Zimmerman Innovation Awards in Brain Science

Applications closed. Scientific review is underway.

The purpose of these awards is to launch innovative projects that have great potential to advance science and benefit society in ways that have major and lasting impact. Projects that are too risky and early stage to be appropriate for NIH or similar funding mechanisms are strongly favored. The Zimmerman Innovation Awards in Brain Science are not intended to merely allow collection of preliminary data for a grant proposal, but to catalyze progress on a project with a clear long-term intellectual arc to substantial and lasting impact. The Carney Institute will invest up to $100,000 per project for one year, renewable for a second year on a competitive basis. These awards are funded through multiple philanthropic gifts to the Carney Institute. 

All areas of brain science research will be considered. In addition, a pool of funds is available to specifically support projects addressing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). ADRD proposals will be submitted through the same application process and may be reviewed by a separate review panel.

The Zimmerman Innovation Awards in Brain Science are open to all Brown faculty members conducting brain science research at Brown University or its affiliated hospitals. Principal Investigators (PI) must hold a faculty appointment by the anticipated start date of the award. Any basic or translational research project that is within the Carney Institute mission is eligible for consideration. Collaborative interdisciplinary projects with more than one PI are encouraged but not required. A faculty member may not participate as a PI on more than one application responding to this call for Innovation Awards in Brain Science. A faculty member may participate as a PI on only one application and as a Collaborating Investigator on additional applications. Existing award recipients may apply for a second year of funding, or may apply for a new Innovation Award in Brain Science if the existing one will conclude prior to the start of the new award.

Projects involving one or more junior investigators (pre-tenure or, for non-tenure-track faculty, holding a faculty appointment for less than seven years at the time of submission) as PI/co-PI may request a $32,000 supplement. Only a single $32,000 supplement may be requested per proposal, regardless of the number of junior investigator co-PIs involved. The supplement is intended to provide the junior investigator with additional personnel effort on the project, however other uses may be requested. 

The application deadline is September 30, 2021, with an anticipated start date of January 1, 2022. Applications should be submitted through UFunds as a single document in pdf format. 

Questions about the Innovation Awards program should be directed to John Davenport, managing director of the Carney Institute.



Zimmerman Innovation Awards in Brain Science - 2021 Call for Applications

Zimmerman Innovation Awards in Brain Science - 2021 Reviewer Instructions (Internal)

Zimmerman Innovation Awards in Brain Science - 2021 Reviewer Instructions (External)


Prior Results:

2020 Results

2019 Results

2018 Results

2015 Results