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Funding Opportunities

The following lists can direct investigators to external & internal funding sources relevant to neurobiological research.  Please go to the websites for up-to-date information about deadlines and application instructions.  

This list is constantly changing; therefore, please let the Neurobiology office know if you are aware of funding databases and sources not listed here.

Funding Databases

Searchable Funding Databases Tips

Pivot (formerly Community of Science)

-Subscription (Free to NU)

  • Watch quick video tutorial.
  • Setting up an account will help you:
    • Utilize the additional Pivot functions such as "saving searches"
    • Setting up sponsor or disease-related funding email alerts.
    • Once you have a Pivot account you can access this database from both your work and home computers.

SciVal Funding

- Subscription (Free to NU)


Find the right funding opportunities
• Search and browse comprehensive, accurate and current funding opportunity content.
Analyze the funding environment
• Access award database; learn what publications are linked to the funding programs, find collaborators and learn about potential competitors.
Tailor the alerts to your personal profile
• Receive targeted funding recommendations and alerts based on pre-populated research profile.

The Foundation Directory

- Subscription (Free to NU)

The Northwestern Libraries have licensed the Professional version of this directory that includes over 120,000+ foundations, corporate donors, and grant-making public charities. The directory website will recognize your Northwestern-based computer IP address.

NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices Search Tool

Use the "Search the NIH Guide for" tool at the top of this webpage.
Be sure that "Active RFAs" and "Active PAs" are checked before clicking on" search".  A Search Results webpage that will be displayed contains every open funding opportunity offered by the NIH.
Tip:   Sort by Institute: click on the column headings to sort. For example, if you want to know all of the NCI (National Cancer Institute) open funding opportunities, click on the column heading "Issuing Organization" to sort the institutes/centers alphabetically and then scroll down to NCI
Tip:   Search by research topic: enter your topic in the "Search these results box". Note: the results displayed will list all funding opportunities which have that term in the body of the guidelines
Tip:   Sort by Activity Code: click on that column heading to sort the activity codes

NIH RePORTER search tool

This webpage allows individuals to search for projects throughout the nation which have been funded by the NIH.

NSF-National Science Foundation
Find Funding" Search Tool

Tips: you can search by:
-Recently announced funding opportunities
-Upcoming due dates
-Solicitations that limit the number of proposals an institution may submit

Funding Opportunities for Graduate Students, Post-Docs, and Faculty

Graduate Student Funding Opportunities Additional Information

HHMI International Student Research Fellowships

Supports outstanding international predoctoral students studying in the United States

NIH Predoctoral Fellowships F31

Biomedical research

NSF fellowship

Recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines

TGS Fellowships and Grants (Internal)

The Graduate School sponsors a number of internal fellowships and grants for students at all stages of their graduate experience

Post-Doctoral Funding Opportunities Additional Information

Autism Speaks Fellowship in Translational Research

Supports global biomedical research into the diagnosis, causes, prevention, and treatment of autism or its disabling symptoms

Baxter Bioscience Grants

Designed to support novel therapeutic discoveries

Burrough's Wellcome Postdoctoral Enrichment Program

Supports the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in a degree-granting institution

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards at the Scientific Interface

Early career development of researchers who have transitioned or are transitioning from undergraduate and/or graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences

Chicago Biomedical Consortium (Internal)

Funds innovative research conducted by postdoctoral fellows under the supervision of their faculty advisor/mentor in core research facilities at the CBC universities

EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship

Awards for a period of up to two years and support post-doctoral research visits to laboratories throughout Europe and the world 

FRAXA Research Foundation

Aims to accelerate research aimed at finding a specific treatment for fragile X syndrome.

Helen Hay Whitney

Supports early postdoctoral research training in all basic biomedical sciences

Human Frontiers Science Program

Encourages early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study while working in a new country

Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research

Provides support to the brightest individual scientists pursuing careers in cancer research

Life Sciences Research Foundation

Funded nearly 500 outstanding postdoctoral fellows in all areas of the life sciences

Marie Curie through the European Commission

Open to researchers of all ages and levels of experience, regardless of nationality

NIH K Awards

Career development/from mentored to independence

NIH Small Grant Program (R03)

Support small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources

NIH Post-doctoral Fellowships F32

Biomedical Research

Junior Faculty Funding Opportunities Additional Information

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Seeks to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise

McKnight Foundation Scholar Awards

Encourages neuroscientists in the early stages of their careers to focus on disorders of learning and memory

NARSAD Brain and Behavior Research Foundation – New Investigator

Provides support for the most promising young scientists conducting neurobiological research

NYSCF Neuroscience Investigator Award

The goal of this initiative is to foster truly bold, innovative science with the potential to transform the field of neuroscience research

All Faculty Funding Opportunities Additional Information

Brain and Behavior Foundation: NARSAD

Committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research

Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar in Neuroscience

Supports innovative, basic neuroscience research that often falls outside the scope of traditional funding sources

McKnight Foundation

Administers four awards which support young and established neuroscientists and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Strong emphasis is on funding translational and clinical research but also support high-risk/high-reward discovery work to help keep new ideas flowing into the drug development pipeline.

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

Has a research program dedicated to finding the cause(s) of and a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Paul Allen Family Distinguished Investigators Award

Early-stage, cutting-edge research

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

A research campaign set to improve the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding, catalyzing and driving innovative research of the greatest quality and relevance.

The John Merck Fund: Developmental Disabilities Translational Research Program

Supports researchers in developing treatments and improving outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities

Whitehall Foundation

The Foundation is currently interested in basic research in neurobiology