Brain Research Foundation Seed Grant Program -- 2020

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To: School of Medicine Faculty

From: Jon Lindstrom, PhD - Chair, PSOM Limited Applications Committee

Re: Brain Research Foundation (BRF) Seed Grant Program

Deadline: November 7, 2019


The University has been invited to nominate one faculty member to submit a letter of intent for the 2020 Brain Research Foundation (BRF) Seed Grant Program. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) is coordinating the final candidate review and selection process. Each school within the University may put forth one candidate.

The purpose of the 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 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.

Applicants are encouraged to review the Foundation’s guidelines and FAQ on their website at:


Funding and award period:

Each total award is limited to $80,000 (direct costs) for a two-year grant period ($40,000 per year).


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 preferences:

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 ROI 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 grants and indicate if there is any overlap.

4. Note: 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.

PSOM Research Review Process:

Each candidate must submit:

  • Cover page with name, academic rank, department, date of appointment to faculty, contact information: including email address, phone number, title of research proposal;
    • A letter of nomination from Department Chair or Division Chief;
    • A research proposal (no longer than two pages, references are not part of the two page limit);
    • List of current grants, including award amounts;
    • A Biographical sketch (using current NIH format) with other support page (five page maximum)

Submission should be in a single pdf file in the following order: cover page, letter of nomination, research proposal, Biosketch. The pdf document should be titled as follows: BRF__Investigator Surname_Investigator first name. For example: BRF_Doe_Jane. Proposals must be submitted to Connie Weinstein at clw@pennmedicine [at] by 9:00 AM, Thursday, November 7, 2019. Questions can be directed to Connie Weinstein at clw [at] or 215-898-0132.

Please send any questions to clw [at]