In this period of tighter research support by the NIH and other government agencies, some of the most innovative and potentially important ongoing research projects can have funding interrupted. Ongoing studies exploring novel concepts are liable to the criticism of insufficient preliminary information.
To respond to this problem, the Brain Science Institute (BSi) developed the Sustaining Innovation in the Neurosciences (SIN) program. In its second year, the SIN program funds continuation of promising and novel neuroscience research, while preparing the investigators to reapply for federal funds in the next review cycle.
"This program has been a lifesaver for some of our most talented researchers who have gotten caught in the unpredictability of governmental funding,” says Jack Griffin, Director of the Brain Science Institute. “In these tight times, abundant preliminary data trumps innovation in the review process. Federal agencies recognize the problem and have taken steps intended to address it. We are pleased we can offer some relief to investigators that might otherwise have to reduce their labs, or cease work on an important project."
This June 2010, the BSi provided 10 neuroscientists support. “We supported a broad spectrum of projects in the neurosciences,” says BSi Co-Director Rick Huganir. “The studies came from basic science, translational and clinical researchers. The BSi’s review board assessed promising, novel proposals by researchers whose work was at risk of being shut down or suspended without some sort of bridging funds.
Calls for proposals for the SIN program will be released in the future.