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    Global Advocacy Initiative: Seed Grants

    Pictured above: 2015-16 Global Advocacy Seed Grant 2-day workshop organized by The Malaysian Society of Neurosciences.

    • Applications open for 2018 Global Advocacy Seed Grants until 7 May 2017 • 

    Global Advocacy Seed Grants have been awarded since 2015 by the Global Advocacy Committee to encourage advocacy activities in Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. In 2017, European countries challenged by a lack of resources and support will also be eligible to apply. Up to €5,000 is awarded to each successful applicant. Supported events and activities address the specific needs of neuroscience advocacy in the country where they are held. They include public lectures, brain awareness fairs, conferences, educational symposia for policymakers, educators and the public and videos or multimedia products to increase awareness. To explore more ideas, please refer to the section on Global Advocacy Resources and our 2016 Global Advocacy Review (pdf - 1.2MB).

    The next application call will be in April 2017 so please check back on our website and social media outlets for updated details. IBRO thanks its Global Advocacy Seed Grant funding partners - Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Federation for European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) and the Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS) for their support. Without such strong partnerships, global brain advocacy would not be possible.
     

    GLOBAL ADVOCACY SEED GRANTS
    2016-17 
    | 2015-16 

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    • 2016-17 GLOBAL ADVOCACY SEED GRANTS •
    [AfricaAsia PacificLatin America

    AFRICA 2016-17

    Nigeria: Theresa Ekanem
    Neuroscience Society of Nigeria, Uyo

    Abstract of proposal:

    The Neuroscience Society of Nigeria is the umbrella body of neuroscientists in the country and it meets annually to discuss relevant regional priorities in neuroscience and to share basic and clinical research results. Unfortunately, neuroscience is still misunderstood nationwide. There is a lack of understanding about the relevance of neuroscientists in health care delivery, funding constraints, lack of trained personnel, weak collaboration between clinicians and basic researchers and no functioning laboratories with appropriate facilities for research.

    The Global Advocacy Seed Grant will allow NSN to convene a workshop that will involve politicians, policymakers, university heads, healthcare professionals, students, researchers and the general public. It will provide the opportunity for the different stakeholder groups to understand the importance of neuroscience research in helping to alleviate the burden of neurological conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The primary objective of the workshop will be to build a link to policymakers that conveys the need to fund neuroscience research on major neurological diseases currently affecting Nigeria and other African countries.

    Nigeria: James Olopade
    The Neuroscience Group, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

    Abstract of proposal:

    Neuroscience is not a priority in Nigeria nor throughout Africa. There is a lack of willingness from senior colleagues to start neuroscience degree programs, relatively little interest in neuroscience research among postgraduate students and low funding opportunities for neuroscience research. The Neuroscience Group at the University of Ibadan is acutely aware of these challenges, especially since there is no official neuroscience program.

    With the Global Advocacy Seed Grant, the Neuroscience Group will run a series of IBRO Advocacy Lectures targeted at two audiences, university students and lecturers and policymakers, in order to highlight the importance of neuroscience in Nigeria and greater Africa and increase support for research. The first lecture will be given by Professor Marina Bentivoglio who will speak about “Using Neuroscience Research to Solve the Neurological Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Africa and African Based Research.” University undergraduates and postgraduates in the biological sciences, chemistry and physics will be invited. The second lecture will be given by Professor Richard Brown on “Developing Neuroscience Postgraduate Program in Ibadan: the Expected Gains” for neuroscience lecturers and professors, policymakers and university administrators.

    Somaliland: Temesgen Sidamo Summoro
    Edna Adan University Hospital, Hargeisa

    Abstract of proposal:

    Somaliland in northern Somalia has one of the highest prevalence of mental illness worldwide. Forty percent of people are estimated to be living with severe mental health disorders, probably as a result of two decades of civil war, social stigma, substance abuse and a huge shortage of trained professionals.

