BRAIN Initiative: Optimization of Instrumentation and Device Technologies for Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (U01 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
January 20, 2026
State governments, County governments, City or township governments, Special district governments, Independent school districts, Public & State controlled institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Public housing authorities, Native American tribal organizations, Nonprofits (with 501(c)(3) status), Nonprofits (without 501(c)(3) status)
Reissue of RFA-NS-18-019: Understanding the dynamic activity of neural circuits is central to the NIH BRAIN Initiative. The invention, proof-of-concept investigation, and optimization of new technologies through iterative feedback from end users are key components of the BRAIN Initiative. This FOA seeks applications to optimize existing or emerging technologies through iterative testing with end users. The technologies and approaches should have potential to address major challenges associated with recording and modulation (including various modalities for stimulation/activation, inhibition and manipulation) of cells (i.e., neuronal and non-neuronal) and networks to enable transformative understanding of dynamic signaling in the central nervous system (CNS). These technologies and approaches should have previously demonstrated their transformative potential through initial proof-of-concept testing and are now ready for accelerated refinement. In conjunction, the manufacturing techniques should be scalable towards sustainable, broad dissemination and user-friendly incorporation into regular neuroscience research.Proposed technologies should be compatible with experiments in behaving animals, validated under in vivo experimental conditions, and capable of reducing major barriers to conducting neurobiological experiments and making new discoveries about the CNS. Technologies may engage diverse types of signaling beyond neuronal electrical activity such as optical, electrical, magnetic, acoustic or genetic recording/manipulation. Applications that seek to integrate multiple approaches are encouraged. If suitable, applications are expected to integrate appropriate domains of expertise, including biological, chemical and physical sciences, engineering, computational modeling and statistical analysis.