As part of its Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Program, NSF recently released a new topic that may be of interest to you:  Brain-inspired Dynamics for Engineering Energy-Efficient Circuits and Artificial Intelligence (BRAID).  This topic will support interdisciplinary research to create a new engineering science of brain-inspired engineered learning systems.

Neuroscience research is in a period of explosive growth, producing new understanding of biological learning processes and their efficiency that remains largely untapped. This revolution in our understanding of the brain has revealed, for example, the critical interplay of temporal dynamics across time scales from milliseconds to lifetimes and neural structures across spatial scales from nanometers to entire brains. BRAID seeks to exploit emerging advances in neuroscience for the design of engineered learning systems that would exhibit the flexibility, robustness, and efficiency of biological intelligence, exemplified respectively by the continual and causal learning needed for adaptive autonomy, the abstraction and generalization needed to learn from few examples and to identify relevant strategies from previously learned concepts and contexts, and the energy efficiency needed to extend the benefits of learning and autonomy throughout the built environment.

Each proposal submitted in response to the BRAID topic of the EFRI solicitation must address at least two out of the three threads (shown below):

  • Thread 1: Theoretical Neuroscience
  • Thread 2: Brain-informed Hardware Design 
  • Thread 3: Algorithmic Learning for Resilient Adaptive Technologies

While responses to all three threads are encouraged, response to Thread 1 is mandatory.

The full solicitation (21-615) can be found here:

The Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA) Office will host an informational webinar at 2 PM EDT on October 15, 2021, to discuss the EFRI program and answer questions about the FY 2022/23 solicitation. To register for this webinar, go to this link:

Letters of Intent will be due on November 10, 2021. Preliminary Proposals will be due on December 16, 2021. Full Proposals will be due on March 10, 2022.

Please also see NeuroNex – National Science Foundation for additional NSF funding opportunities of potential interest.


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