Proposal Deadline: August 25, 2021


The mission of the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center (CNC) is to accelerate discovery by promoting excellence in fundamental, translational, and clinical neuroscience research, as well as education and clinical care, through integrating the UAB-wide neuroscience community. Toward that end, the CNC invites proposals for fundamental, translational, or clinical research aimed at areas of neuroscience that are aligned with one or more of the CNC Pillars:

  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Circadian Rhythms and Sleep
  • Neuroengineering and Brain-Computer Interface
  • Epilepsy Disorders
  • Neuroimaging
  • Glial Biology and Pathology
  • Neuromodulation
  • Mental Disorders
  • Addiction and Pain Prevention and Intervention

These Pilot Awards are intended to support UAB scientists in obtaining extramural funding for neuroscience research.


Eligibility requires a full-time UAB faculty appointment at the level of Instructor or Assistant Professor (non-tenure earning or tenure earning track) with current extramural funding not exceeding $100,000/year. Established investigators new to neuroscience, or those who are pursuing a new direction in the field but have no extramural funding for those activities will also be considered. Applicants new to neuroscience should identify a collaborator with a record of accomplishments who is willing to serve as mentor. Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate close relevance to the CNC mission and the likelihood of future R01 or similar funding from NIH, DOD, or NSF within 1-2 years.

Application Information

Proposals should consist of a single PDF document containing a 2-page description of the proposed research; a 1-page budget; a letter of endorsement from the department chair; and a NIH-style biosketch from the applicant, including current active extramural funding. These Pilot Awards can be used for direct projects costs or as a stipend supplement.

Grant Start Date: October 1, 2021
Award Level: $25,000/year for a maximum 2 years, pending review of progress after Year 1.

Submit applications to Red Assist by August 25th.

Questions? Email

2020 Pilot Awardees

Andrew Hardaway, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, and Ashley Harms, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, are the recipients of the 2020 Comprehensive Neuroscience Center Early Stage Investigator Pilot Awards. 

hardawayDr. Hardaway’s application, Central Amygdala Dopamine in Cue-Reward Learning, supports his research on dopamine as a critical neurotransmitter for the regulation of conserved behaviors like reward, learning, movement, cognition, and arousal. The dysregulation of dopamine signaling is a pathological hallmark in diseases like addiction, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease.

harmsDr. Harms’ application, Attenuating α-synuclein-induced inflammation by VLA-4 antibody blockage, builds on her research toward understanding the immunological mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of synucleinopathy disorders including Parkinson’s disease and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).