Neuroscience & Society Grants
BrainMind is a nonprofit platform and private community of scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and policymakers collaborating to accelerate neuroscience research and entrepreneurship to most benefit humanity, especially to collectively shepherd, support, and grow high-impact ideas that might not receive corporate or federal funding. The Foundation is providing support for organizing the first BrainMind Neuroethics Summit, including a series of pre-summit stakeholder meetings (one a neuroethics implementation forum held at FENS 2022). The Foundation is also providing support for two salons in 2022 on the topic of responsible innovation in neurotechnology.
Dana Centers Project
The Dana Foundation is seeking US-based strategic partners to design and host a Center for Neuroscience & Society, one that is deeply committed to rigorous interdisciplinary training in neuroscience, that engages in research with an eye towards addressing practical issues raised by advancing neuroscience, and that grows a new generation of interdisciplinary experts who are empowered to embed neuroscience and its implications in a societal context.
Proposals for planning grants were due July 6, 2022, with a start date as early as October 1, 2022. Recipients of planning grants have the opportunity to submit a full proposal to be considered as a candidate to host a Dana Center. Proposals for a Dana Center will be due in mid-2023. We anticipate a Dana Center will be announced in late 2023. Dana Centers will be funded at approximately $1M annually for 5 years. More details
A Foundation grant will support the creation of the Dana Foundation Career Network in Neuroscience & Society (“Career Network”) at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard. The Career Network’s goal is to expand and diversify the next generation of neuroscience and society students, practitioners, and scholars by acting as a virtual meeting place, and offering programming, conversations, and a place to post and search for opportunities in the field.
The Hastings Center
The Hastings Center and its scholars produce publications on ethical issues in health, science, and technology that inform policy, practice, and public understanding of bioethics. The Foundation is providing support for the Center to develop “Neuroscience and Society,” a featured article series of six scholarly articles or essays published in an open-access format each year. The series will enable researchers in neuroscience and scholars addressing its relevant ethical, legal, and social implications to be in sustained and dynamic conversation with one another, policymakers, and wider publics.
International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF)
The INCF is a non-governmental organization that aims to develop, evaluate, and endorse standards and best practices that embrace the principles of Open, FAIR, and Citable neuroscience. INCF also provides training on how standards and best practices facilitate reproducibility and enables the publishing of the entirety of research output, including data and code. The Foundation supports its efforts to create and disseminate neuroethics educational resources through training, promotion, and advocacy to the global neuroscience and neuroinformatics communities.
International Neuroethics Society (INS)
The International Neuroethics Society (INS) is a nonprofit membership group that aims to encourage and inspire research and dialogue on the responsible use of advances in brain science. The Foundation is sponsoring a plenary session and panel at the 2022 INS annual meeting.
The Foundation supported Neurocon, an in-person conference hosted by Rice University’s Neuroengineering Initiative, in Houston in May 2022. The conference brought together academic neuroengineering researchers with private sector developers and investors.
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
The Foundation has funded a series of seminars convened by the AAAS for state, federal and administrative law court judges on emerging Issues in neuroscience for the past ten years. These seminars provide opportunities for judges to better understand the role neuroscience is playing, and may play, in making legal determinations in the courts, from the admissibility of neuroimaging evidence to decisions about criminal culpability, and are part of Dana’s expanding role in fostering discussion of neuroethical issues.
In addition, the Foundation has funded a series of AAAS seminars on the opioid epidemic for state judges, and specialty judges such as military or tribal judges. The goal of the seminars is to familiarize judges with the neuro-, clinical-, and social-science aspects of opioid abuse and addiction, the areas relevant to opioid addiction that will be useful to judges as they encounter these issues in their courtrooms.
Arizona State University
A grant to Arizona State University will support the Barbara Gill Civic Science Fellowship, to grow an emerging thought leader who will develop new models for bidirectional public engagement on emerging neuroethics issues. The outcomes of this project include the creation of new, evidence-based models for public engagement, testing and evaluation of these models at different sites in the United States, and dissemination of tools and findings to the science public engagement community. The National Informal STEM Education Network, whose hub is at Arizona State University, will serve as the host organization for the Barbara Gill Civic Science Fellow.
The Foundation is funding a pilot collaboration with Boston University’s College of Communication to support Dana Discovery Dialogues, for multidirectional stakeholder engagement in Neuroscience & Society topics, and a Dana Discovery Roundtable, for journalists who cover Neuroscience & Society topics.
National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
The NAS is a private not-for-profit society of distinguished scholars charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. The Foundation is supporting its workshop series to guide development of materials to help judges in considering scientific evidence. Scientists and legal experts will recommend design of educational materials intended to improve use and consideration of science by judges worldwide in managing cases involving scientific and technological evidence. The workshop is anticipated to lead to a large-scale global effort based on initiatives in the US and United Kingdom that have helped judges understand scientific issues in dispute, such as genetics, neuroforensics, and disease causation, and to use that understanding to converse with those seeking to inform the courts.
