Frequently Asked Questions 

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THE FOUNDATION SUPPORTS

ELIGIBILITY 

FUNDING

HOW TO APPLY

NEUROIMAGING PROGRAM APPLICANT QUALIFICATIONS 

CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS 

TENURE TRACK QUESTIONS

NIH GRANTS AND PREVIOUS RO1’s

REAPPLICATION

RELOCATION

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THE FOUNDATION SUPPORTS

What research programs does the Foundation currently support?

Currently, the Foundation supports two programs: The David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program and the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program. Please see the descriptions of both Programs on this site. In general, both programs focus on research in humans, including human tissues. Animal model studies are only considered if the research is directly applicable to humans, not yet feasible in humans, but is expected to become feasible in humans immediately after the animal model study is completed. 

Neuroimaging Program studies currently utilize structural, physiological or cellular/molecular imaging techniques, or combinations of these, and tend to focus on: 1) understanding normal brain functioning, how this is altered by disease or injury (identifying biomarkers), and how the brain recovers or repairs; 2) assessing and improving diagnostic approaches and measuring the effectiveness of experimental therapies; and 3) refining and advancing imaging technologies to address specific clinical questions.  For degenerative diseases, studies also examine developmental processes of disease, surrogate measures of early disease existence, and measures of disease progression. 

The Clinical Neuroscience Research program tends to focus on: 1) translating promising animal model interventions or clinical observations for treating devastating brain conditions or injuries into small-sale studies in humans with these conditions to see if the intervention shows any effect, and designing neuroethical guidelines for such studies; 2) identifying functions of specific neurons and neural networks involved in brain diseases or injuries and developing therapeutic interventions to alter these; and 3) assessing outcomes of the effects of various therapies used to treat brain injuries, such as stroke. The program also occasionally considers studies of complex cognitive processes, such as creativity. 

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How can I learn more about each of these programs?

Please see descriptions on our website and look at specific studies that have been funded in the past for a general view of the kinds of research provided under each program.

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How do I know under which program my research would best fit?

Please visit the pages for each program and read the descriptions. For additional guidance, please view the descriptions of studies already funded in each program.

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Does the Foundation provide funding to individual scientists?

No, the Foundation provides no grants to individuals. Grants are provided to medical schools, research institutions, and other 501(c)(3) organizations to support scientists' research.

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Does the Foundation fund for-profit institutions?

No, the Foundation only funds Not-for-Profit organizations.

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Does the Foundation fund science education grants?

Rarely, and only by invitation.  

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Can an NIH scientist apply for a Dana Foundation grant?

On Neuroimaging and Clinical Neuroscience Research grants, NIH scientists can be collaborators (co-PIs or co-investigators) on grant applications submitted by a PI from U.S. medical schools or free-standing research institutes. The grant is awarded to the PI’s institution, not to the NIH.  The NIH receives a subcontract from the PI’s institution.

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How do I arrange to meet with a representative of the Dana Foundation?

Meetings with the Foundation staff are by invitation only.

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Who may apply to the Neuroimaging program and why is it generally limited to new or newly independent investigators?

The Neuroimaging program is designed to support early promising career investigators. Therefore, support is focused on faculty researchers who have demonstrated the potential for independent research careers who are at the assistant professor level, or in the first few years of their associate professor appointments. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible to apply unless they will have a faculty appointment at the time that the grant would be awarded.  (See post-doctoral eligibility question below.) Applications from junior investigators that are an extension of the work of a senior mentor, particularly if from the same institution, are discouraged.

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In the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program, are clinical researchers at any stage in their careers eligible, or are there restrictions concerning either junior or senior investigators? 

The Clinical Neuroscience Research program invites junior and senior level investigators. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible to apply.

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Does the Foundation support basic research?

No. The Clinical Neuroscience Research program focuses on human research. The Neuroimaging program focuses on patient-oriented studies (research with patients or patient tissues) and on brain functioning in health and how functions are altered by diseases and injuries.  Research that does not involve patients or patient tissues is supported only when the investigation is directly applicable to human health and functioning, is not yet feasible in humans, but is expected to become feasible in humans immediately after the animal model study is completed.

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I know that Dana emphasizes research in humans or on human tissue, but what if I have an animal model study that is applicable to humans but not yet feasible to be undertaken in humans? Can I apply under the Neuroimaging Program or the Clinical Neuroscience Research program?

