Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The BRAIN Initiative® and the NIDCD

The Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.

Funded Awards in NIDCD Mission Areas

A primary aim of the BRAIN Initiative is building tools—including computational tools—and knowledge resources for understanding how neural circuits function. A number of these tools and resources are broadly applicable across diverse fields of research, including NIDCD-related mission areas.

John Ngai, Ph.D., BRAIN Initiative director, explains: “The scientific mission areas of the NIDCD—spanning speech and language, auditory and vestibular function, and chemosensation—provide not only fertile ground for understanding the molecular, cellular, and circuit basis of behavior, but also great inspiration and opportunity for developing new tools and therapies that can be generalized across diverse areas of neuroscience."

Between 2013 and 2020, the BRAIN Initiative awarded approximately 110 grants—totaling more than $400 million—in research related to NIDCD mission areas. Many awards involve current and former NIDCD grantees. This investment has led to transformative technologies that have accelerated the pace of discovery. For example, BRAIN investigators have programmed a voice synthesizer to mimic natural speech based on human brain signals (U01NS098971); visualized neuronal activity in the olfactory epithelium of animal models in response to odorants (U01NS094296, UF1NS108213, R01DC013553); made advances toward developing an intracranial auditory nerve implant similar to the cochlear implant (UG3NS107688); and developed an innovative device to treat certain forms of tinnitus (RF1MH114244).

Learn more about funded awards in NIDCD mission areas:

Funding Opportunities

BRAIN Initiative grantees range from trainees to early-stage investigators to well-established researchers. While the initiative largely focuses on collaborative, multidisciplinary science, it supports an array of program-specific (e.g., understanding circuits) funding mechanisms, including single-investigator awards, training and small business grants, supplements to existing awards, and pathway to independence grants for those transitioning from postdoctoral to faculty positions.

You may search for current funding opportunities.

Watch a recording of our April 2022 virtual seminar, Demystifying the BRAIN Initiative Program: Guidance to Potential NIDCD Applicants.

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

The NIH BRAIN Initiative includes a new component in most funding opportunities requiring that applications include a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP) in the proposed research (please see NOT-MH-21-310). A PEDP is a summary of strategies to advance the scientific and technical merit of the proposed project through inclusivity. Broadly, diverse perspectives refer to the people who do the research, the places where research is done, and the people who participate in the research as part of the study population. The PEDP is submitted as a 1-page “Other Attachment” to be included in grant applications submitted in response to specified funding opportunities. For more information on the PEDP, please see the Frequently Asked Questions and the Key Elements and Examples.

NIDCD BRAIN Initiative Contacts

BRAIN Initiative Resources


Last Updated Date: