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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.

2020–2021 Pilot Grant Recipients ($25,000 each)

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 NSI
The 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.

Rockefeller Brain Observatory
Created and sponsored by The Kavli NSI
Established in 2022, the core mission of the Rockefeller Brain Observatory (RBO) is to enable a new range of neurobiological discoveries by facilitating the transition of advanced, commercially unavailable optical neurotechnologies from proof-of-principle to user-defined, neurobiological problems within one center on campus. This will be achieved by offering a portfolio of advanced brain imaging tools and generating and maintaining a critical mass of long-term optical and computational expertise that would ensure continued innovation, user applications, and management of knowledge. In its initial phase, years 1-3, the RBO will offer two technologies – light beads microscopy (LBM) and optimized three-photon imaging – which together offer the versatility to cover a broad and diverse set of user needs from primate to non-invertebrate and non-neuronal imaging applications across different species, spatio-temporal resolution and scale at which neuronal population activity can be recorded. Click here for a description of applications and technical parameters of LBM and optimized three-photon imaging. Interfacing with existing university resource centers, the RBO will also provide consultation and advice to labs on purchasing non-standard microscopy solutions and customization, advice on establishing computational pipelines and data management, and help organize graduate level practical courses.

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.

2024 Kavli NSI Fellowships – Application Information and Materials
Download Program Announcement
Deadline for applications: March 18, 2024
Apply online:
Finalists announced: By May 31, 2024
Appointment term: July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2026

Kavli Fellowship Recipients

Philipp Brand, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2023-2025

Likui Feng, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2023-2025

Peter Schade
Graduate Fellow, Laboratory of Neural Systems and Laboratory of Neurogenetics of Language
Kavli Graduate Fellow, 2022-2024

Sachin Sethi, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2022-2024

Rani Shiao
Graduate Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics
Kavli Graduate Fellow, 2023-2025

Han Tan, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics
Kavli Postdoctoral Fellow, 2022-2024

Andrea Terceros
Graduate Fellow, Laboratory of Neural Dynamics and Cognition
Kavli Graduate Fellow, 2022-2024

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