The Foundation also supported the Academy’s 2021 consensus study on legalities, regulations, and ethics of “chimera” and “organoid” brain research. A committee examined issues attending use of two emerging human brain cell research technologies: 1) “neuro chimeras” in which human stem cells are transferred into laboratory animal embryos during development (currently under a moratorium by the NIH); and 2) “neuro organoids,” in which human master stem cells initiate development in laboratory cultures of self-assembling 3-D clusters of cells that have an organization, structure, and signaling resembling human brain tissue, and enable study of neurodevelopmental disorders, brain infections and diseases, and potential treatments. The consensus study is intended to be of value in further deliberations by federal grant agencies, private sector funders, and regulators on guidelines.
Partnership in Law and Neuroscience
The Foundation provides support to The Center for Law, Brain & Behavior at Mass General Hospital, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Law School and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience based at Vanderbilt Law School, for the curation and dissemination of research and legal cases at the intersection of law and neuroscience. Professors and practitioners can keep updated on neuroethical developments through three complementary streams: the Law and Neuroscience Bibliography, founded and hosted by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience; the Neurolaw News, an email newsletter providing critical updates in the bibliography, events, opportunities, and also curated by the Research Network; and a new Case Updates series, disseminated by the MGH Center for Law, Brain & Behavior.
The Foundation supports Research!America in its mission to advocate the benefits of scientific research. Research!America targets the public and policy makers through advocacy workshops, speaker bureaus, public-opinion polls, and legislative and media briefings. The organization has developed extensive resources to help scientists and researchers across the country transform their passion for research into advocacy.
The Foundation provides funding for the Royal Society’s Neuroscience and the Law program. These seminars and courses for judges, lawyers, and scientists in the UK were developed to explore the benefits and risks posed by applying neuroscience to the judicial process.
American Brain Coalition (ABC)
The American Brain Coalition brings together organizations that represent neurological and psychiatric patients, families, and professionals to advocate for increased research that will lead to better treatment, services, and support to improve patients’ quality of life. The Foundation supports coalition programs including the ABC’s hosting of Congressional Neuroscience Caucus informational briefings.
The Foundation supports the efforts of BioBus to bring neuroscience experiences and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to underserved populations in New York City during Brain Awareness Week.
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)
FENS is an organization consisting of 24,000 European neuroscientists whose mission is to advance neuroscience education and research in Europe. Since 2000, Dana grants to FENS have supported its public programming and translating of materials on the brain for the general public. As a programming partner, FENS recommends grantees from among European members which represent all neuroscience societies of Europe during the annual Brain Awareness Week campaign for the purpose of supporting the campaign.
International Brain Bee
The Brain Bee is a live question and answer competition for high school students that tests their knowledge of neuroscience. There are local competitions in more than 50 countries, engaging more than 50,000 students across six continents every year. The culmination of this program is the international competition held every year in conjunction with major scientific conferences. The Foundation provides funding to support the program.
International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)
The Foundation provides support for the IBRO Global Advocacy Initiative to advance public education and advocacy for brain research in non-Western countries through community-based educational and outreach activities, and material development and dissemination.
The Foundation also provides support for IBRO’s grants program to support Brain Awareness Week (BAW) participants outside Europe.
PBS television station WETA
The Foundation is providing partial support for the Washington D.C.-based PBS television station WETA for a prime-time documentary series called Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, with award-winner Ken Burns as executive producer. The series is part of its Well Beings package of workshops, a mental health language guide, and user-made videos and chats. The series first aired in June 2022, and is often available for streaming at PBS.org.
Science Live Productions Inc.
Foundation support to Science Live Productions Inc. funds public neuroscientist lectures as part of their New York City-based Secret Science Club program, a live, monthly science lecture and performance series for adults. The events are live-streamed and can be watched later on the Foundation’s YouTube channel.
Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and the nervous system. The Foundation has collaborated with the SfN on several activities, including these current projects:
BrainFacts.org: A three-year grant to maintain and expand the SfN Brainfacts.org website.
Science Educator Award: The Foundation awards annual grants to SfN to fund the Science Educator Award. This award honors two outstanding neuroscientists who have made significant contributions to educating the public about neuroscience; one who conducts education activities full time and one who devotes time to research while conducting outreach, policy, and education activities. Honorees are actively involved in teaching and outreach initiatives, including programs for professional advancement, student mentorship, and the development of educational resources. Learn about previous SfN Science Educator awardees
University of Washington
The Foundation supports the production of BrainWorks, an award-winning television series for middle school aged children that portrays the neuroscience field as accessible and exciting. In each episode, viewers follow University of Washington neuroscientist Eric Chudler, Ph.D., and a team of curious kids as they visit laboratories and clinics to learn about different aspects of brain science, such as how exercise affects the brain, sleep, and brain-computer interfaces. Episodes are available on the Foundation’s YouTube channel.