Seed Grants

Founded in 1981, BRF’s Seed Grant Program provides start-up funds for new and innovative research projects that lead to future opportunities, collaboration, and scientific advancement.

Seed Grant Guidelines and Institutional Eligibility

The 2023 Seed Grant Letter of Intent round will open in early October 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.



The BRF seed grants program awards small grants towards funding for neuroscience research. 

Our grant programs differ from a lot of programs out there because we are committed to funding research into all areas of the brain, whether cognitive, neurodegenerative, related to learning and development or diseases. 

You can view some of the studies and research we have funded below. 

Seed Grants Archive

Brain Research Foundation
Lindsay M. De Biase, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
The Role of Microglial Lysosomes in Selective Neuronal Vulnerability
Synapses, the sites of signaling between neurons in the brain, play essential roles in learning, memory, and the health of neurons themselves. An enduring mystery is why some neurons are…
Brain Research Foundation How the Nervous System Constructs Internal Models of the External World
As animals navigate their environments, they construct internal models of the external sensory world and use these models to guide their behavior. This ability to incorporate ongoing sensory stimuli into…
Brain Research Foundation
Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Stanford University
When Neural Circuits Meet Molecular Circuits: Quantitative Genetic Manipulation with Single-cell Consistency
Cells are the building blocks of our bodies. We get sick when the cells “misbehave”. The way modern gene therapies work is to introduce genes, fragments of DNA molecules that…
Brain Research Foundation
Rafiq Huda, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Conducting the Orchestra of Movement—Functional Role of Striatal Astrocytes in Health and Disease
Movement requires coordinated activity across a large brain-wide network. The striatum is a particularly important part of this circuit; it integrates motor-related information from many distinct brain regions to regulate…
Brain Research Foundation
Ethan G. Hughes, Ph.D., University of Colorado
Rethinking Remyelination: The Role of Mature Oligodendrocytes in Remyelination
Can the adult brain regenerate? Finding the answer to this question is an overarching goal of the field of neuroscience.
Brain Research Foundation
Joseph G. Makin, Ph.D., Purdue University
Decoding Speech from Electrocorticography
Losing the ability to speak can be devastating. Sometimes, though, people lose this ability without losing the ability to plan the proper mouth movements for speaking.
Brain Research Foundation
Anna V. Molofsky, M.D.,Ph.D., University of California San Francisco
A Zebrafish Model to Study Microglial-Extracellular Matrix Dynamics During Synapse Development
The connections between nerve cells- called synapses- are essential for all brain functions, including thinking, behavior, and movement. Impaired development of these synaptic connections can contribute to disorders like autism…
Apply for a Seed Grant

To be eligible for this $80,000 two-year grant program, your institution must receive an invitation from Brain Research Foundation to nominate one faculty member to submit a letter of intent. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a full-time assistant or associate professor working in the field of neuroscience.

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