    With the Global Advocacy Seed Grant, the Edna Adan University Hospital will organize a conference with the aim of advocating for brain awareness throughout the country. The target audience will include educators, health professionals from around the country and government officials from the Ministry of Education and Health. A call for participation and abstract submission will be opened in selected areas of brain function and fitness as well as brain diseases and disorders, preferably the neuroscience of psychoactive substance use and dependence, hypoxic brain injury and hydrocephalus. Other activities will include panel discussions, Q&A sessions and an exhibition of movies related to brain function, diseases and disorders.

    South Africa: Janine Roos 
    Mental Health Information Centre of Southern Africa, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town

    Abstract of proposal:

    Modern neuro-imaging research has led to tremendous advances in understanding the human brain and how it is affected by disease processes in recent years. However, expertise is still lacking in this field in Southern Africa. This makes advocacy and further training of neuro-imaging researchers in the regional context extremely important for the continuation of world-class research. The Mental Health Information Centre of Southern Africa (MHIC) at Stellenbosch University (SU) promotes mental health in Southern Africa by being actively involved in psycho-educating members of the public, referring individuals for treatment, hosting an online referral database, conducting and publishing research in psychiatry and related fields and translating such scientific information to the lay public.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant will allow MHIC to partner with Dr. Stefan Du Plessis, researcher/clinician at the SU Department of Psychiatry, to organize workshops tailored for local school learners, undergraduate and postgraduate students during Brain Awareness Week 2017 to stimulate interest in neuroscience, more specifically the use of structural and functional MRI in brain research, with specific emphasis on findings from his work in HIV associated neurocognitive disorders. It will also help build partnerships with policymakers in Southern Africa by illustrating the effectiveness of such educational outreach activities.

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    ASIA PACIFIC 2016-17

    Japan: Yasushi Miyashita
    University of Tokyo, Tokyo

    Abstract of proposal:

    Japan has made great progress in brain research but it has suffered from wavering public support and government attention in the recent past. This experience has taught the Japanese neuroscience community that constant advocacy is necessary to maintain interest, funding and inclusion in national health and research policy discussions. The highly successful Non-Profit Organization, the Brain Science Promotion Conference, has proven it is an effective annual symposium that serves as a reliable channel for brain advocacy with the general public and policymaking communities. It is building a strong following and the University of Tokyo wishes to encourage that trend.

    It will contribute to the event in 2017 with the IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant. Attendance is expected to be around 800 participants and the focus will be on the ageing brain. With an ageing population, it is an important topic that would have wide application and relevance to Japanese society. It will also help to bring neuroscientists, government representatives, industry leaders and the public together to discuss future research and strategies for mental health treatment and care in Japan.

    Nepal: Sunil Dhungel
    Neuroscience Society of Nepal, Patan

    Abstract of proposal:

    In Nepal, less than 1% of the total government health budget is allocated to mental health, with one psychiatrist per one million people. Poor health facilities and a lack of doctors create a severe problem in treating adolescent mass hysteria, chhopne rog in Nepalese. It is still believed to be caused by evil spirits or angry deities. Villagers depend on local shamans for treatment. Despite neuroscience research that shows this is due to a psychological disorder characterized by the conversion of psychological stress into physical symptom or a change in self-awareness, the incidence of mass hysteria is increasing in government schools in rural Nepal. The root causes have not yet been identified.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would support an educational intervention, Neuroeducation to psychological disorders – mass hysteria in rural government school in Nepal. It will involve a week-long neuroeducation program that will discuss psychological disorders and engage government officials, policymakers, expert psychiatrists, neuroscientists and musicians capable of delivering knowledge in different ways. In the long term, we hope to incorporate such activities into the public school curriculum.

    Pakistan: Sadaf Ahmed
    Advance Educational Institute & Research Centre (AEIRC), University of Karachi, Karachi

    Abstract of proposal:

    There are many constraints to neuroscience progress in Pakistan as it is still a developing country. Less than 0.4% GDP is spent on research and the Ministry of Science is unable to provide significant support for any neuroscience research at the national level. Also, there is no formal channel to bridge the gaps that lie between knowledge and practice, obstructing the ability to reduce the burden of progressive neurodegenerative disorders and maladaptive mental health issues.

