NINDS Research Priorities

Learn about NINDS core values when setting funding priorities and explore the different ways that ideas for Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) may originate.

Establishing NINDS' Research Priorities

Each NIH Institute and Center (IC) has a different approach when priority setting and making funding decisions.  Some ICs use their strategic planning activities to establish scientific areas of interest and actively build a portfolio based on these areas.  Others are directed by Congress and other external stakeholders to fund specific research areas or disorders.  Some others rely heavily on the output from peer review and fund applications largely in score order.  The reality is most ICs use a combination of these approaches to determine which grant applications to fund. Review Strategic Plans covering sevearal areas within the NINDS mission as well as principles that drive NINDS' funding priorities below.

Principles that Drive NINDS' Funding Priorities  

NINDS Values Investigator-Initiated Research and the Peer Review Process
Reflective of this, NINDS supports a large and diverse portfolio of basic and disease-focused neuroscience fueled by the innovative engine of the research community. Applications in response to NIH “parent” funding opportunities are generally paid in score order up to a funding cutoff, or payline. For more details see NINDS paylines.
NINDS strives to support a scientifically vibrant and diverse research workforce.
To this end, we support programs and applications beyond the payline with the potential to expand the diversity of thought, experience, and/or perspective within the NINDS research or clinical workforce.
NINDS seeks to accelerate basic research findings toward patient use and to test promising treatments in the clinic
By some estimates, one in three people in the world is living with a neurological disorder; however, the vast complexity of the human brain has left us without adequate treatments for many of these conditions.
NINDS is committed to developing researchers that are diverse, trained in the rigorous conduct of science, and that have the skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing research landscape
The next generation of the neuroscience and clinical research workforce are essential to advancing the boundaries of scientific knowledge. In addition to supporting trainees and fellows at various stages of their careers, NINDS has a strong history of support for Early Stage Investigators.
NINDS recognizes the importance of the mentor-mentee relationship
An effective mentor is an invaluable component to personal and professional development; a role that often goes unrecognized. NINDS recognizes the importance of the mentor-mentee relationship and supports the Landis Mentorship Award to not only applaud the work of excellent mentors, but also to encourage intuitions to reward individuals for their impact on the lives of others.
NINDS is at the epicenter of several large Congressionally supported initiatives
These initiatives each have stand-alone budgets and a variety of funding opportunities to solicit applications to advance the overall programmatic objectives. The BRAIN Initiative that aims to build tools to better interrogate the human brain. The HEAL Initiative that strives to end opioid addiction and develop non-addictive analgesics. The AD/ADRD program which is advancing scientific progress toward reducing the enormous toll taken by dementia.