Registered Reports Funding Program

Registered Reports (RR), a new way of reporting the results of empirical investigations in scientific journals, have the potential to drive not only transformational research, but high-quality transformational research that is open and reproducible. This new program offers researchers support to use the RR format. Please see the Program Guidelines for full details.

About Registered Reports

Contrary to the conventional publication process, an RR entails researchers submitting their introduction, methods and analysis plan to a journal before collecting the data. The journal will undertake two stages of peer review.

  • Stage 1 review of RRs considers the researchers’ hypotheses and rationale for proposing a particular study (or set of studies) as well as the proposed methodology and analysis plan. If a Stage 1 RR is accepted by the journal, then the researchers can proceed with data collection. Importantly, acceptance of Stage 1 implies an ‘in principle acceptance’ of the entire manuscript once it is complete.

  • The main purpose of the Stage 2 review process is simply to ensure that the researchers followed the method and analyses proposed at Stage 1.

The focus of an RR is not on the perceived impact of the results but rather on the appropriateness and adequacy of theory, method and analysis plan before data are collected. This format of publication emphasizes the value of hypotheses and the methods and analytic strategy chosen to address them. For further details on RRs, please visit:

Program Stages

Part 1: Program Call

  • Virtual workshops made available through the Program Advocate (Daniel Ansari)

Part 2: Letter of Intent (LOI)

  • The LOI must include an abstract to determine “Fit to Mandate”, target journal(s) from the approved list, a detailed budget for stage 2, and milestone estimates (Submission of Stage 1 RR, approval of RR, start of experiments, submission of Phase 2 report.). Complete the LOI template (downloadable below) and submit by email to
  • Lead applicant will submit a ROLA proposal.

  • Only approved LOIs will be eligible to access funds for their approved Stage 1 RR.

Part 3: Development of Stage 1 RR

  • Significant deviation from LOI parameters during report development or as a result of Stage 1 reviews should be reported to BrainsCAN in a timely manner.

  • All activities necessary for Stage 1 are self-funded. This program is to fund the Stage 2, data collection activities of an eligible RR whose Stage 1 is accepted in principle by one of the journals listed in this proposal. Eligibility of an RR is secured by submitting an LOI to BrainsCAN before completing Stage 1.

Part 4: BrainsCAN funding of approved Stage 1 RRs

  • Once the Stage 1 RR is “accepted in principle” by a journal, all materials are sent to BrainsCAN for review. These include the RR, all reviewer comments and researcher rebuttals, detailed budget, timeline and EDI plan.
    • The scientific review is performed by the journal. Since only reputable journals will be included in the possible list, we can be confident that the research impact and quality meets BrainsCAN’s threshold of excellence.
    • Unless the RR deviates substantially from the LOI in terms of budget or research aims, or they fail to provide a reasonable timeline or EDI plan, all RRs are expected to be approved for funding by BrainsCAN.
  • The research funds will be released based on a milestone schedule. Shorter timescale RRs may receive the full budget in one payment.

  • If 'acceptance in principle' is not secured from the journal of choice within 18 months of approval of the LOI, the award is withdrawn.

Part 5: Development of Stage 2 RR

  • To ensure research is completed within BrainsCAN’s term, periodic progress reports will be required based on the milestone timeline provided.

Part 6: Closing out award

  • An award will be complete once the researcher satisfies the requirements of the journal and the Stage 2 peer review.
    • Note: All spending must be completed within the CFREF term.

Current List of Acceptable Journals

Auditory Perception and Cognition
Behavioral Neuroscience
Brain and Behavior
Brain and Cognition
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Consciousness and Cognition
Developmental Science
European Journal of Neuroscience
Human Movement Science
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Journal of Neuropsychology
Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain, and Cognition
Nature Communications
Nature Human Behaviour
Neurobiology of Language
PLOS Biology
Royal Society Open Science
Scientific Reports
Wellcome Open Research

Program Resources:

Contact Information:

If you have any questions, please contact Daniel Ansari, Program Advocate.