    In order to highlight the dire need to support brain research in Pakistan, the Advance Educational Institute & Research Centre (AEIRC) in collaboration with the Pakistan Society of Applied and Basic Neuroscience will organize a Festival of Neuroscience at the University of Karachi in July 2017. The Global Advocacy Seed Grant will help support this event which will bring together researchers, clinicians and others to celebrate the latest research and progress in the field of neuroscience, focusing particular attention on emerging mental health issues in Pakistan. The event aims to increase public awareness, educate people about the importance of neuroscience and develop a scientific community network that can work to promote and advocate for brain research at the national level.

    Sri Lanka: Ranil De Silva
    Neuroscience Society of Sri Lanka, Colombo

    Abstract of proposal:

    Sri Lanka ranks as the fastest ageing population in South Asia according to World Health Statistics (2013), leading to a dramatic increase in non-communicable diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. The country also ranks fourth among 172 countries in suicides and suffers from alcoholism, inherited neurological diseases due to a high rate of consanguineous marriages, impacts of the 30-year civil war and the 2004 tsunami. The rural population comprises 80% of the total population with limited access to health care and a lack of public awareness regarding neurological diseases. It is estimated that around 500,000 adults with diabetes mellitus go undiagnosed in Sri Lanka and is one of the major risk factors for neurological disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer’s.

    The Neuroscience Society of Sri Lanka will use the IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant to address these issues and increase advocacy efforts through activities that support dialogue and interaction between policymakers, scientists, legislators, industry leaders, clinicians, patients and the public. They include establishing state sector centers for neuroscience, professional training opportunities, developing international collaborations and funding sources and conducting media awareness campaigns.

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    LATIN AMERICA 2016-17

    Argentina: Arturo Romano
    Sociedad Argentina de Investigación en Neurociencias (SAN), Buenos Aires

    Abstract of proposal:

    Neuroscience is among scientific disciplines that are particularly prone to be reported inaccurately. It is therefore essential that activities are organized involving neuroscientists, policymakers, journalists and the general public in order to improve communication and understanding. The Sociedad Argentina de Investigación en Neurociencias (SAN) has already organized a broad range of advocacy events.

    Based on this experience, the society has identified three main aspects that can benefit from the Global Advocacy Seed Grant in Argentina: Opportunities for dialogue between journalists and neuroscientists, public lectures and Brain Awareness Week (BAW) activities. SAN will use the IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant in 2017 to support a one-day workshop on communicating neuroscience for journalists during BAW 2017 and organize a free half-day conference with a series of lectures given by presitigious neuroscientists at the Cultural Science Center in Buenos Aires on October 15 as a FALAN satellite event. Dr. Carlos Belmonte, Dr. Mariano Sigman and Dr. Diego Golombek are scheduled to speak.

    Brazil: Newton Canteras
    Sociedade Brasileira de Neurociências e Comportamento (SBNeC), São Paulo

    Abstract of proposal:

    Brazilian neuroscience has improved over the past decades and gained international recognition. However, there is a large gap between scientific research activity and the general public within Brazil. The Sociedade Brasileira de Neurociências e Comportamento (SBNeC) believes that disclosure of research in neuroscience developed in Brazilian institutions is an important way to inform both national and international communities and show results of incoming investment. However, with increasing access to information and communication especially through electronic means, there are both opportunities and challenges regarding the dissemination of scientific information.

    To address these issues, SBNeC will use the Global Advocacy Seed Grant to organize a symposium or workshop to create professional mechanisms for SBNeC to disseminate neuroscience subjects tailored for Brazilians. It will take place during the 2017 SBNeC Brain Awareness Week, originally initiated by the Dana Foundation, and include the SBNeC Board of Directors, selected researchers already involved in scientific journalism and professional scientific journalists from several Brazilian institutions.

