2020-21 Innovative Research Grants

Deadline: Thursday, February 27, 2020, 11:59pm PST

The Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind (KIBM) solicits proposals for the support of innovative interdisciplinary research during 2020-21. The purpose of the KIBM Innovative Research Grant Program is to foster 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. We are interested in innovative, risky projects from which a high payoff could be obtained. A further goal is to assist in generation of preliminary data that will enable funding from other agencies. Preference will be given to proposals encompassing several disciplines or laboratories and for projects that catalyze new collaborative research. Extensions of ongoing research programs are not likely to be favorably considered.

See our previous Innovative Research Grant Program award recipients.

Application Information and Materials

Call for Proposals/Application Instructions [PDF]
Application Cover Sheet [Word doc]

Online Application Form

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2020/21 cycle. If you have any questions about your submission, please email Janet at jshin@ucsd.edu and reference the proposal number on your email confirmation. Awards will be announced in June 2020.

Proposal REVIEW Criteria

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Novelty. We look for proposals that reflect novel ideas that are not currently being pursued, and for which IRG funding would be catalytic.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Potential for follow-on funding. The IRGs should support work that has the potential, if the initial work is successful, in enabling subsequent funding.
  7. 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 still met.

Please contact Janet at jshin@ucsd.edu or 858-822-2698 with any questions.