The Neuroimaging and Clinical Neuroscience Research programs focus on research in humans, including human tissues. If research is directly related to human health, not yet feasible to be undertaken in humans, but is anticipated to be ready for human studies immediately following completion of the animal model study, the study could be considered. The Foundation’s guidelines as outlined under the Neuroimaging program are as follows:

“Applications for animal model studies of brain conditions or injuries will be considered only if they relate directly to the human but cannot yet feasibly be undertaken in humans, and are anticipated to be translated into the human following the three-year grant period. Such studies that are not undertaken in humans but directly relate to the human include research on: 1) normal brain anatomy and physiology in the animal model that can help to better understand the roles of cells and networks in specific cognitive functions and how these are altered by disease and injury; and 2) animal models of human diseases, either through insertion of human genes or through naturally occurring or induced disease states that are directly related to the human condition.”

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Am I allowed to apply for Neuroscience grants designated invitation-only? If so, how?

Please see the instructions for the Clinical Neuroscience Research program and for the David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program.  Most proposals to the Clinical Neuroscience Research program are invited. Nonetheless, clinical investigators who have not been specifically invited to the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program also may submit a preliminary proposal to this program. Whether the preliminary proposal is invited or submitted without invitation, the investigator should provide a Letter of Inquiry and a two-page preliminary proposal describing the research description, accompanied by an NIH style CV. These materials should be addressed to:   

Mary Lucas, Grants Program Director 
505 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 223-4040 ext. 669 
mlucas@dana.org

All full proposals to the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program are solely by invitation.  Should you be asked to submit a full proposal, please include an abstract and a budget.  Only applicants that are invited, based on review of their preliminary proposal, may submit a full proposal.  

Preliminary proposals for the Neuroimaging program are submitted only through the RFP process. Thereafter, invitations to submit a full proposal are provided to successful preliminary proposal applicants. Please see the program description for details.

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ELIGIBILITY

Are all Science and Health grant programs open to international institutions?

The Clinical Neuroscience Research program accepts preliminary proposals from clinical researchers at international institutions. The Neuroimaging program does not accept applications from institutions outside the United States.

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For the Neuroimaging RFP, how do I know whether my institution is invited/eligible?

All U.S. Medical Schools receive invitations to submit an application. The RFPs are sent to the deans of each school for distribution to relevant departments in the school. Some institutions distribute the RFP internally or post it on their website; it varies from school to school. Select research institutions are also invited by a letter from the Foundation to the institution’s president.  The RFP is only sent to deans; however, you can access it on the Dana website at www.dana.org in the “Grants” section.  If you are unsure as to whether your institution has been invited, please have your sponsored research officer contact:

Mary Lucas 
505 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 223-4040 ext. 669 
mlucas@dana.org

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For Neuroimaging, can I apply directly to the David Mahoney Neuroimaging program if the RFP is not posted at my institution?

No. All proposals received for the Neuroimaging program must be submitted with the endorsement of the dean of a U.S. medical school, or the president of a research institution that receives a letter of invitation from the Foundation. This endorsement ensures that no more than one application is submitted per institution. You must go through your institution’s selection process.  If your institution is not a U.S. medical school or a specifically invited research institution, you are not eligible to apply.

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For Neuroimaging, may I include collaborators from one or more other U.S. institution(s) in my application? 

Yes, you may, with a description of the collaborator(s)  role(s), but a grant will only be awarded to one institution. A subcontract from the grantee institution then can be made to the collaborating institution(s) in the full budget proposal.

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For Neuroimaging, can an applicant from a U.S. institution work with a collaborator from a foreign institution?

Yes, support for the non-U.S. collaborator would be provided under a subcontract from the PI’s U.S. institution.

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FUNDING

What is the duration of grant funding for a study under the David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program?

Typically, studies are funded for up to three years.

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What is the duration of grant funding for a study under the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program?

Typically, studies are funded for up to three years.

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What amount of funding is provided for a study under the David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program?

Research grants typically range from $100,000 to up to $200,000 per institution

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What amount of funding is provided for a study under the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program?

Research grants typically range from $100,000 to up to $300,000 per institution.

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Can Foundation funds be used toward overhead costs? Are there any budget restrictions?

