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Grants to USA Early-Career Investigators for Research Related to Neurodegenerative Diseases


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MIND (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery) Prize

Pershing Square Foundation (PSF)

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #206674

Grant Description

Grants to USA early-career investigators for research related to neurodegenerative diseases. Eligible applicants have a doctoral degree and between 1 and 10 years of research experience. Funding is intended for novel and revolutionary research with the potential for far-reaching impact. Investigators with or without core neuroscience backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

The Pershing Square Foundation’s (PSF) brain initiative funds cutting-edge research that revolutionizes the ability to predict, prevent, and treat neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). Advancing the fundamental understanding of the brain and cognition to ultimately combat neurodegeneration and related diseases is a goal of increasing urgency. Breakthroughs in basic scientific and translational research will yield critical tools for and knowledge of NDDs, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, which affect millions of people worldwide.

The MIND (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery) Prize supports and empowers early-to-mid-career investigators to rethink conventional paradigms around NDDs. Modeled after the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, the MIND Prize catalyzes interdisciplinary approaches and facilitate collaborations across academic departments and institutions. It fuels the groundbreaking research that will accelerate our understanding of NDDs at every level.

Projects may range from the invention of novel tools, techniques, and technologies for mapping and analyzing the brain to bold approaches that demonstrate extraordinary therapeutic potential. Research domains may include—but are not limited to—neurobiology, brain imaging and mapping, machine learning, drug delivery, and synthetic biology.

PSF seeks high-risk, high-reward proposals that focus on novel interdisciplinary approaches to neuroscience research and are grounded in sound reasoning from first principles. The MIND Prize was created to fund projects that have been deemed too risky or speculative for traditional funding sources but still hold the potential for radical impact. Investigators with or without core neuroscience backgrounds are encouraged to apply. PSF is committed to supporting scientists whose imagination and fresh insights could substantially change an area of research by applying their expertise to new directions.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Early-to-mid-career investigators may apply.

An MD, PhD, or MD-PhD degree (or equivalent) is required. Applicants must have completed at least one (1) but no more than ten years of independent research experience by the start date of the Prize (May 2023). Principal Investigators (PIs) must hold faculty appointments at academic research institutions in the United States of America. An applicant, who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, by submitting an application for this funding, assures that his/her visa status will provide sufficient time to complete the project and grant term within the United States. Investigators need not be specifically trained in neuroscience; however, they should have access to an environment capable of conducting high-quality, high-impact research related to the understanding of the human brain and/or cognition.

The Pershing Square Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

Pre-Application Information:

The Foundation is currently accepting applications for the inaugural 2023 MIND Prize. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent application is Monday, December 12, 2022 by 5:00pm ET.

The application process will be conducted in two stages:
- Stage 1: Letter of Intent (LOI) and Budget – Opens on Monday, November 7th, 2022 to all who meet the eligibility criteria. LOIs are due Monday, December 12th, 2022 by 5pm EST.
- Stage 2: Presentation – Finalists will be invited to present their proposal to the Scientific Board at the 2023 MIND Prize Review Board Meeting in Manhattan, New York (a remote option will be available, as needed) on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023. Applicants will be notified about the status of their application in early February.

Timeline and Key Dates:
Please note that PSF may adjust the notification dates without notice to applicants:
- November 7, 2022: Application opens to receive Letters of Intent (LOI)
- December 12, 2022: Deadline to submit LOI
- Early February 2023: Selected applicants invited to present at finalist Review Board Meeting
- February 28, 2023: MIND Prize Review Board Meeting
- Early March 2023: 2023 MIND Prize winners notified
- April/May 2023: 2023 MIND Prize winners officially announced
- May 2023: Projects start

Additional Funding Information:

Number of Grants:

Generally five to seven prizes will be awarded annually.

Estimated Size of Grant:

MIND Prize winners will each receive $250,000/year for three years, and they become part of a unique network of researchers associated with PSF. Benefits include:
- Facilitated partnerships with like-minded researchers within and across institutions
- Networking programs such as collaborations and discussions with industry mentors, introductions to philanthropic and for-profit investors in the business community, special industry networking and entrepreneurship events, and more
- An annual retreat
- Opportunities to present at conferences and events (hosted by PSF and other organizations)

Term of Contract:

Three years

Contact Information:

Submit Letter of Intent:

Please email with any questions.

Any questions concerning this RFP should be addressed to:
Christy Hudson (
Program Director, The Pershing Square Foundation

Emily Hotaling (
Program Associate, The Pershing Square Foundation

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