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Scientific Innovation Awards (SIA)

General Information

Program Summary

The Brain Research Foundation has invited the University to nominate one (1) senior faculty member (Associate and Full Professor) to submit a Letter of Intent for the Scientific Innovations Award (SIA). The Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Innovations Award Program provides funding for innovative science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting-edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators.


Schools may submit one (1) application for Penn’s internal competition.


  • Candidate must be a full-time associate professor or full professor at a US academic institution that was invited directly by BRF via email.
  • Working in the area of studies of 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 bridge funding.
  • For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project, unless otherwise noted in the LSO. Please see Penn’s PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible. 

Award Information

A research award of $150,000 (direct costs) for a two-year grant period.

Review Process

Selection Criteria

The University has been invited to nominate 1 faculty member. A committee, established by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR), will determine the final nominees to represent the University. 

OVPR Internal Review Process

Applications must include the following:

  1. Cover Page which includes:
    • Project Title
    • Candidate’s name, academic rank, department, email address, phone number and campus address.    
  2. Research Proposal (maximum 2 pages): that describes the rationale, approach, and timeline for completion.
    • Note: Include closing paragraph that explains how this research will develop (next steps).
  3. A CV (Using NIH format) (maximum 3 pages), which includes educational background, professional appointments, awards and honors. Include all current research support (start-up and external) and pending support, including dollar amounts and start/end dates.
  4. All materials must be submitted in a single pdf document in the above order to
  5. Subject line of the email should be, BRF_SIA_applicant LAST name_ applicant FIRST name.