Introducing the INS Innovative Research Grant Program

By Robert M. Levy, MD, PhD
August 2021

The concept behind the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) Innovative Research Grant Program was introduced by Dr. Simon Thomson, then INS President, in 2013. Over the past several years, the INS has worked to develop the infrastructure and funding to initiate this important project. As one of the crowning achievements of my presidency, I am honored to announce the final development and initiation of this critical project. The chair upon which this program sits has several legs: one, to provide an early research experience to junior neuromodulators, whether they be health care providers, clinical researchers, scientists or engineers. Second, this program hopes to provide the opportunity to create initial findings which lead to external funding and development of a long-term research program. Third, through interaction with a research mentor, the program hopes to teach INS members the critical skills required to evaluate neuromodulation science and to begin a career that involves high quality neuromodulation research. Finally, the program hopes to provide scientists, clinicians and our patients with important new findings that lead to improvements in safety and efficacy in our field.

To apply for these grants, INS members will submit their most innovative research ideas to a panel of judges for review. Proposals that demonstrate the best blend of ingenuity and practicality will be selected, and winners will be announced at the next INS World Congress.

INS Innovative Research Grant Program recipients will receive up to $30,000 in seed money for their innovative pilot studies, which will ultimately help them apply for and obtain extramural funding. None of the funds awarded are to pay for faculty salary, administrative or overhead expenses. This program supports the educational mission of the INS.

Any manuscripts arising from this grant funding will be submitted to the official journal of the INS, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, for consideration.


All INS members are eligible to apply, although applications from fellows and early career neuromodulators are encouraged. Ideally, at least one of the grants will be reserved to support a beginning scientist within five years of completion of residency or fellowship, by encouraging and adequately funding projects that can contribute to bridging the gap between training and progression to independent investigator status. Other awards will be used as seed grants to help investigators obtain preliminary data to support a new application to external funding agencies.


A maximum of $30,000 will be awarded to each recipient. The number of grant recipients and grant amount will be determined by the INS Innovative Research Grant Program Committee based upon funds available and the quality of the applications. During the inauguration of this program, two grants will be awarded.

Innovative Research Grant Programs are funded through a combination of:

  • Generous donations from Industry. Boston Scientific, Corp., and Medtronic, Inc., have provided significant grants to the INS to initiate this important program.

  • INS funds. The International Neuromodulation Society has contributed to the Innovative Research Grant Program as part of its strategic mission.

  • We plan to seek further donations both from INS members and Industry.

Funding provided by INS Innovative Research Grant Program will support a research project for one to two years, during which pilot studies can be conducted. Investigators must submit reports every six months to track their progress. Not only do these reports give each researcher an edge over their competition when submitting applications for external funding, but they are also shared with INS Innovative Research Grant Program supporters to provide them with tangible evidence that their donations are making a difference.

At the conclusion of the two-year period, a new group of research grant awards are announced, and the cycle of innovation and discovery begins again. Funded researchers will also be awarded funding to attend and present their findings at the biennial INS World Congress.

Please help us extend this opportunity to a greater number of worthy applicants! With a gift of $30,000, you can independently sponsor one Innovative Research Grant Program applicant. Please consider making a donation of any amount to support this worthy cause.

Application Process

Applications and questions should be submitted to the INS Executive Office at ins (@) All applicants must be INS members or student members. Information about membership can be obtained from ins (@) or the INS website.

Step One: A Statement of Intent

A Statement of Intent must be submitted in Microsoft Word as a single document and include the following:

1.    Overview of Research Plan (one page total max)
2.    Preliminary Budget (budgets should not include salary support for a faculty, resident, or fellow, administrative fees, nor overhead costs)
3.    Research Mentor
4.    List of Collaborators
5.    Pre-proposal Deadline: November 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm PDT
6.    Update: Notification of Candidates for Final Application in mid-December 2021

Step Two: Final Application Format

1.    Final applications must be submitted in Microsoft Word as a single document and include the final abstract, budget, biosketches of key personnel, specific aims, and research plan
2.    Up to one page for Specific Aims
3.    Up to six pages for the research plan to include background, preliminary data and/or rationale, experimental plan (including plans to submit to IRB / IACUC when appropriate), description of roles of scientific team members, timeline for milestones and completion, and a detailed definition of plans to advance work beyond this funding interval
4.    Up to one page for letter of support from research mentor
5.    Strong consideration will be given for the likelihood of follow-up extramural funding resulting from this project
6.    All pages are to be single-spaced in 12 point Times-New Roman font
7.    Appendices will not be considered
8.    Final Submission Deadline: February 1, 2022 at 11:59 pm PDT

Step Three: Grant Application and Award Process

1.    All complete submissions will undergo review by the INS Innovative Research Grant Program committee members
2.    Grant recipients will receive travel stipends (in addition to the grants) to attend and receive their awards at the INS World Congress in Barcelona, Spain in May, 2022
3.    Committee Decisions Announced: March 1, 2022

Last Updated on Thursday, December 02, 2021 11:56 AM