Brain Canada | Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research

Supported  by  the  Canada  Brain  Research  Fund,  the  purpose  of  the  Future  Leaders  in  Canadian  Brain Research  Grants  Program  is  to  accelerate  novel  and  transformative  research  that  will  fundamentally change our understanding  of  nervous  system function and dysfunction and their impact on health.  The ultimate goal is to  reduce the social  and economic  burden of neurological and  mental health problems through prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment.

Newly  trained  researchers  in  their  first  independent  academic  position  are  in  a  strong  position  to formulate  innovative and impactful research projects. However, at the  early stages  of an investigator’s career,  they  often  lack  the  preliminary  data  and  resources  that  are  required  to  obtain  their  first  large operating grant. As such, promising early-career researchers are often at a disadvantage when applying to  “open” funding programs, where more established  researchers  tend  to  dominate.  This  program provides an opportunity to develop new lines of research on the properties and mechanisms of the brain and nervous system, and gather such preliminary data.


  • This competition is open to early-career researchers within five years of starting their first independent research position by the deadline to submit  Full Applications. Leaves of absence (e.g. maternity and parental leave, sick leave, etc.) will not be included in calculating the five-year window. Investigators must  be  conducting  research  at  a  Canadian  institution  for  the  entire  duration  of  the  award,  and academic appointments must have started by the deadline for Full Application submission.
  • Researchers  must  be  considered  an  independent  researcher  at  their  institution.  Such  an  individual normally holds  the  rank  of  assistant  or associate  professor;  can  initiate  and  direct  their  own independent  lines  of  research  as  principal  investigator;  has  full  responsibility  for  running  their laboratories;  has  full  control  of  their  research  funds;  and  is  permitted  to  supervise  trainees  (if applicable, as per their institution’s policy). Postdoctoral fellows or adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be able to devote a minimum of 50% of their time to research activities. 
  • Research applications may be related but cannot be identical to any other currently funded projects. It is the responsibility of the applicant to notify Brain Canada immediately should substantial overlap arise from new funding awards during the application and review process of this competition.  
  • Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent in order to be eligible to submit a Full Application.
  • Applicants  who  have  received  or  are  currently  holding  an  Azrieli  Foundation  Early  Career  Capacity Building Grant or a Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Grant are not eligible for this funding.
  • Applicants must initiate the project in August 2022, when funding will start.

November 16, 2021: Deadline for LOI
February 16, 2022: Deadline for Full Application

See Full Eligibility & Application Details


Agency Name: 
Brain Canada
Contact Name:
Grant Amount: 
Up to $100,000 over 2 years
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Internal Deadline: 
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Grant Eligibility: