Accelerator Internal Granting Program

* In the fall of 2018, the application process was amended to include an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) section. For spring 2019, we increased the space for researchers to provide a detailed description of their Full application. Please ensure you are using the current guidelines and application.

*The latest BrainsCAN Accelerator Townhall was held November 12, 2019. For those who were unable to attend, slides have been made available online.

We are excited to be offering this internal funding opportunity arising from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) supported BrainsCAN Initiative. CFREF invests approximately $200 million per year to support Canada’s postsecondary institutions in their efforts to become global research leaders.

The Accelerator Program is purposefully designed to push the limits of cognitive neuroscience and transform its landscape by supporting high-risk/high-reward research programs that could not be funded through traditional channels.

Once you’ve identified your transformational research concept, you can proceed with the targeted Stimulus Phase. A Stimulus project should be focused on the aspect of the overall research program that is both foundational and high-risk. It is the aspect with the most uncertainty. As such, it is expected that many of the funded Stimulus projects will not proceed beyond this phase. However, those projects showing success at the Stimulus phase are ideally positioned to expand their research to a scale capable of producing substantial impact in the field of cognitive neuroscience, via the Full Accelerator program.

In summary, the Stimulus project is the key obstacle that needs to be proven to demonstrate the feasibility and allow a larger, transformative program to proceed. The Full Accelerator builds on this success to develop research programs to raise the calibre of Western neuroscience to the highest international level, radically transform our understanding of the brain, significantly reduce the impact of cognitive disorders, and influence clinical practice and public policy through top-quality evidence.

Contact Information:

The competition is administered by BrainsCAN’s Support Team (
For specific questions please contact Jon Deeks, Knowledge Mobilization & Impact Manager (ext: 88596;