Brain Research Foundation 2020 Fay/Frank Seed Grant

Brain Research Foundation's Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program provides start-up money for new research projects and innovative programs in the field of neuroscience that have the potential of becoming competitive for an NIH grant or other external funding sources. The goal is to have this initial effort succeed in opening future opportunities for research, collaboration, and scientific advancement.  
UMass Amherst has been invited to nominate one faculty member to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for this program.


  • To be eligible, PI must:
    • Be a full-time Assistant or Associate Professor working in the area of studies of the brain. This includes molecular and clinical neuroscience as well as studies of neural, sensory, motor, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning in health and disease.
    • Propose a new research project that is not funded by other sources. This grant is not to be used as bridge funding. 
  • Assistant Professor - Junior faculty with a new research project that will generate pilot data that will lead to RO1 funding or a comparable outside grant will be first priority.  
    • Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grants and indicate if there is any overlap. 
  • Associate Professor - Faculty who are pursuing new research directions.
    • Must explain how the project is a new research direction. 
    • Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grant(s) and indicate if there is any overlap.  
    • A new technique is not considered a new direction unless it pertains to a different area of study. 

Award Information:

  • Amount: $80,000 ($40,000 per year over a 2-year award period)
  • Number of Awards: roughly 10-12
  • 100% of funds must be used for direct costs.
  • Seed Grants are NOT to be used for bridge funding between grants.

Internal Application Process:
The internal selection process will be informed by the  grant program's guidelines and submission requirements  and led by a committee composed of the deans of internal applicants' respective schools and colleges or their designees and, if necessary, the Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research Engagement, or faculty with relevant expertise.

If you are interested in applying to this program please email a pre-proposal in a single PDF by November 25, 2019 to Please include:

  • Brief summary of proposed project (2 pages max.), including a closing paragraph that explains how this research will develop (next steps)
  • A list of current and pending support
  • Curriculum vitae

Additional Information:
For additional information, visit the program's website. If you have questions about the grant program or your eligibility, please contact Marco Monoc or Liz Smith in Foundation Relations.