(CLOSED) Brain Research Foundation: 2023 Seed Grant Program

Sponsor Name: 
Brain Research Foundation
Description of the Award: 

Brain Research Foundation (BRF) has invited Penn State to nominate one faculty member (Assistant or Associate Professor) to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the BRF Seed Grant Program.

Brain Research Foundation’s Annual Seed Grant Program was initiated in 1981. The purpose of our 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.

Objectives: The objective of the 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.

Funding and award period: Each total grant is limited to $80,000 (direct costs) for a two year grant period. The first grant payment of $40,000 will be made upon completion of the Seed Grant Acceptance Form (June 2023). The final payment of $40,000 will be made contingent upon receipt of a Preliminary Progress and Financial Report (June 2024). Funds must be utilized within the grant period.

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.) Seed Grants are NOT to be used for bridge funding between grants.

This opportunity only covers direct costs. Costs include:

  • Purchase and care of laboratory animals
  • Small pieces of laboratory equipment, totaling $5,000 or less
  • Laboratory supplies
  • Salary for scientific (including postdoctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians)
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Dec 23, 2022
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Mar 28, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_BRF Seed Grant_2023) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  • Brief summary of program project (1,400 word maximum, 10 pt. font minimum, References may be included on an additional page(s))
    • Include closing paragraph that explains how this research will develop (next steps)
  • List of current grants (include abstracts, specific aims, and indicate if there is any overlap)
  • Biographical sketch (using current NIH format) with other support page (5 page maximum)
    • Due to limited space, you can supply a link to your full list of publications
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

The Office of Foundation Relations is available to consult on proposal narrative elements and answer other foundation-related questions. Penn State College of Medicine applicants should please contact Brady Lucas, Assistant Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, (blucas1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu) for additional support. University Park and Commonwealth Campus applicants should please contact Sophie Penney, Director, Foundation Relations (swp2@psu.edu) for additional support.