Foundation funding covers only direct costs and cannot be used to cover indirect expenses.  No grants shall be used for overhead.  However, up to ten percent of grant funds may be used to purchase and maintain equipment needed for the study.

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Does Dana support general operating budgets for research organizations?

No.

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HOW TO APPLY  

When and how often are applications accepted? Are there specific deadlines?

It depends on the program: The Neuroimaging program issues a Request for Proposals(RFP) with a specific deadline.  Preliminary proposals for the Clinical Neuroscience Research program may be submitted at any time.  Note that should you be asked to submit a full proposal, please include an abstract and a budget.  Please see the program pages for each program’s process and deadlines

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NEUROIMAGING PROGRAM APPLICANT QUALIFICATIONS

Who is eligible to apply to the David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program, and why is the program generally limited to new or newly independent investigators?

Emphasis in the David Mahoney Neuroimaging program is on assisting promising early career investigators to obtain pilot study data concerning novel hypotheses that will help them compete for larger-scale funding from other sources. To be eligible, applicants must have faculty appointments. Early career investigators most often are investigators at the assistant professor level and those who are in their early years of their associate professor appointments. Senior investigators may apply only if the proposed study represents a new research direction. Please see eligibility criteria specified in the RFP. Post-docs are not eligible to apply unless they can provide evidence that they will have a faculty appointment prior to the start of the grant period.

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In applying to the David Mahoney Neuroimaging program, are there stipulations concerning factors such as seniority, or number(s) of grants that I have from the NIH or similar federal research funding agencies?

Yes. Please refer to the RFP for this information.

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I am an assistant professor. Can I apply to the Neuroimaging program?

Yes.

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I am an associate professor. Can I apply to the Neuroimaging program?

Yes, associate professors, especially those in their early years of their associate professorship, are eligible to apply for a Neuroimaging grant. Please see criteria in the Neuroimaging RFP.

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I am a post-doc. Can I apply to the Neuroimaging program?

Post-docs are not eligible to apply unless they will have a junior faculty appointment by the time grant funding would begin.  The applicant needs to have the chair of the department provide a letter stating the impending appointment and its date. 

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I am a full professor. Am I eligible to apply to the Neuroimaging program?

You are considered a senior investigator and are eligible to apply for a Neuroimaging grant only if your proposal represents a new research direction for you. The award would be limited to $100,000.

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CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

In the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program, are clinical researchers at any stage in their careers eligible, or are there stipulations pertaining to either junior or senior investigators?

Researchers at any stage of their research careers may apply if they have a faculty appointment. For Clinical Neuroscience Research, you may apply regardless of whether you have NIH grants so long as the Dana submission has no overlap with those grants. 

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I am a post doc. Can I apply to the Clinical Neuroscience Research program?

No. Post docs are not eligible to apply. Applicants must have a faculty appointment to be eligible.

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How can I find out about the types of Clinical Neuroscience Research studies that have been supported?

Please see the website descriptions of studies funded to date under the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program.  Please also review the general description of priorities under this program provided early in this FAQ section.

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Are animal model studies ever considered under the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program?

Yes, but only if the studies are directly applicable to human health, cannot yet be feasibly undertaken in humans or human tissues, but are anticipated to lead to human clinical studies following completion of the animal model study.

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I need to study a large population of patients to answer the questions that I am posing in my application to the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program. May I have collaborators from other institutions as co-investigators?

Yes. Collaborations are encouraged for this purpose. The grant would be awarded to the PI’s institution, with subcontracts provided to collaborating institutions.

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TENURE TRACK QUESTIONS

Can applicants apply to the Neuroimaging program or the Clinical Neuroscience Research program if they are from institutions that do not have a traditional tenure track system?

Yes. But because grants are made to institutions and not to individuals, applicants in institutions without tenure track systems should describe their appointments and their Institution’s commitment to them during the period of the proposed grant. This applies to both Neuroimaging and Clinical Neuroscience Research program applicants.

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Can applicants apply to the David Mahoney Neuroimaging program or the Clinical Neuroscience Research program if they have faculty appointments but do not have tenure or are not on a tenure track?

Yes. Institutions vary in their tenure situations and decisions. Applicants will need, however, to describe their appointments and their institution’s commitment to them during the period of the proposed grant. This applies to both Neuroimaging and Clinical Neuroscience Research program applicants.

