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Seed Grants

BIAA's seeks to foster innovation and determination in research through two types of Seed Grants.

Young Investigator Seed Grants support the background work needed for new lines of research, such as a literature search, methodology testing, or collection of pilot data. Applicants are expected to use the seed grant to prepare for larger funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), or other public or private source. 

Brain Injury Scholar Seed Grants support Principle Investigators who wish to supplement an existing project by testing a new hypothesis, adding an additional cohort, or conducting a second statistical analysis of existing data. Please note that BIAA Scholar Grants are not intended to be a bridge between other grants.


Young Investigators must be nestled in a research institution or corporate or non-profit environment where sufficient guidance from experienced brain injury researchers is available. Brain Injury Scholars must be principle investigators on at least one project valued at $300,000 or more or have a record of published articles in peer-reviewed journals or other demonstration of scientific inquiry. All applicants must have adequate infrastructure to support the proposed project. U.S. citizenship is required.

All awardees must be willing to cooperate with the Brain Injury Association of America in promoting the Association’s research program.

Grant Amount

Seed grants are funded up to $25,000 for one year with 80 percent of funds issued upon notice of grant award (or other flexible start date as noted below) and 20 percent issued upon receipt of a final report.

Awards may be issued to the applicant or his/her institution and may follow the applicant to a new institution if necessary.

The allowable indirect cost rate is limited to 10 percent.

Application Requirements

BIAA uses cloud-based grants management software for all aspects of the application process, including materials submission, reviews, and communication with applicants. There is a 2-stage process for seed grant applications:

Stage 1. Letter of Interest

Applicants submit contact information and upload a Letter of Interest (LOI) not to exceed 2 single-spaced pages in PDF form. The LOI should include a concise description of research ambitions that explains the way(s) seed funding will result in a larger opportunity. In addition, BIAA Young Investigator applicants MUST submit contact information for the study supervisor and a letter of recommendation from that individual.

Letters of Interest are reviewed to determine if the applicant should be invited to submit a full proposal.

Stage 2. Proposal

Invited applicants upload a proposal that describes the problem, how it relates to BIAA’s priorities, scientific method, key personnel and the resources in the environment to be utilized. The narrative should also describe how the results of the plan will be used (such as for a larger grant submission or dissemination through publication.). The budget and work plan should be uploaded as separate documents. Please follow the full instructions as described in the application portal.

Evaluation Criteria

The Letter of Interest (LOI) will be evaluated based on the proposed project’s relevance to BIAA’s research priorities and the qualifications of the key personnel involved in the project. If invited, proposals will be evaluated using the National Institutes for Health (NIH) Criteria for Non-Clinical Trials.


May 15 – Submission Portal Open for Letters of Interest
June 30 – Letters of Interest Due
August 1 – Full Proposals Invited
September 15 – Invited Proposals Due
November 30 – Reviews Completed; Recommendations Submitted to BIAA Board for Approval
January 15 – Applicants Notified; Award Letters & Grant Agreements Sent

Projects are expected to be completed within a 12-month period, beginning with the receipt of funding, the start of a post-doc or faculty position, or the issuance of Internal Review Board (IRB) approval, if applicable. A no-cost extension of up to one year is available upon request. 

Reporting Requirements

Each successful applicant is required to submit an interim report at the 6-month mark comparing actual progress to the proposed work plan and a plan of action to correct significant deficiencies, if any exist. A final report is due at the completion of the study.

Publications resulting in whole or part from a BIAA seed grant must acknowledge the Association and special donor fund if applicable. For example: “This research was supported in part by the Brain Injury Association of America/Smith Family Fund.”

Questions & Answers

BIAA is unable to answer individual inquiries concerning its seed grant award program. Interested applicants may submit questions through the online portal. As appropriate, responses will appear here.

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For many people, brain injury evolves into a chronic health condition that can cause or accelerate multiple diseases. Through BIAA's Redmann Research Program, we are determined to find a cure for brain injury.

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