We are no longer accepting applications for the 2017 BRAINS Cohort. The next cohort will launch in 2019.

General Application Information

Application to the BRAINS program consists of five items. The application includes an online survey and three brief personal statements, to be submitted via the application survey. We recommend preparing the personal statements offline before beginning the online application survey. A complete application also includes documentation of eligibility.

Your individual responses on the application are confidential and will not be shared beyond the BRAINS administrative team. Please note the following exception: contact information and statements of research, teaching and broader impacts work for selected BRAINS participants will be shared with other BRAINS participants and panelists. All data will be presented in aggregate form only for the purposes of reporting and program evaluation. Your survey responses will be stored on a password protected server with restricted access.

BRAINS applicants will be asked to share information from their application, complete a short feedback survey after either the BRAINS symposium or each webinar, and take annual web-based surveys in order to assess the outcomes of BRAINS. Participation in the evaluative research is voluntary. You are not obligated to participate and your decision not to participate will not preclude you from being selected as a participant in BRAINS. All data will remain confidential in evaluation reports.

Please note that those accepted to the Fellows Program are expected to be present for the entire BRAINS Fellows Symposium, including meals, and stay at the symposium lodging. This requirement includes participants that live locally. The tentative timeframe for the 2019 Fellows Symposium is 2:30 pm, September 12, 2019 to 12:00 pm, September 15, 2019. Please note this time frame does not include travel time to the symposium site, which takes an average 2-3 hours from the Sea-Tac airport. We recommend selected Fellows plan to arrive to Sea-Tac airport by noon on Sept. 12, 2019 and depart Sea-Tac airport after 4 pm on Sept. 15, 2019. If you are unable to commit to the full BRAINS Fellows Symposium, you may still apply to BRAINS and participate in the Affiliates program.

Application Components

  1. Personal Statement: A one paragraph statement explaining how you willl benefit from a program like BRAINS and how the anticipated impact of a program like BRAINS might differ from other career support you may have already experienced. Possible sources of career support to consider include access to resources, mentors, networking, professional development programs, etc. If possible, please specify the types of career support you have received. We highly recommend preparing this statement before beginning the online application survey.
  2. Career Statement: A one paragraph statement explaining where you expect to be professionally in five years. Please describe how you feel about your career progression relative to peers in your field. You might include reference to your confidence about potential for success, barriers you are facing, your commitment to stay in academia, etc. This statement will be submitted via the online application survey. We highly recommend preparing this statement before beginning the online application survey.
  3. Research and Teaching and Service Statement: A three-paragraph professional statement. Please include one paragraph describing your research, one paragraph about your teaching and mentoring philosophy, and one paragraph sharing your outreach, diversity and broader impacts work. This statement will be submitted via the online application survey. We highly recommend preparing this statement before beginning the online application survey.

    If you are invited to participate in the BRAINS program, these three paragraphs will be available to other participants and panelists. Please note that your submission of these paragraphs serves as permission to share these statements with the BRAINS community. If you have questions or concerns about the inclusion of these paragraphs, please contact us at
  4. A Mandatory Online Questionnaire: This survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete andwill provide information about your experiences and your expectations of the BRAINS program. Please complete the questionnaire, as the answers are important for participant selection.
  5. Documentation of Eligibility: BRAINS is funded by NIH to increase diversity within the neuroscience workforce on a national basis.  Our funding mechanism states "...for this NINDS Diversity R25 program, diversity includes individuals currently underrepresented in neuroscience research on a national basis (for example see surveys conducted by the Society for Neuroscience Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs), including: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or individuals with disabilities (see also"

Thus, eligible BRAINS participants will be

a) US citizens or permanent residents unless strongly justified on the basis of exceptional relevance to NIH and approved by our funding agency; 

b) from a group recognized as underrepresented in neuroscience. At the postgraduate level and beyond, this includes certain race, ethnicity, and disability statuses, specifically:

i) Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis. The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americas, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the US Pacific Islands.  Learn more

ii) Individuals with disabilities (defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities).

Pursuant to NIH guidelines, all accepted participants will need to submit documentation from an institutional official that certifies you meet one of these eligibility criteria.  Please see the BRANS application website ( for a sample letter. 

Please email with any questions concerning this documentation or the eligibility requirements.


Other general questions about program eligibility are addressed on our FAQ page.