Simons Foundation Seeks Proposals for New Neuroscience Collaborations

The brain holds some of science’s greatest mysteries. Today, the Simons Foundation is sending out a call for proposed neuroscience collaborations that will conduct bold transformational research into how our brains work.

The foundation is committing $250 million over the next 10 years to fund new neuroscience collaborations. The collaborations will focus on cutting-edge idea-generating research that focuses on basic principles of brain function. The foundation is particularly interested in research overlooked or deemed too risky by other funding organizations.

“Understanding the brain is one of the great open-ended challenges of science,” says David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation. “What we are trying to do with these new collaborations is encourage neuroscientists to take big risks and address the most important questions in the field.”

The new collaborations will follow in the footsteps of two existing neuroscience collaborations funded by the Simons Foundation: the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB), launched in 2014, and the Simons Collaboration on Plasticity and the Aging Brain (SCPAB), established in 2020. Both collaborations have spurred meaningful advancements in our understanding of brain processes.

Researchers with an idea for any such innovative collaboration should submit a vision statement by March 8, 2023. Such submissions should outline the big idea and related hypotheses the proposed collaboration will address, including high-level overviews of the methods and approaches that will be used.

The foundation will prioritize cross-disciplinary collaborations integrating many levels of analysis, methodologies, ways of thinking and scientific communities. The collaborations should encourage conversations within and across fields while bringing together diverse groups of researchers to investigate important questions about the basic principles of brain function. Investigators in a Simons Collaboration are expected to openly share data, code, analysis pipelines, protocols and reagents with the broader community. The foundation expects proposals to include junior investigators and investigators from a diversity of academic disciplines, genders, races and ethnicities.

For those interested in submitting a vision statement, the Simons Foundation will host a webinar providing additional information about the process on December 12, 2022, at 1 p.m. ET.

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