Fundamental Neuroscience Research

Light-sheet image of wild-type embryonic mouse cerebellum
Light-sheet image of wild-type embryonic mouse cerebellum (E15.5), stained for three transcription factors [Nr2f2 (red), Bcl11b (green) and Foxp4 (blue)]. Nagham Khouri Farah, Justin Cotney, and James Li
The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. Research and discovery in fundamental neuroscience (FN) are the foundations of achieving that mission.  A more complete understanding of the development, the structure, and the function of the normal nervous system will benefit the entire neuroscience community.

For well over a century, discoveries in basic neuroscience research have been the basis for our understanding of the nervous system and the foundation for developing treatments for neurological disorders. Insights into fundamental neuroscience (FN) have advanced at an ever-faster pace in the 21st century, with remarkable novel discoveries in areas ranging from subcellular mechanisms of action to whole brain activities. FN generates key insights, drives innovation, and underlies many therapeutic breakthroughs that benefit humanity.


Neurology’s Stake in Foundational Neuroscience Research

Back to Basics: A call for fundamental neuroscience research

Discussion of Present and Future Plans For NINDS Support of Fundamental Neuroscience

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is planning a critical effort focused on advancing research in Fundamental Neuroscience (FN). To address this important and foundational aspect of neuroscience research, NINDS convened a Fundamental Neuroscience Working Group (FNWG). FNWG held a series of meetings to discuss key issues and prepared a report to the NANDS Council with recommendations to inform NINDS approaches and plans to support and foster FN research. The report will be presented to NANDS Council on Wednesday September 6, 2023: NIH VideoCast - NANDS Council - September 2023.

FNWG activities and materials can be found here: Fundamental Neuroscience Working Group (FNWG). The FNWG's report on Advancing Fundamental Neuroscience Research(pdf, 915 KB) can be found here. Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments on the report, council presentation or any points related to promoting FN research to

A color coded Neuron in C. elegans Hobert Lab
Multicolor atlas of every neuron in C. elegans using NeuroPAL. Eviatar Yemini and Oliver Hobert

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Resources and Tools

Animal Models
Resources available to neuroscience researchers interested in utilizing animals as models for nervous system function.

Gene Expression
The resources listed below are for gene expression-related information relevant to neuroscience research.

Strategic Plan
NINDS supports and performs a broad array of rigorous and important neuroscience research from fundamental studies of basic nervous system function to studies to improve treatments and prevent neurological disorders.

NINDS Funding Strategy
Current NINDS funding guidelines and payline.

NIH BRAIN Initiative
The Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.

Building Up The Nerve
Neuroscience trainees are taken through the life cycle of a grant from idea to award at NINDS with the people who make it happen.

Find an NINDS Program Director
Please reach out to individual Program Directors or Program Managers for more information about specific opportunities or visit Find Your Program Director to learn more.

Contact Us
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Related FN Articles
Inviting your input: fostering research in fundamental neuroscience
Request for Information (RFI) on Advancing Research in Fundamental Neuroscience (Expired)