    Colombia: George Barreto
    Colegio Colombiano de Neurociencias (COLNE), Bogotá

    Abstract of proposal:

    Despite some improvements in neuroscience research in Colombia over the last few years, there is still a need to promote public awareness, education training programs and networking activities to consolidate support for brain research at the policy level and in the public domain. There is minimal communication between neuroscientists and policymakers/public strategists, a significant divide between neuroscientists and neurologists and no motivation or support for students and researchers to advocate for neuroscience.

    As a result, the Colegio Colombiano de Neurociencias (COLNE) wishes to use the Global Advocacy Seed Grant to address these challenges through student support (national award, travel grants and the creation of a Neurosciences Student Association); enhanced communications (YouTube Channel, improvement of COLNE website); and public awareness activities in schools and universities, a scientific symposium for neuroscientists and neurologists and Brain Awareness Week activities.

    México: Luis Beltran-Parrazal
    Fundación Beltran-Morgado para el avance y difusión de la neurociencia en Veracruz, Veracruz

    Abstract of proposal:

    Traditionally, Veracruz is a state in Mexico not associated with scientific development. There is a lack of infrastructure, resources and government interest. However, active public participation in neuroscience education events makes it clear that there is community interest in the brain. The Fundación Beltran-Morgado para el avance y diffusion de la neurociencia en Veracruz, a group of professors and graduate students committed to neuroscience advocacy in the state, believes it can help grow this public interest and attract more legislative support through advocacy and increasing public understanding of the neurological disease spinocerebellar ataxias type 7 (SCA-7). This is a rare disorder with a global prevalence of <1/100,000. In Veracruz, SCA-7 occurs with a prevalence of 10.63/100,000, most likely due to hereditary transfer.

    Supported by the IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant, activities will educate the public and policymakers about this. They will include a free and public lecture, The Brain and Me, about SCA-7; lectures and public activities during the 2017 Brain Awareness Week organized by the Brain Research Center (Universidad Veracruzana) and the Southeastern Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN); a series of interdisciplinary scientific conferences; and an educational symposium for legislators to sensitize the government about public health problems related to neurodegenerative diseases.

    Perú: Luis Angel Aguilar Mendoza
    Sociedad para la Neurociencia del Perú (SONEP), Lima

    Abstract of proposal:

    Peru is characterized by a deficiency of public knowledge about the brain because of poor dissemination of scientific knowledge in general. Media and businesses exacerbate this problem by popularizing pseudoscientific information, especially related to the brain, under such terms as neuromarketing, neurocoaching and neuroeducation. In order to address this pervasive misinformation about the brain, the Society for Neuroscience of Peru (SONEP) will use the Global Advocacy Seed Grant to organize a series of neuroscience conferences in Lima focused on the structure, operation and care of the nervous system.

    The audience will include professionals, students, patients, caregivers, doctors, educators and the public interested in learning about the brain. Topics will cover the physiology of sleep, the importance of nutrition in brain development, addiction, stages of neurodevelopment in humans, the importance of brain education in society and neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. High public participation and media coverage will also be sought to fully promote and increase public awareness of brain research and its importance to Peruvian society.

    Puerto Rico: Amaya Miquelajauregui
    Institute of Neurobiology, University of Puerto Rico, Old San Juan

    Abstract of proposal:

    Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders usually go undetected in minority populations mainly because of a lack of awareness of normal development and limited access to health services and care. The prevalence of autism in the general population of Puerto Rico is comparable to the worldwide diagnosis rate (1:68). However, services and information available to the public are scarce, particularly for families with infants at higher risk of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Affected families have created networks and associations such as the Alianza de Autismo de Puerto Rico, which have been fundamental in directing policy and promoting education.

