NEA Sound Health Network

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

Program Summary

The Sound Health program seeks to expand public understanding of the connections between music and wellness: how music is processed by the brain, how music can impact development and learning, and the therapeutic use of music for specific health conditions. Launched in 2016, Sound Health is a partnership between the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (“Kennedy Center”), in association with the National Endowment for the Arts (“Arts Endowment”) (individually known as “Partner” and collectively known as “the Partnership”).

It has become clear that greater organizational capacity is needed to create and sustain a trans-disciplinary network of researchers and practitioners to promote knowledge about music’s role in brain development and health and wellness across the lifespan. In response to this need, the Arts Endowment will establish the Sound Health Network to connect relevant subject matter experts (individuals and organizations) and other appropriate entities together in order to leverage and inform each other’s work. The Sound Health Network will identify and distribute compelling research, news, and information across to the public; it will regularly convene Sound Health Network participants with audiences and stakeholders who can benefit directly from this knowledge; and it will provide technical and logistical support for collaborations that may occur between participants within the Sound Health Network. Longer-term, the Sound Health Network also will consider the feasibility of exploring how other art forms, in addition to music, may connect with brain and wellness issues.

The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization (the “Cooperator”) to coordinate the Sound Health Network.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST September 23, 2019

Sponsor Application Deadline: 9:59pm MST November 19, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (2-3 pages maximum): Please include an overview of the project activities, planning and implementation dates, and the team’s experience coordinating similar or related projects dealing with brain research, music and wellness.
  • Brief Bios for Key Personnel (2 pages maximum)
  • 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 official applicant must be 1) a U.S. institution of higher education, or 2) a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organization with their core components having a focus in healthcare research, policy, or administration.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization may submit only one proposal under this program solicitation.

Award Information

Award Amount: $300,000

Review Criteria

The artistic excellence of the planned project activities, specifically the:

  • Degree to which the proposal demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the project’srequirements.
  • Ability to identify established and emerging practices in the fields of brain research, music, cognition, health, andwellness.
  • Quality of the products and services that the project willinvolve.

The artistic merit of the planned project activities, specifically the:

  • Degree to which the project correlates to the applicant’s mission andprograms.
  • Applicant’s experience coordinating similar or relatedprojects.
  • Clarity of the project activities, including strategies to successfully meet short- and long-term projectgoals.
  • Ability to carry out the project based upon factors such as the budget, a realistic timeline to complete the project, the applicant’s ability to raise non-Arts Endowment funds to complete the project, and the resources or partners involved.