The Power of Partnership:
A Personal Connection between Donors and Researchers
What is the Research Partners Program?
Our Research Partners Program offers donors the opportunity to personally select and sponsor scientists based on various criteria, including, but not limited to, illness specialty area or specific institutions, or geographic region. Researchers are recommended by our prestigious all-volunteer Scientific Council through an independent peer-review process of submitted grant applications, and are then selected and approved by our Board of Directors. Sponsored researchers are selected by the donor (Research Partner) by from among the best and brightest scientists and the most promising, cutting-edge proposals in mental illness research. Through this Program, a Research Partner is able to choose from amongst the world’s most promising young, mid-career and distinguished researchers with innovative ideas aiming to improve the lives of those living with mental illness.
How are Research Partners Selected?
Working in conjunction with our Brain & Behavior Research Foundation staff, the donor may review approved scientists’ grant summaries and select one based on specific criteria as outlined above. The Research Partner may elect to review the researcher’s documents such as project summary, bios, publications or the submitted proposals. If the scientist has been previously funded, the donor may also review prior work and progress reports. Depending on the funding amount, a Research Partner may select any combination of investigators to sponsor.
What Types of Grants can be selected for Research Partnerships?
Young Investigator: Young scientists working within the field of psychiatric and neuroscience research. Recipients receive a two-year grant up to $70,000 ($35,000 for a one year grant, renewable for one additional year) to launch or advance their independent research programs. The results from these studies often provide the pilot data needed to submit for much larger, federally funded projects (i.e.: National Institute of Mental Health).
Independent Investigator: Mid-level scientists who have successfully established independent research programs but not yet achieved sustained funding. Recipients receive a two-year grant up to $100,000 ($50,000 for a one year grant, renewable for one additional year).
Distinguished Investigator: Senior scientists who are on the threshold of a breakthrough or wish to pursue a novel research idea. Recipients receive one-year grants of $100,000.
What are the Benefits of being a Research Partner?
Once scientists have been selected for the Research Partners Program, the Research Partner and the scientist are both sent confirmation letters, naming the Investigator as designated by the Research Partner. Typically, Research Partners are named after the donor or a family member, such as, “Jones Family Investigator” or “Jones Investigator.”
Within the course of the Research Partnership, and after Investigators have begun work on their project, donors will receive summaries of the scientist’s annual progress, as well as an Investigator’s final report. When possible, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation will request copies of the publications generated by the scientist throughout the term of the Research Partnership.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation encourages interaction between the Research Partner and the scientist via email, telephone, letter or personal visit. Scientists are also encouraged to communicate with their Research Partner as it is hoped this initial contact will result in on-going communication for years to come.
Who can sponsor a Research Partner?
Individuals, families, foundations and corporations may all fund Research Partnerships. Our staff will work with the donor or group of donors to select researchers based on specified interests.
Changes from the scientists’ host institutions, along with the sensitivity and immediacy of research, may affect the Investigator’s participation in the Research Partners Program. And while these factors operate outside the scope of a NARSAD Grant, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation will try its best to ensure that the needs of the donor are always met. Any changes or adjustments to the NARSAD grant award will be shared with the donor. They can include, but are not limited to:
- Scientists changing their research focus or relinquishing their grants. Research Partner project schedules – from start dates to end dates – are subject to change based on the above.
- Availability of a specific project or institution may change, and a scientist may leave their institution mid-grant.
Again, any changes to the terms of the original NARSAD Grant award to the scientist will be shared, in advance, with the donor; the donor will have the right to change their Research Partner designation accordingly.
For more information on the Research Partner Program, please call 646-681-4889