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The Kavli NSI supports four key initiatives:

1. Small Grants Program for Individual Projects—Investing in Originality

A novel discovery fund providing pilot grants of $25,000 or more, available on a competitive basis for early-stage and highly innovative basic science projects. All funding requests will be reviewed by the Kavli NSI Steering Committee.

2019-2020 Small Grants Program – Pilot Grant Application Information and Materials

Download Program Announcement
Download Application Form
Deadline for applications: August 15, 2019
Finalists announced October 2019
Funding cycle: November 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020
One-page Report due date: January 31, 2021

  • Seeing through water using deep neural networks, Andres Babino (Magnasco Lab)
  • A bioengineering approach to develop a laminated 3D cerebellar neuronal circuit for studying human cerebellar development and disease, David Buchholz and Hourinaz Behesti (Hatten Lab)
  • Development of AAV-Mediated Approach for Rapid Mitochondrial Profiling of Discrete Neuronal Populations, Bianca Cotto (Heintz Lab)
  • In-vitro modeling of human embryonic brain structure through optogenetic induction of polarizing signals, Riccardo De Santis (Brivanlou Lab)
  • Using proximity-based labeling to study the dynamics of RNA localization and localized translation in neurons, Ezgi Hacisuleyman (Darnell Lab)
  • Generation of a transgenic knock-in mouse to study GLUT4 brain function in health and neurodegeneration, Alexandros Kokotos (Ryan Lab)
  • Localized Protein Degradation in Synaptic Plasticity and Neurodegeneration, Kai Liu (Steller Lab)
  • Explore the neuronal basis of a robust rhythmic behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans, Qiang Liu (Bargmann Lab)
  • Search for a novel dopamine function as a step-counting tool, Cheng Lyu (Maimon Lab)
  • Transcriptional gates of memory consolidation, Andrea Terceros (Rajasethupathy Lab)
  • Developing a Training System to Test Volitional Control of Vocal Production in Mice, Cesar Vargas (Jarvis Lab)

Click here to see a list of previous grant recipients

2. Funds for Collaborative Projects and Technology Development—Investing in Big Ideas

Precision Instrumentation Technologies
Sponsored by the Kavli NSIThe Precision Instrumentation Technologies (PIT) Resource Center at Rockefeller University is an engineering facility with cutting-edge equipment staffed with engineers who enable high-end modern instrument design and fabrication for scientists with a diversity of research interests at a low-cost barrier of entry. A unique feature of PIT is that scientists can discuss their scientific problems and needs in a collaborative and interactive manner with PIT staff free of cost and jointly arrive on solutions before the fabrication process.

PIT provides end-to-end engineering solutions and fabrication capabilities from conceptualization to application to all laboratories on campus. By consolidating and investing in new machinery and recruiting a team with diverse engineering capabilities, PIT was established in February 2018 in newly renovated space in the Plaza Building A level, Room A4. In addition to various fabrication and rapid prototyping tools, PIT features a state-of-the-art 5-axis Hermle C22 CNC mill, which enables prototyping of highly complex mechanical designs with tight tolerances. Since its establishment, PIT’s capacity to enable modern fabrication has had a profound impact on the science performed in a large number of laboratories on campus.

3. Kavli Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows—Investing in the Future of Neuroscience

Kavli Fellows receive a generous measure of salary/stipend and research support, are invited to serve on the Kavli NSI Steering Committee, and are expected to take leadership roles in the life of the Institute.

2021 Kavli NSI Fellowships – Application Information and Materials
Download Program Announcement
Deadline for applications: February 22, 2021
Download Application Form
Finalists announced: by June 1, 2021
Appointment term: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023

Kavli Fellowship Recipients

Sofia Avritzer
Graduate Fellow, Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function
Kavli Graduate Fellow, 2021-2023

Agnik Dasgupta, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2021-2023

Olivia Goldman
Graduate Fellow, Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior
Kavli Graduate Fellow, 2021-2023

Ezgi Hacisuleyman, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-oncology
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2021-2023

Jason Manley
Graduate Fellow, Laboratory of Neurotechnology and Biophysics
Kavli Graduate Fellow, 2020-2022

Alexander Paul, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Social Evolution and Behavior
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2021-2023

Andrew Siliciano
Biomedical Fellow, Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior
Kavli Graduate Fellow, 2020-2022

Katherine Varandas, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Developmental Genetics
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2020-2022

Click here to see a list of previous fellows

4. Seminars, Symposia, Visiting Scientists—Investing in the Kavli Community

Sponsorship of Kavli neuroscience seminars, symposia, workshops, retreats, and other academic and social gatherings. Funds may also be used to support short- and longer-term sabbatical visitors at Rockefeller.

Monthly Kavli NSI Meeting
Hosted by the Kavli Fellows
The Kavli Fellows host monthly meetings for trainees in Kavli NSI member laboratories. The format of the meeting is variable month-by-month and may include chalk talks or short presentations from 2-3 trainees on a given topic in neuroscience, NeuroData meetup, Quantitative Neuroscience Journal Club, Head of Laboratory chalk talks, and/or job talks by postdoctoral fellows. Although the agenda is flexible each month, the meetings will be planned and promoted in advance with the dual goal of promoting neuroscience on campus and increasing communication between labs. Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback, which will be used by the organizers in structuring subsequent meetings. Please visit the Events page to see a list of upcoming dates.

Sponsorship of Inter-lab Journal Clubs and Meetings
Sponsorship opportunities are also available through the Kavli Fellows Initiative Fund to anyone interested in forming a new inter-lab, neuro-related journal club or group meeting. Clubs/meetings must be jointly organized by members of at least two different Kavli NSI member labs and attendance would be open to members from other Kavli NSI labs. A list of current journal clubs and joint meetings in existence at Rockefeller are posted here. Please contact the Kavli Fellows at to learn more.

Kavli NSI member labs interested in any of the funding opportunities listed above should contact Lindsey Cole, Kavli NSI administrator, at All requests will be reviewed by the Kavli NSI Steering Committee.



Kavli Neural Systems Institute
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 257
New York, NY 10065

Lindsey Cole