Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: 2021 Brain Research Foundation Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program

Applications due Nov. 19

This is a joint competition for VU and VUMC investigators. All investigators should follow these instructions.


Vanderbilt (VU and VUMC, collaboratively) has the opportunity to nominate one candidate for the Brain Research Foundation Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program for 2021. This award provides $80,000 (direct costs) over two years to support new research projects in the field of neuroscience that will likely lead to extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health or other outside funding sources. The objective of the BRF Seed Grant Program is to support new and innovative neuroscience projects, especially those of junior faculty who are working in new research directions. Funds must be utilized within the grant period.


The primary investigator must be a full-time assistant professor or associate professor working in the area of studies of 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.

Assistant professor – Junior faculty with a new research project that will generate pilot data leading to R01 funding or a comparable outside grant will be first priority. Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grants and indicate if there is any overlap.

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. Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grant(s) and indicate if there is any overlap.

Research assistant professors, research associate professors and full professors are not eligible.

The grant proposal must detail a new research project that is not funded by other sources.

All applicants should verify their eligibility in advance through the foundation website and the program guidelines.

Internal application process

Anyone interested in being considered as Vanderbilt’s potential nominee must submit the following (in PDF format) to by 5 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2020.

  • Brief research plan including summary budget (two-page max. including budget);

– Include closing paragraph that explains how this research will develop (next steps)

Refer to budget guidelines

  • Statement of support from department chair/center director;

– Letter must acknowledge that this grant does not allow indirect costs.** This statement can be used/modified: “The department recognizes that this grant does not allow indirect costs and will commit to covering any associated indirect costs per applicable institutional policy.”

  • NIH Biosketch (five-page max.)

– Biosketch should contain “other support page”

Submissions should reference the program name in the subject line of the email. Vanderbilt’s nominee will submit a required LOI to the foundation by Jan. 5, 2021.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to