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Deadline: 2021 McKnight Technology Awards

The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience supports innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated. To this end, the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience invites letters of intent for the 2021 McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience awards.

Use of Award Funds

These awards encourage and support scientists working on the development of novel and creative approaches to understanding brain function. The Endowment Fund is interested in how a new technology may be used to monitor, manipulate, analyze, or model brain function at any level, from the molecular to the entire organism. The technology may take any form, from biochemical tools to instruments to software and mathematical approaches. Because the program seeks to advance and enlarge the range of technologies available to the neurosciences, research based primarily on existing techniques will not be considered.

A goal of the Technological Innovations awards is to foster collaboration between the neurosciences and other disciplines; therefore, collaborative and cross-disciplinary applications are explicitly invited. For descriptions of previous awards, visit past awardees.


Applicants must be working at not-for-profit institutions within the United States and must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor or higher, e.g. associate professor or professor. Scientists holding other titles such as research professor, adjunct professor, professor research track, visiting professor, or instructor are not eligible. Funds may be used for a variety of research activities, but not the recipient’s salary. Applicants may not be intramural employees such as those at the Allen Institute, National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and similar institutions, and may not hold another type of McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience Award that would overlap with the Technological Innovations Award.

Selection Process

There is a two-stage selection process, beginning with a letter of intent (LOI). The selection committee will review the LOIs and invite a few applicants to submit full proposals which will be evaluated on the basis of creativity, the potential benefit of the new approach, and the significance of the problems to be addressed. Up to three awards are made annually, each providing $100,000 per year for two years. LOIs are due on December 7, 2020 (midnight in the last time zone on earth). Full proposals will be due April 26, 2021, and funding begins on August 1, 2021.

How to Apply

First step: click here to access the Stage One LOI form. The PI will be required to set up a user name and password (please retain your username and password as you will need it throughout the process), complete an online face sheet, and upload a two-page project description with no more than two pages of references; any images must be within the two-page limit. Project description and references should be uploaded as a single PDF. For multiple PIs, one PI should fill out the LOI form; please include all PI names on the two-page LOI and include an NIH Biosketch for each investigator. All applicants should arrange the pages of the PDF in the following order:

  • Two-page LOI
  • NIH Biosketch for each investigator

Finalists will be invited via email to submit a full proposal; submission instructions will be provided at that time. Competition is very intense; applicants are welcome to apply more than once.

If you do not receive email confirmation of receipt of your LOI within a week of submission, please contact Eileen Maler.

Topic: The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience, Technology Awards

September 2020