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What happens if an applicant only has a one-year, potentially renewable appointment?

Since grants are awarded to institutions and not individuals, institutions should put forward candidates that have an institutional commitment for the full grant period. This commitment is especially significant for Neuroimaging applicants, since grants are intended to assist promising early-career investigators. Therefore, reviewers place significant weight on the investigator’s career trajectory. Applicants with limited appointments are at a competitive disadvantage, and institutions should carefully consider the advisability of selecting such applicants. If an institution decides to put forward a candidate for a Neuroimaging grant who is on an annual appointment track, the candidate will be eligible only if he or she submits a written letter from the department chair stating that the applicant’s appointment will be renewed through the grant period.

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NIH GRANTS AND PREVIOUS RO1’s

What if I am not yet a professor but have two RO1’s and the research for which I want to apply to Dana is not related to the areas of research covered by my existing R01 grants. Can I apply to the Neuroimaging Program? 

Yes.  If you have two RO1’s, you qualify as an “established” investigator and may apply, regardless of whether this Dana application represents a change in direction.  If the Dana grant is a change in research direction, that fact may enhance your chances. You and your Institution should note, however, that priority is given to assisting new career investigators.

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For Neuroimaging applications, I have one NIH grant and another small grant from NSF for $80,000. Am I disqualified from applying?

You may apply.  You have one RO1, which makes you a “newly independent” researcher. 

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For Neuroimaging applications what happens if an applicant with one RO1 learned that he/she has received a second RO1 award while in the process of applying for a grant under this program?

Applicants in that situation can apply but should note in a cover letter that they have just received a second RO1. 

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For Neuroimaging applications, I have one RO1, but am also a collaborator on another faculty member’s RO1. Does that mean I have two RO1’s and have to apply for a Neuroimaging grant as an established investigator, or can I apply as a newly independent investigator?

You are eligible to apply as a newly independent investigator. The number of R01’s is based on those for which you are a PI.

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I have an RO1 grant which is being renewed under a different title and grant number. May I still apply for a Neuroimaging grant?

Yes.

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REAPPLICATION

Can I reapply to the David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program if my application is not selected?

Provided written feedback will indicate whether you are invited to reapply. 

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Can I reapply to the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program?

Yes if you are submitting a different proposal from the one originally submitted, or have been invited to reapply once you have responded to feedback.

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I currently have an open Neuroimaging Program grant. Could I apply for a second Neuroimaging grant?

Generally, the Foundation does not provide a second grant for investigators, since grants are intended to enable investigators to develop preliminary data that will increase their competitiveness for larger-scale grants from other sources. Occasionally, however, the Foundation does award a second grant for an investigator. For Neuroimaging grants, you would not be able to apply until the first grant is completed. If the first grant will be completed prior to the start date of the proposed second grant study, you may apply and note that fact in your application. 

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I currently have an open Clinical Neuroscience Research Program grant. Could I apply for a second grant under that program?

While you may apply for a second grant under the Clinical Neuroscience Research Program prior to the completion of the first grant, a second grant under this program is rare. Generally, if a second grant is awarded, funding will not be provided until the first grant study is completed and a final report is received and approved. 

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RELOCATION

What happens if I want to apply to the Neuroimaging program, but will be moving to a new institution by the time that the grant is to be awarded?

You may apply through your soon-to-be institution if that institution has received an RFP (is a U.S. Medical School or an institute specifically invited by the Foundation to submit an application). You will need to provide evidence from that school or institute that you will have an appointment by the time grants are awarded. 

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What happens if I want to apply for a clinical neuroscience grant, but will be moving?

You can either apply from your current institution and if awarded a grant, work with Foundation staff to transfer the grant to the new institution or you can wait until you are at the new institution before applying.

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What happens if I successfully apply for and receive grant funding for my research, and then early in my research I move to another institution? Can I take my grant with me?

Grants are made to Research Institutions to support studies by investigators; they are not made directly to investigators. If you are undertaking a study with Foundation support and are moving to a new institution, you need to request that the grant be transferred to the new institution, and contact Grants staff to learn what steps to undertake.

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Contacting the Foundation if you still have unanswered questions:  

How can I contact the Dana Foundation about any further questions I have?

Please email us at: mlucas@dana.org.