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How to Apply

The first step is to submit a two-page letter of intent describing the project and how the technology involved will enrich the neurosciences and become accessible to other research in the field.

The letter of intent should include the email address of the principal investigators and a title for the project.

The principal investigators will be required to:

  • Set up a username and password (please retain your username and password as you will need it throughout the process)
  • Complete an online face sheet
  • 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
  • Funds may be used toward a variety of research activities, but not the recipient’s salary

A review committee will evaluate the letters and will invite a few candidates to submit full proposals. At that point, a Stage Two URL will be provided. Proposals will be evaluated on the creativity and potential benefit of the approach and the significance of the problems to be addressed.

Following review of the proposals, the committee will recommend up to three awards to the Board of Directors of the Endowment Fund. The board will make the final decision. Each award will provide $100,000 per year for two years.


  • LOIs are due on December 7, 2020
  • Full proposals will be due April 26, 2021
  • Awards are announced in late June and begin on August 1, 2021

Competition is intense, and investigators who do not receive an award are encouraged to re-apply.

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


Candidates for McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Awards:

  • Must be working at not-for-profit institutions within the United States.
  • Must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor or higher, e.g. associate professor or professor, at institutions within the United States. Scientists holding other titles such as research professor, adjunct professor, professor research track, visiting professor, or instructor are not eligible.
  • Must be developing new techniques or applying techniques to neuroscience in new ways.
  • May not be intramural employees such as those at the Allen Institute, National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and similar institutions.
  • May not hold another McKnight award that would overlap with the Technology award.

Inquiry Instructions

The application process is completely online. Click below to access the Stage One LOI form.



LOIs Due: December 7, 2020
Proposals: April 26, 2021
Funding Begins: August 1, 2021

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