Scientific Innovations Award

BRF’s annual Scientific Innovations Award supports creative, cutting edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of distinguished investigators.

Scientific Innovations Award Guidelines

The 2023 Scientific Innovations Award (SIA) will open in early April 2022.

If your institution did not receive an invitation directly from BRF via e-mail, then you are not eligible to apply. To learn more about institutional eligibility and our application guidelines, click below.



If you and your team are on the cusp of making a neurological scientific discovery that will impact society and the medical, scientific or structural approaches taken to brain disease, disorders or development and learning, you could be eligible to apply for our Scientific Innovation Award. 

Below are just some of the innovative scientific studies BRF have funded to date. 

Award Archive

Investigations supported by Scientific Innovations Awards yield high-impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in respected journals.

Brain Research Foundation
Angelique Bordey, Ph.D., Yale University
The Role of Ribosomes in Synaptic Circuit Formation and Socio-Communicative Deficits
Our proposal aims at identifying a molecular mechanism responsible for autism-like socio-communicative defects in the developmental disorder, tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). TSC is a genetic disorder with a 30-60% incidence…
Brain Research Foundation
Adam E. Cohen, Ph.D., Harvard University
To spike or not to spike? Mapping dendritic computations in vivo.
The brain is made of neurons, and neurons convert synaptic inputs to spiking outputs. How does a neuron decide when to spike?
Brain Research Foundation
Gina Turrigiano, Ph.D., Brandeis University
Homeostatic Maintenance of Neocortical Excitation-inhibition Balance by Ciliary Neuropeptidergic Signaling
Brain circuit wiring is adjusted during adolescence to generate fully functional circuits, and this process depends on an interaction between genetics and experience. During this period of experience-dependent development, excitatory…
Brain Research Foundation
Gregory Scherrer, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mechanisms of Affective States and Drug Discovery at the Intersection of Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction
Pain is normally a sensation that we experience when our body is exposed to damaging stimuli, such as the noxious heat of an open flame. However, when chronic, pain becomes…
Brain Research Foundation
Shigeki Watanabe, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Mechanisms Underlying Synaptic Proteostasis
Waste management and sustainability are major challenges humans face in the 21st-century. As you concentrate and think about these issues, nerve cells in your brain must deal with the exact…
Brain Research Foundation
Ilana Witten, Ph.D. Princeton University
A Role for Dopamine During Rest and Sleep in Memory Consolidation
One of the most fundamental functions of the nervous system is to form memories of salient experiences. What neural mechanisms enables some experience to turn into permanent memories, while the…
Brain Research Foundation
Sandeep Robert Datta, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard University
Probing Sensation and Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorder Models
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are characterized by repetitive behaviors and deficits in the core domains of language development and social interactions. While many ASD patients exhibit deficits in sensory processing,…
Apply for a Scientific Innovations Award

Scientific Innovation Awards are $150,000 2-year grants directed at projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources, but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be an associate or full professor working in the field of neuroscience.

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