Penn Medicine Translational
Neuroscience Center (PTNC)

Funding Opportunities, Courses, etc.

(Note: these lists are updated regularly so check back often)


Informed Consent:
On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision which significantly impacts the process for obtaining informed consent, including obtaining consent in the research setting. Specifically, informed consent for clinical research using either an experimental product or an approved product in an experimental manner must be obtained by the physician using or administering the product.  This task cannot be delegated to other members of the study team. The requirements imposed by the Court’s decision are effective immediately.  Please note that this change may require alteration to study documents (such as FDA Forms), in addition to a change in your current consenting process. Please reach out with any questions to Kristen Grace, MD PhD, Director of Compliance (, OCR or Tracy Ziolek, MS, CIP, Executive Director, Human Research Protections Program (

Brief Statement of the Holding
“A physician may not delegate to others his or her obligation to provide sufficient information in order to obtain a patient’s informed consent. Informed consent requires direct communication between physician and patient, and contemplates a back-and-forth, face-to-face exchange, which might include questions that the patient feels the physician must answer personally before the patient feels informed and becomes willing to consent.” Shinal v. Toms, 31 MAP 2016, 2017 Pa. LEXIS 1385, at *52 (Pa. 2017) (emphasis added). All prior decisions holding otherwise are overruled. Id. at 53. 



Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research: Dynamic Neuroimmune Interactions in the Transition from Brain Function to Dysfunction (R01) - NOT-AA-17-006
Organization: NIH
Activity Code: R01
FOA is expected to be published in fall 2017 with an expected application due date in winter 2017

Global Brain and Nervous System Disorders Research Across the Lifespan (R21) - PAR-17-313
Organization: NIH
Activity Code: R21
Letter of Intent Due: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application Due Date: November 7, 2017 (AIDS and non-AIDS)

Global Brain and Nervous System Disorders Research Across the Lifespan (R01) - PAR-17-314
Organization: NIH
Activity Code: R01
Letter of Intent Due: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application Due Date: November 7, 2017 (AIDS and non-AIDS)



Leveraging Electronic Medical Records for Psychiatric Genetic Research
Goal: The purpose of this initiative is to support projects that implement creative and robust molecular epidemiologic approaches that leverage existing electronic medical records (EMR) from large, population-based cohorts.  Such projects would incorporate individual polygenic risk scores and other genetic markers of risk to conduct analyses that advance our understanding of the complex etiology of severe mental disorders.

Novel Approaches to Understanding the Mechanisms of the Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Alzheimer’s and Advancing Therapy Development
Goal: The goal of this initiative is to encourage research that will enhance knowledge of mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in dementia so as to develop novel treatments.

The NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program (PDSP)
Goal: The goal of the NIMH PDSP is to provide the research community with access to broad screening capabilities in the form of pharmacological and functional assays. The purpose is to stimulate innovative research and development efforts in the discovery of novel tools for basic research, small molecule probes, ligands for neuroimaging, and as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. The program utilizes state-of-the-art high-throughput screening of compounds in assays for a wide variety of central nervous system targets. This research is supported by a contract.

Paving the Way for Assessing Novel Pediatric Interventions
Goal: The goal of this initiative is to develop and pilot test a clinical trial model to enable early stage, first in pediatric testing of investigational drugs in pediatric populations. Through this model, drug candidates would be identified based on safety/tolerability data in adults and the molecular target’s potential association with pediatric symptoms and drug availability. The adult approval process, that typically happens before pediatric studies are initiated, would be bypassed using a staged pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) bridging design. This model brings together critical multidisciplinary expertise needed for safely testing candidate drugs in children including:  pediatric clinical pharmacologists with expertise in PK modeling and PK bridging studies, pediatric psychiatry trialists, Contract Research Organizations (CROs) or sites within Clinical and Translational Science Awards networks (CTSAs), consultants experienced with the drug agent, and consultants experienced in pediatric regulatory issues.

Rare Genetic Syndromes as a Window into the Genetic Architecture of Mental Disorders
Goal: This initiative would foster collaborative and coordinated efforts to characterize the underlying genetic architecture of diverse neuropsychiatric phenotypes within and across rare genetic syndromes and identify the shared genetic risk with idiopathic neuropsychiatric disorders.

A Practice-Based Research Network to Transform Mental Health Care: Science, Service Delivery & Sustainability
Goal: The goal of this initiative is to support a practice-based research network to transform the development, delivery, and sustainability of evidence-based mental health practices and services. Through a research consortium embedded within large integrated healthcare delivery systems and serving a representative population, this network would result in a continuously learning healthcare system as defined by the Institute of Medicine, to create “a continuous cycle or feedback loop in which scientific evidence informs clinical practice while data gathered from clinical practice and administrative sources inform scientific investigation.” 

IMH Career Enhancement Award to Advance Autism Services for Adults and Transition-Age Youth
Goal: The goal of this initiative is to rapidly increase the capacity of the NIMH investigator workforce to develop and test the effectiveness of a broad range of services that address the needs of adults and transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Dysregulation and Proximal Risk for Suicide
Goal: The goal of this initiative is to encourage research to understand the mechanisms by which dysregulation dynamically interacts with cognition and mood to confer imminent risk for suicide, and to identify modifiable targets for timely interventions during high risk periods.

Explainable Artificial Intelligence for Decoding and Modulating Behaviorally-Activated Brain Circuits
Goal: he goal of this initiative is to solicit applications in the area of eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) applied to mental health priorities (NIMH Strategic Objective 1, Strategy 1.1: Describe the molecules, cells, and neural circuits associated with complex behaviors; and Strategic Objective 3, Strategy 3.2: Develop ways to tailor interventions to optimize outcomes). Current machine learning approaches focus on classifying and predicting brain and behavioral signals but their solutions still remain uninterpretable. XAI would retain prediction accuracy while endowing these models with explanatory features.



NIH BRAIN Initiative Active Funding — ​Click here for Active Funding Opportunities

Private Foundation Funding — click here (updated 08-10-17)

NIH Funding Opportunities — click here (updated 07-21-17)

NSF Funding Opportunities —





Additional Funding Opportunities can be found at the following links:

Perelman School of Medicine funding opportunities page

ITMAT funding opportunities page







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