Blueprint Research Initiatives

The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research supports cross-cutting neuroscience activities like research training, workforce diversity, resource and tool development, and other research initiatives. Blueprint will be supporting exciting new research in the Blueprint MedTech and BPN initiatives in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023.

Blueprint MedTech

The overarching goal of the Blueprint MedTech program is to accelerate patient access to groundbreaking, safe, and effective medical devices. The program will provide support to sufficiently develop and de-risk technologies to the point where additional investments are warranted from industry partners, investors, and government.

For more information: Blueprint MedTech

Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN) Program for Small Molecules

Cooperative agreement and SBIR Fast-Track award programs support small molecule drug discovery and development.  These programs are designed to maintain the grantees’ intellectual property while providing non-dilutive funding.

For more information: Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN) Program

Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network for Biologics (BPN-Biologics)

The Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network for Biologics (BPN-Biologics) provides support for biologic-based therapeutic discovery and development, from lead optimization through phase I clinical testing. This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) supports preclinical discovery and development of potential therapeutic Biotechnology Products and Biologics including, but not limited to, large biologic macromolecules, (e.g., proteins, antibodies, and peptides), gene-based therapies (i.e., oligonucleotide- and viral-based), cell therapies, and novel emerging therapies (e.g., microbial and microbiome therapies). Applicants will collaborate with NIH-funded consultants and can augment their project with NIH contract research organizations (CROs) that specialize in manufacturing, scaling, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and Phase I clinical testing. BPN-Biologics awardee institutions retain their assignment of IP rights and gain assignment of IP rights from the BPN-Biologics contractors (and thereby control the patent prosecution and licensing negotiations) for biotherapeutic candidates developed in this program.

For more information: Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network for Biologics (BPN-Biologics)

Please visit the Funding Opportunities webpage for a searchable list of all Blueprint NOFOs and notices. 

Fiscal Year (FY) 2021

Functional Neural Circuits of Interoception

The goal of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to enhance our fundamental understanding of interoception with a specific focus on dissecting and determining the function of neural circuits that connects peripheral organs/tissues with the central nervous system (CNS) via peripheral ganglia. For this NOFO, interoception science includes studies of the processes by which an organism senses, interprets, integrates, and regulates signals originating from within itself. This NOFO encourages projects that combine diverse expertise and use innovative approaches to delineate interoceptive mechanisms at the molecular, cellular, circuitry, functional, and/or behavioral levels. Outcomes of this research will lay a critical foundation for future translational and clinical research on interoception as well as its roles in nervous system disorders. Studies of interoceptive neural circuits exclusively within the CNS may be more appropriate for The BRAIN Initiative® funding opportunities. Applications in response to this NOFO should budget for an annual investigator meeting organized by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. Human subject research is not allowed for this NOFO.

Tools and Technologies to Explore Nervous System Biomolecular Condensates

The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to support the development of innovative tools and/or technologies to monitor or manipulate biomolecular condensates (BMCs) in vivo and enable investigators to adopt these tools to answer outstanding questions in basic neuroscience. This research will transform our understanding of the mechanistic role of BMCs in human nervous system health and disease and may serve as the foundation for the development of novel BMC-based therapeutics.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2018

rainbow colored brain image

Blueprint developed three NOFOs that began supporting research in FY 2018:

  1. The Dynamic Neuroimmune Interactions in the Transition from Normal CNS Function to Disorders (RFA-AA-18-07) R01 seeks to transform our understanding of the dynamic changes among multiple neuroimmune components and how they contribute to the onset and progression of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Research supported by this NOFO is expected to address temporal changes in multiple neuroimmune components, such as neurons, microglia, and astrocytes. Proposals that blend diverse expertise with innovative approaches that address these questions at the molecular, cellular, and circuitry levels were highly encouraged.
  2. The Innovative Approaches or Technologies to Investigate Regional, Structural and Functional Heterogeneity of CNS Small Blood and Lymphatic Vessels (RFA-NS-18-003) R01 solicited research focused on the development of new technology and tools or novel mechanistic studies (or a combination of both) to image, profile and map central nervous system small blood and lymphatic vessels in health and disease across the lifespan. Additional goals of this research are to elucidate mechanisms underlying CNS small blood and lymphatic vessels structure and functional heterogeneity, differential susceptibility to injury, role in disease and repair processes, and responses to therapies.
  3. The Development and Validation of Technologies for Rapid Isolation and Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) of Central Nervous System Origin (RFA-MH-18-600) R21/R33 is a phased innovation award focused on technology development for robust and reproducible CNS-EV isolation methods. The primary goal of this initiative is to advance the current technologies, develop novel techniques and approaches, and standardize protocols to reliably and specifically isolate EVs of CNS origin from human biofluids, identify the cell type from which they were derived, and characterize their composition.