    The Institute of Neurobiology at the University of Puerto Rico proposes to use the Global Advocacy Seed Grant to trigger a continuous, bi-directional interaction between the general public, clinicians and researchers who are involved in autism and other disorders. Educational symposia in English and Spanish will provide a forum to share knowledge and experience. Multimedia bilingual recordings will make the discussions and Q&A sessions accessible to the public and policymakers once uploaded. It will promote a culture of interaction and knowledge in the management and detection of autism-spectrum disorders and hopefully lead to improved understanding, care and policies.

    *The Latin American region awarded more grants but lower amounts for each recipient.

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    • 2015-16 GLOBAL ADVOCACY SEED GRANTS •
    [AfricaAsia PacificLatin America

    AFRICA 2015-16

     Nigeria: Owolabi Joshua
     Babcock University, BrainHealth BrainPower, Ilishan-Remo

    Abstract of proposal: 

    Mental health has never been a national priority concern in Nigeria and almost no information about mental health challenges is available to the public. Therefore, widespread ignorance prevails concerning neuroscience research and its benefits. The BrainHealth BrainPower group at Babcock University has recently begun to address this problem by recognizing that awareness campaigns and activities are necessary, especially through collaborations with other stakeholders in the government, private sector, academia and public. The group also intends to engage the media to help disseminate information and start building a foundation of knowledge and awareness that can facilitate discussions between different interests, eventually leading to increased understanding and support, research funding and better policies.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would help BrainHealth BrainPower initiate a nationwide campaign to increase awareness about neuroscience through educational programmes that will be broadcast and disseminated through television, radio, newspapers and public lectures. The group will also organize a StakeHolders Forum event hosted at Babcock University, engaging as many members of the academic community as well.

      South Africa: Jacqueline Bracher
      The University of Cape Town, Cape Town

    Abstract of proposal:

    The University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) in South Africa have already joined forces to create the UCT/GSH Neurosciences Initiative that will eventually establish an institute of clinical care, research and teaching. At the foundation of this initiative is the commitment to advocacy and public engagement. This has been viewed as essential so that important learning and research findings can be disseminated and understanding and support of neuroscience can be achieved across the continent. In order to consolidate dispersed efforts, reduce costs and allow access to and interaction with the greatest number of people, UCT and GSH will create an online platform that will provide a flexible advocacy forum promoting awareness, treatment, education, training, collaboration and networking.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would help the UCT/GSH Neurosciences Initiative create and develop a functional and robust online platform by providing initial investment for designing and building a fully responsive and accessible website that is built in consideration of regional technical needs and challenges.

     Egypt: Tamer Emara
     Ain Shams University, Cairo

    Abstract of proposal:

    Ain Shams University has been an important national source of scientific research and education in Egypt since it was founded in 1950. In the field of neuroscience advocacy, the university has been working under challenging circumstances throughout its existence. A lack of trained professionals and programmes, brain drain, funding constraints, infrastructure issues and political instability have all influenced the effectiveness of advocacy efforts. However, innovative solutions have been found and continue to be implemented. Currently, the university has developed and employed online technology in order to limit costs and improve neuroscience education to a broader Africa and Middle East audience. Through teleconferences and telemed education platforms, they are bringing together policymakers, university heads, industry leaders, clinicians and researchers for informed discussions within a collaborative learning environment.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would enhance these efforts by co-sponsoring a teleneurology conference that will start a telemedicine platform called Treat and Teach for neurology education and practice in the Middle East and Africa.

