Brain Research Foundation supports neuroscience research that leads to advanced understanding of brain function in children and adults. This Foundation is committed to advance discoveries that will lead to novel treatments and prevention of all neurological diseases.
We deliver this commitment through both research grant programs, which provide initial funding for innovative research projects, as well as educational programs for researchers and the general public.
Dr. Terre A. Constantine
111 W WASHINGTON ST Suite 1460
CHICAGO, IL 60602-2858 USA
National, Neuroscience, University, Brain Research
Brain Disorders (H48)
Neurology, Neuroscience (H96)
Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (G12)
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
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What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
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Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program
The Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program is a competitive, peer-reviewed program that provides initial support for new research that has a strong potential to attract external funding. Seed grants enable scientists in the areas of basic, translational, or clinical research to explore interesting new research avenues without undue delay, generating critical preliminary data that can be used to develop competitive grant proposals to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other external funding sources.
Scientific Innovations Award
The Brain Research Foundation (BRF) Annual Scientific Innovations Award supports innovative discovery science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, cutting edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators. This funding opportunity is for projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings in a very short timeframe. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in high impact journals.
Neuroscience Day is an annual event sponsored by the Brain Research Foundation that introduces new, exciting research through poster presentations and lectures. This unique forum encourages scientific interaction among universities and gives the Chicago-area neuroscience community a chance to meet and share interests in an informal setting.
Young Adults (20-25 years)
Public health education and education through brochures, and seminars regarding the human brain and illnesses that affect it.
Where we workNew!
Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
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For more than 60 years, BRF has accelerated the future of neuroscience discoveries by committing to funding research that will lead to novel treatments and prevention of all neurological diseases. This commitment is delivered through both research grant programs, which provide initial funding for innovative research projects, as well as educational programs for researchers and the general public.
Dr. Frederic A. Gibbs co-founded BRF in Chicago while working on new treatments for epilepsy. Instead of establishing a foundation focused solely on epilepsy, he recognized that a broader approach about how the brain and nervous system function would eventually lead to a greater understanding of the many diseases that result when they are compromised.
BRF provides crucial start-up money for innovative neuroscience research projects with the goal of finding the prevention and eventual cures of devastating neurological conditions and diseases. Simply put, we are the venture capital investors of brain research. Recently, we expanded to reach even more scientists by opening up the grant and award program to neuroscientists throughout the nation.
Our quest to understand how the brain works is done through our two nationally esteemed grant programs, the Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program and our Scientific Innovations Award Program.
Since 1981, the Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program has been investing in worthy and innovative neuroscience research, which funds promising investigations that drive advances in our knowledge of how the brain functions. Seed grants are $80,000 two-year awards and provide support for novel scientific hypotheses that may not be funded by other sources. Our seed grant funding allows the researchers to gather the much-needed preliminary data that will enable them to obtain additional larger, outside grants to continue their research.
More recently we have established the Scientific Innovations Award (SIAs). SIAs provide $150,000 over two years to help established and productive neuroscience investigators sustain innovative research projects that have high potential to yield significant findings and deepen our understanding of the brain.
Brain Research Foundation grants and awards are offered on a competitive basis. Each year we invite qualified institutions in the United States to apply. Candidates must first be nominated by his or her institution and must submit a detailed research proposal. Proposals that meet grant or award requirements move forward to peer review by BRF's Scientific Review Committee through a process that determines their relative scientific merit.
The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is comprised of 8 leading experts in their field whose goal is to provide unbiased opinions and recommendations for the best projects to fund. Our panel of experienced neuroscientists represents multiple disciplines and conducts the review process using rigorous protocols like those at the National Institutes of Health.
The SRC is crucial to the mission and integral to the success of BRF. The grants and awards that are recommended for funding by the SRC represent an increasingly important source of support for neuroscience research and the investigators who pursue it. As federal funding across the spectrum of brain-related abnormalities remains static or continues to decline, total dollars awarded by BRF have increased 248% over the last decade.
The way in which we measure and evaluate our outcomes of our funding model is by our return on investment or ROI. We carefully track the measurable success that the funded scientist has by gathering information on the amount of publications they produced based on the research we funded, and more importantly, we obtain the amount of further funding that they receive based on the results generated from our grants. We have been able to analyze the data and know that our SRC is successful in their objective to fund the most innovative neuroscience in the nation because our return on investment is an extraordinary 20:1. That is, for every dollar we distribute, our scientists are able to obtain an additional twenty dollars in further funding. We are very confident that this exceptionally successful funding model will continue to generate even higher ROIs going forward.
It is an extremely exciting time in neuroscience and we are on the cusp of many discoveries, but there is much more to be done. BRF grants are crucial to the landscape of neuroscience. The application process for federal government grants is highly competitive and favors established over new investigators. The vast majority of proposals are declined and funding for innovative research is extremely limited. The National Institute of Aging, which funds research on diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia, can fund only 6% of scientists that apply for research funding. BRF fills a very large gap for many scientists. In a recent survey, 50% of top researchers said insufficient funding caused them to abandon an area of investigation “central" to their lab's mission.
In order to receive funding in such a competitive landscape, researchers depend on much needed grants, like those we provide, to begin to prove the viability and importance of their work. The finding our grants recipients have generated pave the way to larger grants to enable them to continue their research.
BRAIN RESEARCH FOUNDATION
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
as of 11/6/2018
Mr. Peter Pond
Alta Equity Partners
Term: 2015 - 2019
Thomas Reynolds III
Winston & Strawn
Mid-Continent Capital, LLC
Bennett Leventhal, M.D.
University of California San Francisco
Robert Malenka, M.D., Ph.D.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Adams Street Partners
C. Brant Ahrens
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Front Barnett Associates
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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?