Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program

The Brain Research Foundation has invited eligible US institutions to nominate one faculty member (Assistant or Associate Professor) to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program. 

Brain Research Foundation’s Annual Seed Grant Program was initiated in 1981. The purpose of our 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. 

Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee will review the seed grant proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Foundation. The Committee consists of senior scientists broadly representing the various neuroscience-related programs. A representative of the Brain Research Foundation is also present when the Committee meets. 


The objective of the 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. 

Funding Specifics

  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 RO1 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 the current grant(s) and indicate if there is any overlap.
  4. A new technique is not considered a new direction unless it pertains to a different area of study. 
  5. Grants are NOT to be used for bridge funding between grants. 

Allowable Costs
100% of BRF Seed Grant funds must be utilized for direct costs.

These costs may include:

  • Purchase and care of lab animals
  • Small pieces of lab equipment, totaling $5,000 or less
  • Lab supplies
  • Salary for scientific (including postdoctoral fellows) and technical staff (including lab techs)

These costs may not include:

  • Facilities and administrative costs
  • Salary recovery for the PI
  • Domestic and foreign travel
  • Conference or seminar fees
  • Personal computers, computer hardware or software
  • Large lab equipment 
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Indirect costs, including university fees associated with salary (including fringe benefits), equipment, etc.
  • Charges or other costs that support the infrastructure an institution provides researchers
Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

$80,000 ($40,000/yr X 2 yrs)


To   be   eligible, PI must be a full-time Assistant or Associate Professor at an invited US academic institution, 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. This grant is not to be used as bridge funding.

Investigators at institutions that are affiliated with a medical school or university are eligible to apply only through the institution where they hold a full-time faculty position.

Scientists that have previously received a BRF Seed Grant may not receive the award for a second time unless all grant requirements from all previous awards are met. Only one PI may apply per application. 


  1. PI is ineligible if they are not a full-time faculty member at the institution under which they are applying
  2. PI is ineligible if they are a full professor
  3. PI is ineligible if they are a research assistant professor or research associate professor
  4. PI is ineligible to submit more than one BRF Seed Grant proposal in a funding period
  5. PI is ineligible if they have BRF funding that will overlap with this grant period
  6. PI is ineligible if they have been awarded prior BRF funding, but have failed to submit progress and financial reports at the end of their grant period
  7. PI is ineligible if they are a member of the BRF Scientific Review Committee
  8. PI is ineligible if they are a relative of BRF or representative, including the SRC, as defined by the foundation

Nondiscrimination Statement
Brain Research Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, color, ethnic origin, or age. 

Submission Process

Step 1:

In ONE PDF, please provide:

  1. A cover sheet with:
    • PI Name
    • PI Department/Division and School/College
    • Project Title
    • Summary of Project, no longer than one page, with 12-point font and one-inch margins
  2. Federal-grant-style Biosketch (usually NIH or NSF)

Please send these documents as a single PDF to limitedsubmission@case.edu by November 8, 2019.

Step 2:

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by November 15, 2019.

Step 3:

The final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by December 31, 2019, at 5:00 pm EST.

Step 4:

The final proposal must be received by the sponsor by January 7, 2020, at 5:00 pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
11/08/2019 11/15/2019 12/31/2019 01/07/2020 CLOSED