Funding & Grants

Neuroscience & Society Grants

Neuroscience & Society Grants

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 over 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.

The Aspen Institute

The Foundation has provided support for the planning of the NeuroArts Blueprint: Advancing the Science of Arts, Health and Well-Being, a partnership between The Johns Hopkins International Arts & Mind Lab Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics and the Aspen Institute’s Health, Medicine and Society Program.

Brain Awareness Week Partner Grants

Annual grants program providing funding to select Brain Awareness Week partners in the U.S. and Canada to support their public outreach activities for the campaign. The program is administered by Dana Foundation staff and modeled after the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Brain Awareness Week grants programs, also funded by the Foundation. Apply via

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana Foundation funds have supported various Dana-Farber Cancer Institute projects and programs over the past 50 years.  Among the grants were the construction of the Charles A. Dana Building and the creation of the Charles A. Dana Division of Human Cancer Genetics and the David Mahoney Center for Neuro-oncology.  A Dana Foundation award enabled “translational” scientists to apply basic research findings to the development of new therapeutic interventions, and to apply clinical observation in answering questions about disease processes. The Foundation’s current grant to Dana-Farber provides funding toward the expansion of scientific and cancer research facilities at the new Longwood Center.

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 BAW.

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 over 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 SfN 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.  As a programming partner, IBRO recommends grantees from Brain Awareness Week partners outside Europe, the US, and Canada for the purpose of supporting BAW.

International Neuroethics Society (INS)

The Foundation supports INS in their mission to encourage and inspire research and dialogue on the responsible uses of advances in brain science.

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

The NAS is a private not-for-profit society of distinguished scholars established by an Act of Congress signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. The Foundation is supporting two projects by the NAS:

A workshop 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 U.S. 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.

Consensus study on legalities, regulations, and ethics of “chimera” and “organoid” brain research

A committee will examine 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 recommendations are 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 is providing 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 will be able to stay 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.

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 The Youth Mental Health Crisis, with award-winner Ken Burns as executive producer, as part of its WellBeings package of workshops and user-made videos and chats. The series is scheduled to air in April 2022.

Research! America

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.

Royal Society

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.

Science Live Productions Inc.

Foundation support to Science Live Productions Inc. to fund two 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 recorded and can be watched on the Dana Foundation 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:

A three-year grant to maintain and expand the SfN website.

Leadership Development Program

The Foundation awarded a grant to SfN in 2019 to develop a Leadership Development Program to better position neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the workforce and as leaders in various capacities in the field.

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 fulltime 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.

University of Washington

Support for 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 Dana Foundation YouTube channel.