Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity.

Program Summary 

Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Innovations Award Program provides funding for innovative science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators.

The objective of the SIA is to support projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in high impact journals. 

Funding is to be directed at projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. This should be a unique project for senior investigators who are encouraged to stretch their imagination into areas that can substantially change an area of research. There is a funding preference for research projects that will likely lead to successful grant applications with NIH and other public and private funding entities.

Studies should be related to either normal human brain development or specifically identified disease states. This includes molecular and clinical neuroscience as well as studies of neural, sensory, motor, cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning in health and disease. The grant proposal must detail a new research project that is not funded by other sources. This grant is not to be used as bridge funding.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MT May 27, 2024

Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: 3:00pm MT June 25, 2024

Sponsor Phase II Application Deadline (invitation only): 3:00pm MT October 8, 2024

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Research Plan (3500 words maximum): Please provide a summary of the project and include a closing paragraph that explains how this research will develop (next steps). References may be included on an additional page.
  • NIH Style Biographical Sketch  
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


The nominated candidate must be a full-time associate professor or full professor working in studies of brain function in health and disease. Current major NIH or other peer-reviewed funding is preferred but evidence of such funding in the past three years is essential. Investigators at institutions that are affiliated with a medical school or university are eligible to apply only through the institution where they hold a full-time faculty position.

Scientists that have previously received a BRF Scientific Innovations Award may not receive the award for a second time until five years has elapsed since the beginning date of the prior award. Grant requirements from all previous awards must be met.

Limited Submission Guidelines

BRF will only accept one letter of intent per institution.

Award Information

Award Amount: $150,000 (direct costs). 100% of SIA funds must be utilized for direct costs.

Award Duration: 2 years