INDIA & USA COLLABRATE FOR BRAIN RESEARCH

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Aiming to enhance the existing research projects in the field of neuroscience, and also to develop new collaborations between neuroscience researchers in India and USA, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will soon launch a new Indo-US Brain Research Collaborative Partnerships (BRCP) programme.

The major purpose of the BRCP programme is to support bilateral research collaborations between Indian and US investigators in the field of neuroscience, with an emphasis on understanding, treating and curing neurological, mental and addictive disorders.

Specific areas of research will include, but are not limited to, studies of mechanisms underlying neurological, mental and addictive disorders and diseases, planning for population-based research and clinical trials, development of infrastructure for resource, tool and data sharing in addition to projects aimed at advancing global health research, particularly as it relates to the mission of the participating organizations.  The collaboration or the partnership must involve Indian investigators from an Indian institution and at least one investigator from a US institution.

The Indo-US BRCP programme will use NIH’s R21 grant mechanism to support up to two years of exploratory or developmental collaborative research. In support of meritorious applications, the DBT will provide funds to the Indian component and NIH to the US component.

The BRCP programme is based on the joint statement signed with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. In 2005, the US and Indian government had signed an Agreement on Science and Technology, which encourages cooperation between the US and India to promote advances in each area.

Recognizing that research collaborations addressing neurological, mental and addictive disorders would be of mutual benefit to both nations, in 2008 the NINDS, NIMH and NIDA under the NIH, HHS of the US, established a “Joint Statement on Research Related to Mental Health, Neurology and Addictive Disorders” with DBT, India.

This US-India BRCP is designed to implement the joint statement by encouraging high quality bilateral research collaborations that could lead to new biomedical discoveries with the potential of reducing the neurological, mental and addictive disease burden borne by people in both nations and throughout the world.

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