February 11, 2019

BBI Seed Grant Program

The fourth annual BBI Seed Grant Program is now accepting proposal applications!

Over the last three years, BBI has awarded seed funding to 21 teams of innovative interdisciplinary researchers from 20 different departments and centers/institutes across campus. These have been extremely successful; BBI's $1.3M investment yielded ~$10M in NIH funding.

We look forward to the next round of exciting proposals for collaborative research about behavior and the brain. Please consult the Frequently Asked Questions or direct your query to

Letter of Intent due: February 15, 2019
Proposal due: April 1, 2019

UMD News

Behtash Babadi (ECE), Patrick Kanold (Biology), and Wolfgang Losert (Physics/IPST/IREAP) are part of an 11-investigator team that aims to provide a unifying account of how brain activity and behavior are mutually informing.


In addition to memory loss and confusion, many people with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble sleeping. Now an NIH-funded team of researchers has evidence that the reverse is also true: a chronic lack of sleep may worsen the disease and its associated memory loss.
Researchers aim to improve existing hearing devices by merging brain-computer interface technology with current hearing aid technology, crafting devices that take into account the users’ listening intentions and current mental state. Doing so requires an engineering solution: a device for monitoring brain activity unobrusively in everyday situations.
Many animals understand numbers at a basic level for use in essential tasks such as foraging, shoaling, and resource management. However, a new study shows that honeybees can learn to use symbolic representations for addition or subtraction, a capacity found in only a limited number of nonhuman vertebrates
Imaging of the human brain reveals constellations of activity associated with conscious and unconscious states. With identifiable signatures for each state, doctors and families will have more information to make difficult decisions like whether to continue life support for vegetative patients or whether particular rehabilitation methods are working.
Researchers have been left without access to new papers the major publisher and libraries fail to agree on subscription deals. One stumbling block to an agreement is institutions’ desire to combine the price of subscription to pay-walled journals with the cost that libraries and researchers pay to make articles open-access.
The unionizing effort is currently stalled by objections from the UC administration, while the existing union for postdocs has already negotiated a number of improvements in UC postdocs’ working conditions, including higher pay, guaranteed vacation days, and paid parental leave.

Calendar of Events

Research Seminar
Speaker: Dr. Giandomenico Iannetti
Title: "From pain to defensive actions: saliency detection as a reactive process"
Date: Monday, February 11, 2019
Time: 12 noon
Location: University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Nursing Auditorium (room 130)

IEEE Leadership Seminar
Speaker: Ashley Eidsmore (US ARL)
Title: "The Industry of the Brain"
Date: Friday, February 15, 2019
Time: 12 noon
Location: 2460 A.V. Williams Building
More info

BBI-ISR Joint Seminar
Speaker: Vikram Mitra (Apple, Inc.)
Title: ""Speech as a behavioral signal for mental and cognitive health: Some observations and results"
Date: Monday, February 25, 2019
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: 1146 A. V. Williams Building
More info

Notable Conferences, Workshops, & Webinars

Imaging the Brain at High Spatiotemporal Resolution
February 26, 2019, 12 noon
Webinar feat. Na Ji (UC Berkeley)

NER '19
 (International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering)
March 20-23, 2019
San Francisco, CA

Maryland Neuroimaging Retreat
April 9, 2019
Balitmore, MD

5th Annual BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting
April 11-13, 2019
Washington, DC

Funding Announcements

The Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation is awarded for innovative research that modulates neural activity through physical (electrical, magnetic, optical) stimulation of targeted sites in the nervous system with implications for translational medicine. Due March 15, 2019.

NCI Investigators and UMD Faculty are invited to submit collaborative projects for graduate student support. It is anticipated that several graduate students will be supported through NCI Cancer Research Training Award fellowships starting in the Fall 2019 semester and that tuition will be covered by the University of Maryland. Seed awards will be judged based on student qualifications as well as potential impact, relevance to cancer, innovation and synergism between physics, math, bioengineering & biocomputation and cancer biology. Proposals should be submitted to Stephanie Noel ( by 5 p.m. on March 29, 2019.

NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00) (RFA-NS-19-011). Application Receipt Date(s): December 13, 2018; April 15, 2019; December 13, 2019; April 15, 2020; December 15, 2020; April 15, 2021 , by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) - Institutional Research Training Program [T32] (RFA-OD-19-011) Application Receipt Date: May 25, 2019.

The Maryland Catalyst Fund program – formerly known as the Faculty Incentive Program – is the University of Maryland’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the university’s overall effort to expand its research activity, visibility and impact. The program aims to enable innovative research, to incentivize the pursuit of large, complex, and high-impact research initiatives, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural research awards.

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