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 2024 Seed Grant Letter of Intent round will open on September 1st at 3:00 pm. CT.

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 Grant program awards start-up funding for neuroscience research. 

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
Rebekah C. Evans, Ph.D., Georgetown University
In Vivo and Ex Vivo Dissection of Midbrain Neuron Activity During Exercise
Exercise is important for the health of the body and the mind. Exercise promotes learning and reduces symptoms of brain-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it…
Brain Research Foundation
William J. Giardino, Ph.D. Stanford University
Deciphering the Neuropeptide Circuitry of Emotional Arousal in Narcolepsy
This research project aims to investigate the neural mechanisms of a specific type of brain cell called neuropeptide neurons within a region of the brain’s amygdala network called the bed…
Brain Research Foundation
Howard Gritton, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Attention Mechanisms Contributing to Auditory Spatial Processing.
Our world is composed of a rich mixture of sounds. We often process sounds including speech in the presence of many other competing auditory stimuli (e.g., voices in a crowded…
Brain Research Foundation
Nora Kory, Ph.D., Harvard University
Elucidating the Fates and Functions of Lactate in the Brain
The human brain requires significant energy to function. Despite accounting for only 2% of our body weight, the brain consumes a substantial 20% of the body’s energy, relying on a…
Brain Research Foundation
Hojoon Lee, Ph.D., Northwestern University
Deciphering the Neural Circuitry of Nausea
How does the body tell the brain that something is just not right? Nausea is an unpleasant sensation that has likely evolved as a general defense mechanism to signal and…
Brain Research Foundation
Huaijin Ken Leon Loh, Ph.D., Yale University
Synapses in the Periphery: Uncovering Molecular Connections Between Nerves and Organs
Our brain regulates physiologic processes such as blood pressure and heart rate by using the autonomic nervous system to deliver commands to the body’s organs. Although we know a lot…
Brain Research Foundation
Eirene Markenscoff-Papadimitriou, Ph.D., Cornell University
Neuronal Vulnerability to Heterochromatin Dysregulation in Development
Autism affects more than 2% of 8-year-olds in the United States, and we do not understand what the causes are. Many individuals with autism have a mutation in their DNA…
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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