Inspiration Awards for Neuroscience and Technology

The Initiative on Neurosciences is pleased to announce Inspiration Awards for Neuroscience & Technology to support UMass graduate students and postdoctoral researchers proposing research at the interface of neuroscience and either engineering or computer sciences.

Funding amount: Up to $10,000 for single trainee awards and up to $15,000 for collaborative awards involving two or more trainees.
Funding is available for up to 8 awards.

The proposal must be for research that incorporates new methodologies or employs existing methodologies in new ways to address problems in neuroscience or problems inspired by neuroscience. This includes, but is not limited to, novel ways of collecting, analyzing, or modeling data.

Deadline for application, March 25, 2022

Proposals will be judged on the following criteria:
1) Creativity
2) Feasibility
3) Integration of neuroscience with engineering or computer sciences.

Considerations will be made to allocate awards broadly to across neuroscience, engineering, and computer science as well as demographically to broaden participation of women and under-represented groups. Demographic information will be collected separately and not available to the review panel.

– Applicant must be a graduate student in good standing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst or a postdoctoral associate in a research laboratory of a faculty member at UMass.
– Funds must be encumbered for use by June 1, 2022.
– Funding may be used for summer stipends, travel, equipment, or supplies.
– Only one submission per trainee allowed.
– For collaborations with multiple trainees, one trainee should be listed as the primary investigator for the purposes of the review. All investigators will be listed on the award.

Application components:
– Title: Provide a title that is informative to a scientist or engineer outside of your field
Abstract: (250 word limit) Provide an overview of the project that includes the general question, the immediate goal of the project, the general approach/techniques/technology, and how this relates to the long term goals of the applicant.
– Amount Requested and Justification: (250 word limit) Briefly explain what the funds will be used for and why they are needed.
Proposal Body: (Limit 2 pages, Word or pdf file) Include the following sections:
1) Introduction to the problem to be addressed and why it is important to the field.
2) An explanation of how the project fulfills the goal of this award to foster research at the interface of neuroscience and engineering / computer science.
3) The experimental approach with enough detail to judge feasibility.
4) How this project relates to your long term personal goals.
Biosketch: (Limit 1 page per trainee, Word or pdf file, combine into one file for collaborative proposals)
Should include your name, affiliation, publications, presentations, and awards.
List of potential reviewers: List three UMass faculty members who could be potential reviewers of your proposal. At least one reviewer must be from a different department.
This list will help us select a panel of reviewers for all of the applications.
Letter of support: The applicant should arrange for a letter of support from the applicant’s faculty advisor to The letter should include a clear statement of material support for the project and highlight how this proposal helps the applicant toward their career goals.

Deadline for Application: March 25, 2022
Apply here

Award recipients will be expected to:
1) Present their project proposal as a poster at the annual Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Conference on May 26th.
2) Provide a one-page progress report after one year that includes a review of the goals and progress toward achieving them.
3) Report any papers, presentations, grants arising from this work.

Questions? Please contact the IONs Director, Dr. Paul Katz.