Each year, the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind solicits proposals for the support of innovative
interdisciplinary research. Preference will be given to proposals
from several disciplines or laboratories and for projects that catalyze new
The purpose of the KIBM Innovative Research Program is to catalyze research focused on
ideas that bridge different levels of organization of brain and mind. A goal of this program
is to stimulate testing of hypotheses for which no standard funding stream is available. A
further goal is to assist in generation of preliminary data that will enable funding from
other agencies. Extensions of ongoing research programs are not likely to be favorably
Proposals will be accepted from any of the participating institutions in the Kavli Institute
for Brain and Mind (UCSD, The Neurosciences Institute, and The Salk Institute).
Purposes for which funds may be spent include purchase of equipment, supplies, salary
support, and usage of facilities. Examples include support for a graduate student or partial
support for a postdoctoral fellow, payment for imaging time for fMRI, and purchase of
gene chips for specific experiments.
Amount: Support for up to $30,000 is available. In exceptional cases higher levels of
support may be considered.
To apply, see our Call for Proposals.
See our previous Innovative Research Program Award recipients.
Proposal Ranking Criteria
- Potential to bridge the brain-mind gap. This can occur in several ways, but a common thread for the best proposals is that they involve creative combination of novel techniques (often from different disciplines), attempt to relate mechanisms to behaviors, and cross system levels.
- Interdisciplinarity. A goal of the IRGs has been to facilitate collaborations between groups and labs that might not otherwise work together, on the assumption that such collaborations are often key to making headway on challenging problems.
- Novelty. We look for proposals that reflect novel ideas that are not currently being pursued, and for which IRG funding would be catalytic.
- High risk/high payoff. We do not expect all IRG projects to succeed, because these should be projects that have high risk -so many will fail- but are very interested in proposals which, if successful, could have a significant payoff in terms of advancing our knowledge.
- Not currently fundable. Consistent with #3 and #4, we do not fund projects for which there either exists current funding or a reasonable potential for funding via other mechanisms.
- Potential for follow-on funding. The IRGs should support work that has the potential, if the initial work is successful, in enabling subsequent funding.
- Preference to first-time projects.In the first few years we declined to fund a second round of support for projects that had already received IRG support. However, recognizing that many significant projects may require additional funding, we have relaxed this rule. A key is that the first year's research has yielded sufficient evidence of promise to warrant additional funding, and that criteria 1-6 are stil met.