    Linkshttp://atnc.asu.edu.egWorld Neurology Online article

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    ASIA PACIFIC 2015-16

     India: Prahlad K Seth
    The Indian Academy of Neurosciences, Lucknow

    Abstract of proposal:

    The Indian Academy of Neurosciences (IAN) has several chapters across India and close relationships with other national neuroscience organizations that together create a potentially powerful network of advocates. Unfortunately, inadequate funding continues to obstruct advocacy and the advancement of brain research in the country. India only spends 0.88% of its GDP on R&D and there is no increase in year-to-year funding by the government. In fact, there are often severe budget cuts. The Academy has identified poor awareness about brain research and its social significance as one of the main causes of this lack of support. As a result, it is trying to increase advocacy efforts through a multi-pronged approach that will support dialogue and interaction between scientists, legislators, industry leaders, clinicians, patients and the public.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would help IAN achieve this objective by supporting the following activities: Enhancing general awareness through videos and public lectures in local languages and school activities; sensitizing patient support groups by collaborative outreach and symposiums; strategic meetings with parliamentary committee members; and special symposia aimed at increasing awareness and sensitivity in industry. 

     Japan: Tadaharu Tsumoto
    The Japan Neuroscience Society, Wako

    Abstract of proposal:

    In Japan, serious efforts in neuroscience advocacy began in the 1990s when the country promoted the Decade of the Brain campaign. This surge of interest and attention provided increased awareness and support for national research projects and international collaboration. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm did not last long and soon faded. Recently, however, new interest has been generated with current media coverage of advances in brain research. The Brain Science Promotion Conference and the Japan Neuroscience Society have been encouraged by this and have joined forces to take advantage of the renewed interest. They are currently planning outreach events that bring together diverse stakeholder groups including the public, journalists, educators, science communicators and policymakers.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would specifically support a symposium, the Brain Century Symposium, that would explain the importance and recent advances of brain research to diverse audiences. A special guest, Mr. Izumi Tateno, will be invited to give a special lecture on music and plasticity of the brain. He is a prominent pianist who successfully recovered from a stroke and continues to play with his left hand. He and the other lecturers will attract many participants and encourage more support for neuroscience in the country.

    Link: http://www.braincentury.org/brainsympo/ (in Japanese)

    Malaysia: Michael King Hwa Ling
    The Malaysian Society of Neurosciences, Sernagor

    Abstract of proposal:

    The Malaysian Society of Neurosciences (MSN) was established in 1989 in order to support and champion the field of neuroscience throughout the country. Today, there are more than 200 neuroscientists and more than 1,000 brain-related clinicians and health employees working in Malaysia. However, most of these individuals are isolated and there is no unified effort to improve R&D funding and awareness of neuroscience research relevant to the nation’s welfare. As a result, MSN has taken the lead in spearheading efforts to bring together the disparate individuals and stakeholder groups and establish a common voice and authority to increase support, recognition and awareness of pressing neuroscience issues. 

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would allow MSN to organize a 2-day workshop at the Universiti Putra Malaysia in Selangor to bring leaders of neuroscience societies, universities, government and the Malaysian Academy of Sciences to establish a common awareness of the importance of neuroscience advocacy in the country, the role of neuroscience R&D and support for the formation of a national neuroscience umbrella organization.

    Link: http://www.neuroscience.org.my/

     Mongolia: Battuvshin Lkhagvasuren
    Mongolian Neuroscience Society, Ulaanbaatar

    Abstract of proposal:

    There has been a complete absence of neuroscience advocacy in Mongolia. Policymakers and legislators are unaware of how to evaluate brain research needs in society, engage in multi-stakeholder discussions, develop policies or implement national strategies and workplans based on research-based evidence in the field of neuroscience. It is essential to begin establishing a strong foundation of advocacy in the country as soon as possible in order to secure the future welfare of its citizens. First steps should utilize advocacy to address urgent national needs in general education about science in general and neuroscience in particular, help to build scientific infrastructure, increase R&D funding and strengthen available human resources.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would help support four main activities: 1) A scientific meeting for professionals, “Multidisciplinary Brain Science” at the Second Annual Meeting of MNS; 2) A national press conference to raise awareness about neuroscience for the general public; 3) A Board Meeting about neuroscience needs in Mongolia with policymakers; and 4) Public lecture about neuroscience for high school students in order to inspire future neuroscientists and increase awareness about the field.

