BRAINS Year 03 Mentored Research Award


Building Research and Innovation in Nigeria’s Science (BRAINS)

Year 03 Mentored Research Award

Call for Application

BRAINS research trainee award proposes to support the development of junior faculty research through provision of funds for a one year mentored research program. This mechanism is aimed toward junior faculty members with basic science, clinical and/or epidemiological research interest and who have an innovative research idea, are attempting to initiate a new research project, or aim to gather some preliminary data that will be used for applications to future grant opportunities. The award supports a 1-year period of supervised research experience that may integrate laboratory with clinical or epidemiologic based research; engineering junior faculty will develop innovative solutions for disease diagnosis or treatment. The proposed research should have both research importance and be a suitable method for learning the skills necessary for an independent research career. Research topics are on HIV and Infectious Diseases, neuroscience, genomics & bioinformatics, community medicine or biomedical engineering research and innovation. Applicants of this award may indicate a mentor who will commit to guiding the applicant through the project. Because of the focus on progression to independence, the prospective candidate should propose a project that is consistent with this goal and his or her previous work and/or clinical experience.

Award Amount: Maximum of $7,000           Term: One (1) Year


HIV and Infectious Disease Research:

1. Research on neurocognitive development of children who are prenatally exposed to maternal ARVs for treatment or prophylaxis
2. Metabolic complications of HIV infection in relation to cardiovascular disorders
3. Factors affecting ART initiation and use in HIV positive patients


a) Epidemiology of neurological and mental health disorders
i. Studies on prevalence and incidence of CNS infections and disorders in immunocompromised populations
ii. Studies on prevalence and incidence and risk factors for infectious aetiologies in epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, stroke and epilepsy.
iii. Research on epidemiology and risk factors for depression and bipolar disorders.
iv. Research on feasibility of collaborative (regional, national) disease registries.

b) Basic and clinical neuroscience research
i. Studies that improve understanding of the influence of genetics, the genome, the environment, and gene-environment interactions on the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative disorders, mental health disorders and stroke.
ii. Studies that develop effective, technologically appropriate and relevant physical, occupational and cognitive rehabilitation interventions for brain and mental health disorders.

c) Implementation science and health systems
i. Research that addresses innovative and effective methods to scale up interventions that have been proven effective in reducing the burden of communicable and non-communicable brain and mental health disorders

d) Capacity building and research infrastructure needs
i. Development of enhanced and culturally applicable cognitive assessment and screening tools applicable to neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsy, stroke and mental health disorders.

Genomics & Bioinformatics:
1. Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Nigeria e.g. Zika, Ebola, Lassa Fever etc.
2. Impact of Infectious Diseases (e.g. HIV, TB, Malaria etc) on Microbiome.

Community Medicine:
1. Epidemiology and Pathogenesis of Meningitis and other Vaccine Preventable Diseases in Nigeria
2. Factors affecting HIV Incidence, access to care and drug adherence among Most-at-risk-Populations (MARPs) in Nigeria.
3. Epidemiology of Mental Health
4. Antibiotic Resistance

Biomedical Engineering Research and Innovation:
1. Technologies that improve maternal and child health
2. Low cost diagnostic devices
3. Basic medical equipment running on alternative energy sources.
4. Development and refinement of effective point of care diagnostic tools and mobile technology interventions that enhance the diagnostic evaluation and monitoring of neurological disorders in resource-limited settings
Eligibility: Junior faculty members at University of Lagos; Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer 2, Lecturer 1 or Senior Lecturer. Candidates must be CITI registered. (For information about CITI registration, please visit or contact the CMUL RMO at )

1. Applicants much meet the eligibility criteria, application instruction and proposal deadline.

2. Applications must be completed, signed and include the following sections:

a. Abstract describing the research (500 words or less)

b. Project Narrative: 2-3 sentences explaining how the awarding of these funds will enhance opportunities for conducting future research or acquiring other funding.

c. Research Plan (1-2 pages)

i. Specific aims (1/4 page)

ii. Background and Significance (1/4 page)

iii. Preliminary Data (2-3 sentences) – this section is not required if there are no preliminary data

iv. Experimental Design and Methods (1/2 page): Describe the data collection methods, analytical plan, and data management plan, as relevant.

d. Plan for Protection of Human Subjects: Describe the risks/benefits to the study participants, your method of collecting informed consent (as relevant), and your plans to safeguard the patient's information.

e. Pending IRB Approval: Projects that involve human subjects research must indicate the procedures that will be taken should the award be made.

f. Project Mentor: Applicants can propose a faculty mentor for the proposed research.

g. NIH-form biosketch for the Principal Investigator, collaborators, and co-investigators. The biosketch must include other support information. See for more details.

h. Budget (1/2 page): The budget must cover the activities for the 1-year time period. The budget may not include salary support, travel, workshop/conference attendance fees, IRB fees, or indirect costs (facilities and administrative costs).

I. Budget justification: The justification must include a detailed explanation for the expenses noted in the budget. Describe the role of each person listed under Personnel.

j. References: list all references cited in the Research Plan.
Google CITI homepage; click register now, then select MEPIN as participating institution. Proceed to create your password and complete registration. Take course/exam and print certificate

How to apply: Applications should be submitted online at
1. Minimum margins are 1 inch on all sides. Use either Times New Roman or Arial font with a font size of at least 11 point.
2. Number pages consecutively at the bottom. Include the applicant's name at the top right hand corner on all but the cover page.

Evaluation: All applications will be evaluated by the BRAINS Research Review Committee, evaluations will be based on: investigator ability, scientific merit, relevance, and potential for generating subsequent funding and publications. All applications must address one of the BRAINS research themes.
Reviewers will provide a written evaluation of the application along with a numerical score (1-5, 1 being the best). The reviews and scores will be taken into consideration in the applications with a score below 3; all others will only receive a numerical score.
Reporting Requirements: Investigators are required to notify the selection committee in writing of significant changes in the focus of the research, conduct of the research plan, or changes in budgeting plans during the course of the project.
An interim progress report is due at 3, 6 and 9 months, to both the review committee and the mentor. The interim progress reports must include a statement on the progress to date, copy of final approval letters (e.g. IRB approval), and additional collaborations.
Within 30 days of completing the project, the investigator must submit a final progress report stating preliminary scientific findings, a report of any possible research applications that are built out of the project, and any publications that resulted from the pilot project. The investigator will be required to give an oral presentation to the BRAINS research review committee on the details of their research work and their subsequent findings at the conclusion of the project. It is also anticipated that final presentations will also be delivered at the annual BRAINS faculty retreat.

Application open date: Monday 7th August, 2017
Application expiry date: Midnight of Saturday 7th October, 2017
For more information: Call 0807 909 7149, 0802 864 2463