DIBS Research Awards: Catalyzing Collaboration, Innovation

2019-20 Letters of Intent due 5/1/19; full proposals 8/1/19

DIBS Research Awards Program

DIBS serves as a vital hub for researchers representing multiple disciplines related to neuroscience. We use a multi-pronged approach to catalyze innovative interdisciplinary neuroscience research, which includes two types of competitive seed funding programs for novel research grants.

The Research Awards Program is composed of Research Incubator Awards and Research Germinator Awards. Following is the 2019-2020 awards program schedule and information about each award, including its purpose and instructions for applying. Links to previous award recipients appear at the end of the page. 

2019-2020 Research Awards Schedule

  • March 5, 2019: Call for Proposals goes out
  • May 1One-page Letters of Intent due by 5 p.m. ET. Letters should be in PDF format and uploaded through the award-specific webform; see below for the link to each.
  • August 1: Full proposals due VIA EMAIL to DIBS Chief Operating Officer Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, , by 5 p.m. ET; strict word- and page-limits apply 
  • November/December: Award Recipients announced; funding begins January 1, 2020

About Research Incubator Awards

DIBS Research Incubator Awards provide up to $100,000 for one year (non-renewable) to support research projects involving interdisciplinary, collaborative brain science research within Duke. The projects must represent exceptional innovation and broad significance to the field. These awards are open to Duke faculty.

The projects must engage at least two faculty representing multiple fields or levels of analysis and bring together investigators from across the University. Projects that include investigators from multiple schools within the University (e.g., School of Medicine, Arts and Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, etc.) are encouraged. The 2019-2020 Research Incubator Awards Application Form may be found HERE (Word document)

To submit an INCUBATOR Award Letter of Intent, due May 1 by 5 p.m. ET, please click HERE and fill out the webform.

About Research Germinator Awards 

The DIBS Research Germinator Awards are designed to support smaller, targeted requests for training, pilot data, non-faculty salary and/or equipment that would facilitate new research and lead to new external funding. Projects are awarded up to a maximum of $25,000 (non-renewable). A letter of intent and brief application are required. These awards are open to Duke graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. 

The application should describe how this targeted investment would catalyze a new program of research or collaboration and/or enhance chances of obtaining external funding. DIBS can assist in identifying appropriate funding sources. It should also describe clearly and concisely how a project’s scope matches its duration (up to 1 year) and requested funding. If a grant or other award proposal has been submitted to another funding source (e.g., NIH, NSF, foundation) on a similar topic, the rationale for DIBS funding should be clearly articulated. Note: Unlike the DIBS Incubator Awards, Germinator Awards may go to single investigators. Please click HERE for the 2019-2020 Research Germinator Awards Application Form (Word document)

To submit a GERMINATOR Award Letter of Intent, due May 1 by 5 p.m. ET, please click HERE and fill out the webform.


Please contact Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, Ph.D., DIBS Chief Operating Officer:

Previous Research Award Recipients



Learn more about DIBS

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences is a scientific institute with a collaborative spirit and a commitment to education, service and knowledge across disciplines. We encourage creativity, taking risks, sharing ideas and working together.


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