Carney Institute for Brain Science
Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research

Innovation Awards

Bringing bold ideas to life

The Innovation Awards in Brain Science program at Brown University’s Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science provides seed funding for new high-impact research in Alzheimer's disease and other areas of brain science. 

The Innovation Awards program is open to faculty members with tenured/tenure-track or research faculty appointments who are employed by Brown or its affiliated hospitals. The Carney Institute invests up to $100,000 per project for one year, renewable for a second year on a competitive basis.

Since the inception of the Innovation Awards program in 2014, the Carney Institute has supported early-stage research projects that are too new to attract external funding but have great potential to advance science and benefit society. In 2019, for example, Ashley Webb, in the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, received an innovation award to establish a new system to study how neurons age.

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“High-risk projects have the most potential to lead to breakthroughs in science and medicine, but funding mechanisms for this type of work are limited. The Innovation Awards program allowed us to pursue an exciting idea that wouldn’t have been funded by traditional funding mechanisms because they favor safe, well-established projects that often result in incremental advances.”

Ashley Webb Richard and Edna Salomon Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Ashley Webb