Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award

The Brain Research Foundation has invited UCI to nominate a senior faculty member (Associate Professor/Ful Professor) for the Scientific Innovations Award (SIA), which provides funding for innovative science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This program is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting-edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators.

The objective of the SIA is to support 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.

This should be a unique project for senior investigators who are encouraged to stretch their imagination into areas that can substantially change an area of research.

Each total award is limited to $150,000 (direct costs) for a two-year grant period. The program does not support indirect costs.

The nominee must be a full-time professor or associate professor working in brain function in health and disease. Current major NIH or other peer-reviewed funding is preferred, but 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 a source of bridge funding. Scientists who 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.

The campus may submit no more than one proposal. Interested applicants are asked to submit a preliminary application to the Office of Research by March 28, 2022, at 11:59PM (via the UCI Review application portal), with the following information:

  • Program project summary (1400 words and no figures allowed; references on separate page)
  • PI’s NIH Style Bio-sketch

If necessary, an ad hoc committee will convene to review the preliminary proposals. If more than one application is submitted from any given school, the Dean may be asked to rank them in order to aid the review committee in their deliberations. The selected PI will be notified in time to meet BRF’s letter of intent deadline at the end of June; full proposals will be by invitation and are due in September.

For the complete BRF 2022 guidelines, including detailed information about the program, please refer to  The 2023 guidelines will be available in early April, but we don’t expect significant changes.

If you have questions regarding this program, or the internal competition, please contact Dr. Michael Gallo, Director of Research Development in the Office of Research (OR), at

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