Limited submission opportunity: Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Innovations Award


Vanderbilt (VU and VUMC, collaboratively) may nominate one senior faculty member to submit a letter of intent for the Brain Research Foundation’s 2019 Scientific Innovations Award (SIA). The SIA program provides $150,000 over two years 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 SIA supports 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.


  • The nominee must be a full-time associate professor or full professor working in the area of studies of brain function in health and disease. Research associate professors are ineligible.
  • Current major NIH or other peer-reviewed funding is preferred. Evidence of such funding in the past three years is essential.
  • 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.
  • The PI is ineligible if they have BRF funding that will overlap this grant period. Scientists that have previously received a BRF Scientific Innovations Award may not receive the award for a second time until five years have elapsed since the beginning date of the prior award.
  • Collaboration is allowed, but the application may only list a single PI.

Internal application process

Anyone interested in being considered as Vanderbilt’s nominee must submit the following (in PDF format) to by 5 p.m. on April 19, 2018:

  • Brief summary of program project/research plan (two-page maximum);
  • Statement of support from department chair/center director;
  • CV or NIH Biosketch (five-page maximum)

Submissions should reference the program name in the subject line of the email.

If you have questions about the sponsor or the application process, please contact