BRAIN Initiative: Invasive Devices for Recording & Modulation

UG3/UH3 (also available: UH3 & U44)

BRAIN Initiative: Next-Generation Invasive Devices for Recording and Modulation in the Human Central Nervous System

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage investigators to pursue translational and clinical studies for recording and/or stimulating devices to treat nervous system disorders and better understand the human brain. The program will utilize a cooperative agreement mechanism to support the submission of an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) for a Significant Risk (SR) study or obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for a Non-Significant Risk (NSR) study, and a subsequent small clinical study (e.g., Early Feasibility Study). The small clinical study should provide data to answer key questions about the function or final design of a device.  This final device design may require most, if not all, of the non-clinical testing on the path to more advanced clinical trials and market approval. The clinical study is expected to provide information that cannot be practically obtained through additional nonclinical assessments (e.g., bench top or animal studies) due to the novelty of the device or its intended use. Activities supported in this program include implementation of clinical prototype devices, non-clinical safety and efficacy testing, design verification and validation activities, and pursuit of regulatory approval for, and implementation of, a single small clinical study

As part of the BRAIN InitiativeSM, NIH has initiated a Public-Private Partnership Program (BRAIN PPP) that includes agreements (Memoranda of Understanding) with a number of device manufacturers willing to make such devices available, including devices and capabilities not yet market approved but appropriate for clinical research.  In general it is expected that the devices’ existing safety and utility data will be sufficient to enable new IRB NSR or FDA IDE approval without need for significant additional non-clinical data. 

Individuals, institutions or businesses developing their own devices or that already have established collaborations with device manufacturers are welcome to apply directly to this FOA or RFA-NS-17-006.


  • Pre-Application Submission: 30 days before application submission due date
  • Application Submission: 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization, Dec. 21, 2016; Oct. 18, 2017

Companion Opportunity:


Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.