Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant Program

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 Annual Seed Grant Program was initiated in 1981. The purpose of the program is to provide start-up monies for new research projects in the field of neuroscience that will likely lead to extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other outside funding sources. The objective of the BRF Seed Grant Program is to support new and innovative projects, especially those of junior faculty, who are working in new research directions. BRF Seed Grant awards are not intended to supplement existing grants.

  • Assistant Professor: Junior faculty with a new research project that will generate pilot data that will lead to RO1 funding or a comparable outside grant will be first priority.
  • Associate Professor: Faculty who are pursuing new research directions. Must explain how the project is a new research direction.

A new technique is not considered a new direction unless it pertains to a different area of study.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 6, 2023

Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: 3:00pm MST November 21, 2023

Sponsor Application Deadline (invitation only): 3:00pm MST March 7, 2024

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (1400 words maximum; word count does not include figures or images): Please include project title and how this research will develop (next steps). References may be included on additional pages.
  • List of Current Grants (no page limit): Please include abstracts, specific aims, and indicate if there is overlap with the proposed project.
  • Biosketch using current NIH format (5 pages maximum): If necessary, you may supply a link to your full list of publications.

To access the online application, visit:


To be eligible, the PI must be a full-time assistant or associate professor working in brain function. 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.

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 Seed Grant may not receive the award for a second time unless all grant requirements from all previous awards are met. Only one PI may apply per application.

Full professors, research assistant professors or research associate professors are ineligible.

Limited Submission Guidelines

CU Boulder is limited to nominating one (1) faculty member to submit a Letter of Intent for this opportunity.

Award Information

Award Amount: $80,000 (direct costs)

Award Term: 2 years