The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards $3.9 Million in NARSAD Grants to 40 Independent Investigators for Research into Psychiatric Illness

Posted: April 12, 2016


Rubenstein Associates, Inc.

Nadine Woloshin:



NEW YORK CITY (April 12, 2016)—The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced its 2016 Independent Investigator Grants, which award $3.9 million in funding to 40 mid-career scientists from 30 institutions in 16 countries for basic research, new technologies and next-generation therapies for schizophrenia, major affective disorders, and other serious mental illnesses.

The Foundation’s Independent Investigator Grants provide $50,000 per year for up to two years to support investigators during the critical period between the initiation of research and the receipt of sustained funding. Grant recipients are selected by the Foundation’s Scientific Council, comprised of 165 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research including two Nobel Prize winners, four former directors of the National Institute of Mental Health, four recipients of the National Medal of Science, 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 21 Chairs of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Departments at leading colleges and universities around the world, and 47 members of the Institute of Medicine.

To accomplish its mission of alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness, the Foundation awards grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The Independent Investigator grants are part of ongoing efforts by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to support scientists at every stage of their careers by funding cutting-edge research for the understanding, early detection, prevention, treatment and cure of brain and behavior disorders, including ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, suicide, and tic disorders. 

“This year’s 40 Independent Investigator Grant awards represent an exciting group of basic and clinical proposals, which will make major contributions to the understanding and treatment of serious psychiatric illnesses,” says Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. “We are delighted to support the work of these researchers, and we are grateful to the members of our Scientific Council, who volunteer their time to select the most promising research, and to our donors, whose contributions make these awards possible.”

The Foundation awards Independent Investigator Grants for basic research to understand what happens in the brain to cause mental illness; new technologies to advance or create new ways of studying and understanding the brain; and next-generation therapies that reduce symptoms of mental illness and ultimately cure and prevent brain and behavior disorders.

“The Independent Investigator Grants provide outstanding basic and clinical scientists with unique opportunities to conduct important, novel and clinically relevant studies that are not being funded through the traditional NIMH mechanisms because of a shortage of money and, in some cases, risk aversion,” says Scientific Council Member and Chair, Independent Investigator Grant Selection Committee, Robert M. Post, M.D., George Washington University. “I believe that many of these grants will help open new vistas in the treatment and understanding major psychiatric illnesses. The Foundation has been heroic in raising the funds for so many extraordinary grants each year, so it is both gratifying and an honor to help distribute these funds in the best way possible.”

According to Dr. Post, half of the recipients received prior Young Investigator Grants from the Foundation early in their careers. The Foundation’s Young Investigator Grants support scientists at the advanced post-doctoral or assistant professor (or equivalent) level for up to $35,000/year for one or two years with a maximum $70,000 grant. Its Distinguished Investigator Grants support scientists at the full professor (or equivalent) level for up to $100,000 for one year.

Click here for a full list of awardees for the 2016 Independent Investigator Grants.

About the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation:

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering of mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The Foundation funds the most innovative ideas in neuroscience and psychiatry to better understand the causes and develop new ways to treat brain and behavior disorders. These disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $346 million to fund more than 5,000 grants to more than 4,000 leading scientists around the world. This has led to over $3 billion in additional funding for these scientists. The Foundation is also dedicated to educating the public about mental health and the importance of research including the impact that new discoveries have on improving the lives of those with mental illness, which will ultimately enable people to live full, happy and productive lives. For more information, visit