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BRAIN Initiative Fellows: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship

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Presenter:

Ashlee Van’t Veer, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science

Goal:

This is a re-issue of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative Fellows: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32) funding opportunity announcement. The purpose of this fellowship is to support promising applicants during their mentored postdoctoral training under the guidance of outstanding faculty sponsors. Applicants for the BRAIN Initiative Fellows F32 program are expected to propose a research project and training plan in a scientific area relevant to one or more of the goals of the BRAIN Initiative, including neuroethics. The F32 Program aims to provide applicants with training using cutting-edge tools, theories, and/or approaches that will prepare them to launch independent research careers in areas that will advance the goals of the BRAIN Initiative.

Rationale:

NIH is one of several federal agencies involved in the BRAIN Initiative. Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision. Educational goals include acquisition of quantitative skills; the appropriate use and integration of newly developed tools, technologies and methods developed under the BRAIN Initiative; and, consideration of the ethical implications of neuroscience research. A special focus is training in quantitative neuroscience, i.e. theory and statistics for biologists, and exposing physicists, engineers and statisticians to experimental neuroscience. The BRAIN 2025 Report strongly encourages scientists to cross traditional areas of expertise to conduct interdisciplinary research and acknowledges the need to attract investigators and faculty recruits to neuroscience from quantitative disciplines, e.g., statistics, computer science, physics, mathematics, and engineering. The BRAIN 2025 Report also emphasizes the need to consider the ethical implications of neuroscience research. In human neuroscience research, unique ethical issues are arising because new neurotechnologies are being employed that affect the human brain. In addition to grounding all neuroscience research training in consideration of ethical issues, it is necessary to invest in training individuals who will be the next generation of leaders in neuroethics research.

This initiative aims to solicit applications from early-stage postdoctorates to acquire mentored research training using cutting-edge tools, theories, and/or approaches in one of the seven high-priority areas of the BRAIN Initiative, including neuroethics. Given the expressed need to bring those trained in quantitative disciplines to neuroscience research, applications from individuals obtaining terminal doctorates in quantitative disciplines are encouraged.