McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award

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The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience supports innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated. The Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award supports scientists working on the development of novel approaches to understanding brain function. The Fund is especially interested in how a new technology may be used or adapted to monitor, manipulate, analyze, or model brain function at any level – from the molecular to the entire organism. The program seeks to advance and enlarge the range of technologies available to the neurosciences. Research based primarily on existing techniques will not be considered.

The amount of the award is $200,000 ($100,000 annually for two years). Three awards will be made. There is no limitation on the number of faculty members applying from the same institution, and no university nomination is required.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be United States citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card);
  • Applicants must be in tenured or non-tenured faculty positions;
  • Applicants may not hold another McKnight Award that would overlap with this award.

Selection Criteria

  • Proposals will be evaluated based on how the technology involved is new to the field, how it will enrich the neurosciences, and how it will become accessible to other researchers in the field
  • Collaborative and cross-disciplinary applications are encouraged.


Funding may not be used for the PI’s salary.

Application Process

  • One PDF file, which includes the application form and the two-page LOI, plus references (no more than two additional pages), should be emailed to
  • The application form is available on the foundation’s website, or faculty can request a copy from Dr. Spengler in the Foundation Relations office ( The application must be in Arial 11, single-spaced font.
  • The selection committee will invite a few applicants to submit full proposals, which will be due early in May 2013.
  • Funding will start August 1, 2013.

Selection Committee

David Tank, Ph.D. (Chair)
Ed Callaway, Ph.D.
Marla Feller, Ph.D.
Liqun Luo, Ph.D.
Gail Mandel, Ph.D.
Markus Meister, Ph.D.
H. Sebastian Seung, Ph.D.
Rachel Wilson, Ph.D

Foundation Application Deadline

The foundation application deadline is December 3, 2012. Per University policy, applicants must submit their applications five days in advance (November 28) and provide Foundation Relations with a final copy for review ten days in advance (November 23). The application consists of a required form, which can be downloaded from the website, and a two-page letter of intent (references are not counted within the two-page limit). Interested faculty should contact Dr. Paul A. Spengler, Director of Foundation Relations, regarding their interest in applying. He will work with them to submit their applications. He can be reached at 276-3955 or


NIH Funding Acknowledgement ** Important ** All publications resulting from the utilization of CTSI resources are required to credit the CTSI grant by including the NIH FUNDING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.