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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant Program 2020

To:Chairs and Administrators Departments in the Biological Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; School/College Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:October 01, 2019
Subject:Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant Program


Deadline for Internal Review:November 07, 2019

Project Description

The purpose of the Brain Research Foundation’s Annual Seed Grant 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 goal is to have this grant succeed in opening future opportunities for research, collaboration and scientific advancement.

The objective of 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.

Amount per award: $80,000 (direct costs only)
Duration of award: 2 Years – $40,000 per year
Number of awards: 7 in 2018


To be eligible, PI must be a full-time Assistant 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. The grant proposal must detail a new research project that is not funded by other sources.

Funding Specifics:
1.) Funding is to be directed at pilot research projects that are both innovative and will likely lead to successful grant applications to NIH and other public and private funding entities.
2.) 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.
• Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grants and indicate if there is any overlap.
3.) Associate Professor – Faculty who are pursuing new research directions.
• Must explain how the project is a new research direction.
• Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grant(s) and indicate if there is any overlap.
4.) A new technique is not considered a new direction unless it pertains to a different area of study.
5.) Grants are NOT to be used for bridge funding between grants.

UW-Madison is allowed to submit 1 nomination.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, attach a single PDF to an email to:

Please include the following information:

  1. Cover Page including:  Name and academic title of PI, contact information, and title of program project
  2. Brief summary of program project (2 page maximum)
    Include closing paragraph that explains how this research will develop (next steps)
  3. Biographical sketch (using current NIH format) with other support page (5 page maximum)

Sponsor Deadlines

Letters of Intent are due to Brain Research Foundation by January 07, 2020. Applications are due to Brain Research Foundation by March 25, 2020.