Since its launch, the Harvard Brain Science Initiative has awarded faculty seed grants to support the start of over 100 outstanding and creative new neuroscience projects, through three distinct seed grant programs funded largely by philanthropists. These projects take on a wide range of challenging questions in basic neurobiology and neurological disease research. HBI also periodically offers trainee grants funded by the Office of the Provost. Scroll down to learn more.

Faculty Grants

Bipolar Disorder Seed Grant Program
The HBI Bipolar Disorder Seed Grant Program funds research relevant to the basic understanding and eventual treatment of bipolar disorder. Launched in 2015, this program has provided over 75 grants to date and led to four basic research-focused bipolar disorder symposia.

ALS Seed Grant Program
The HBI ALS Seed Grant Program supported the launch of 20 seed projects between 2015 to 2022, by 22 investigators from ten departments spread across Harvard’s different campuses. The projects funded sought to advance biomedical breakthroughs to ultimately enhance our capacity to treat and cure ALS. 

Collaborative Seed Grant Program
The HBI Collaborative Seed Grant Program supported the launch of 14 new collaborations addressing fundamental questions in basic neuroscience research, from 2015 to 2019. Each grant funded a dual investigator team consisting of one Harvard Medical School faculty member and one Faculty of Arts and Sciences faculty member. Over the years, the research sparked by this program was highlighted in three different “Neuroscience Across the Charles” symposia.

Young Scientist Grants

Postdoc Pioneers Grant Program
The HBI Postdoc Pioneers Grant Program, launched in 2022, supports Harvard University postdocs who take on new or risky projects and serves as pioneers for their labs. Specifically, it offers $50,000 fellowships to mid- to late-stage postdocs who are conducting basic neuroscience research in areas outside of their lab’s established focus. To date it has supported 15 postdocs via two award cycles. We are currently in the midst of the Spring 2024 application cycle.

Young Scientist Development Award Program
The HBI Young Scientist Development Award Program provided small grants of up to $5,000 each to over 100 students and fellows conducting neuroscience research in Harvard University or affiliated hospital labs in 2018 and 2019. These grants largely funded travel to courses, conferences, or collaborator labs outside the Boston area, as well as the hosting of visiting scholars in Harvard labs.

Young Scientist Transitions Award Program
The HBI Young Scientist Transitions Award Program provided relief funding to neuroscience postdocs at Harvard University whose career progress was significantly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirteen awards of $25,000 each were given over the course of two grant cycles in 2021. 


Banner image shows staining of cerebellum, courtesy of David Brann, graduate student in the lab of Bob Datta