The Harvard/MIT Joint Research Grants Program in Basic Neuroscience provides funding for a team of two basic neuroscience tenure-track investigators to work collaboratively to advance our understanding of brain development and function. Grant applications covering the spectrum of basic neuroscience research - including model system studies, the development of new tools and technologies, and the study of neural circuits and behavior - will be considered.


The goal of this program is to fuel discovery that lays the foundation for new therapies for nervous system disease. Investigators are encouraged to seek collaborations across any of the institutions listed here:

  • Harvard Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Harvard Medical School
  • MIT
  • Boston University
  • Tufts University
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Children's Hospital Boston
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
  • McLean Hospital

Successful proposals are likely to describe projects that are highly innovative, possibly risky, and not yet mature enough to attract NIH funding. Because these grants are intended to encourage new lines of research, preliminary data is not essential. Applicants should provide evidence in the proposal narrative that the work is exploratory and innovative and will require the collective expertise of the collaborating laboratories.

Questions? Please contact joint_basicneuro@hms.harvard.edu.

The RFA for the 2020 Harvard/MIT Joint Basic Neuroscience Grants Program will be released on February 10, 2020! 

Click here for details on the program, and for information about how to apply!

The awardees of the 2019 Harvard/MIT Joint Basic Neuroscience Grants Program are:

  1. Jerry Chen (Assistant Professor, Boston University) and Wei-Chung Lee (Assistant Professor, Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School): Cortical circuits underlying categorial representations
  2. Xiaowei Zhuang (Professor, Harvard University) and Thomas Schwarz (Professor, Children’s Hospital Boston): Microtubule cytoskeletal events in synaptogenesis
  3. Jesse Gray (Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School) and Ann McKee (Professor, Boston University): Transcriptomic profiling of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy