborations between neurobiologists and scientists from statistics, physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer and information sciences; and NIH welcomes applications from investigators in these disciplines.
Consistent with NOT-OD-20-031, NIH encourages BRAIN Initiative applications from institutions supporting research by investigators who are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27, the most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, and NOT-OD-20-031).
This FOA is related to the Recommendations in Section III. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the Final Report (http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/2025/index.htm) of the BRAIN working group to the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), which was endorsed by the ACD on June 5th, 2014. Specifically, this FOA solicits applications that will address the recommendations on “Maps at Multiple Scales”, “The Brain in Action”, “Demonstrating Causality”, “Identifying Fundamental Principles” and “From BRAIN Initiative to the Brain” (Section III Implementation: Goals, Deliverables, Timelines and Costs, Parts 2 3, 4, 5 and 7) of the Final Report.
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