    Links: http://neuroscience.mn/meetings-calendar/meetings/mns-2015/ • http://neuroscience.mn/neurosciencepublicevent/

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    LATIN AMERICA 2015-16

      Argentina: Ana Belén Elgoyhen
      Sociedad Argentina de Investigación en Neurociencias (SAN), Buenos Aires

    Abstract of proposal:

    Advocacy in neuroscience is a fundamental component of the Sociedad Argentina de Investigación en Neurociencias (SAN) mission. The Society has shown a strong commitment to promoting awareness of basic neuroscience knowledge as well as the most advanced neuroscience research for a wide range of audiences in Argentina. Public, media, academic, clinical and political communities have all been successfully connected through the Society’s efforts to engage in constructive discussions and interactions, increasing understanding of neuroscience across the country.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would support these efforts by providing funds for three activities: A workshop introducing the field of neuroscience to journalists; a course and poster session on “Bridging Neuroscience and Neurology” during the annual meetings of the Argentine Society of Neurology and the Argentine Society for Research in Neuroscience; and Brain Awareness Week projects.

    Link: http://www.saneurociencias.org.ar/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Program-SAN-2015_Julio-31.pdf

     Brazil: Cecilia Hedin-Pereira
     Rio de Janeiro Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Chapter, Rio de Janeiro

    Abstract of proposal:

    The Rio Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Chapter has adopted the great challenge of convincing government and public about the relevance of neuroscience in Brazilian society and its significance for the future health of the population. Its mission emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of the field and supports creative channels such as interactive artistic activities to increase understanding about brain science and research. The Rio Chapter has even developed its own method called the ArtSci Live Labs to bring the public, neuroscientists and artists together in a common learning environment, transferring neural concepts from neuroscientists to the public through artistic communicators.

    In order to further develop this interaction, the IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would allow the Rio SfN Chapter to hold another live lab experience that will invite artist/musician Dandara Dantas to help encourage discussion and learning about the neural code. The lab will be conducted during the Rio 2016 Brain Awareness Week and is expected to function on its putative parallels with contemporary science and on its possible role as a metaphorical transducer of scientific logical systems.

     Chile: Andrés Oscar Couve Correa
     The Biomedical Neuroscience Institute, Santiago de Chile

    Abstract of proposal:

    The Biomedical Neuroscience Institute (BNI) in Santiago, Chile, is funded by the Millennium Science Initiative of the Chilean Ministry of Economy and is primarily dedicated to connecting and training neuroscientists and mathematicians to pursue cutting-edge research. Since 2011, it has also been committed to promoting neuroscience within the non-scientific community through online and on-site activities. The Institute recognizes the importance of increasing awareness and understanding about brain research in the public domain. It has successfully illustrated how neuroscience relates to daily life and and how it can improve and prolong human health.

    With an IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant, BNI will be able to further develop its advocacy activities. During its annual BNI Basic Clinical Encounter lecture series, the Institute will hold special events and invite lecturers who will specifically help to inform the general public, students, health professionals, patients and government officials about diseases of the brain and related research and therapies.

    Link: www.loligo.cl

      Uruguay: Francesco Rossi
      Sociedad de Neurociencias del Uruguay, Montevideo

    Abstract of proposal:

    The Sociedad de Neurociencias del Uruguay (SNU) has a proven history of neuroscience advocacy in the public and political arenas. It has organized the annual Uruguayan Brain Awareness Week since 2011 and has successfully promoted, through on-site activities and media programs, greater understanding of neuroscience research and its social relevance across the country. However, SNU believes that it is still necessary to continue and expand education about neuroscience for the benefit of the public and to bring neuroscientists and policymakers together to influence political decision-making and national legislation.

    The IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant would help to reinforce these efforts by supporting a number of advocacy activities during the next Brain Awareness Week in March 2016: A fair in the square of the capital to help inform school children and the public through different exhibitions; public lectures by neuroscientists; classroom activities in schools; media interviews and publicity; a scientific policy workshop; and the production of audiovisual material for use in schools.

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