NeuroCAM Innovation Seed Grants

Funding for a new line of NeuroCAM Research in your lab

Branch Out is offering a series of Principal Investigator Special Purpose Grants to fund specific areas of NeuroCAM research based on specific areas of stakeholder interest and scientific need. We are pleased to offer two different grant opportunities for our up and coming granting cycle. Each grant has a 1-year duration and supports operation costs and new equipment/infrastructure to start a new line of high impact NeuroCAM research. Branch Out offers other grants to financially support student (undergraduate and graduate) salaries, so please consider applying for those for any students contributing to the project. Principle Investigators who are faculty at Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge, Toronto, Victoria, Northern British Columbia, and Saskatchewan are eligible to apply, though there may be more specific eligibility criteria for particular Principal Investigator Special Purpose Grant calls. 


Microbiome and Mental Health Principal Investigator Special Purpose Grant

The Microbiome and Mental Health Principal Investigator Special Purpose Grant was established to permit researchers to collaborate with Nimble Science to explore the link between the microbiome of the small intestine and mental illness in humans.

Nimble Science has developed a first of its kind small intestinal sampling capsule technology (SIMBA capsule) that can non-invasively but selectively collect a fluid sample from the small intestine. The SIMBA capsule was developed in recognition of the need for clinical investigations to study the real-time interactions of host-diet-microbiota in those hard-to-access GI regions, especially the small intestine. The reliance on incomplete information from fecal samples is known to have limited our understanding and outcomes. The SIMBA capsule aims to fuel a whole new generation of investigation and clinical advancement in mental health. 

Branch Out is excited to create this Special Purpose Grant to give researchers the opportunity to collect small intestinal samples from their clinical cohorts of interest to expand on their ongoing research on mental health and neuropsychiatric conditions. Nimble Science will work directly with the researchers on the protocol development, administration and collection of the capsules to ensure project success. Project funds will be directed at costs associated with the collection, processing and analysis of the small intestinal samples with the SIMBA capsule in addition to associated costs for recruitment, ethics and other administrative costs. This is an incredible opportunity to expand your current understanding of the role of the microbiome by enabling access to an area of the human body that is rich in information and previously out of reach.   

You can learn more about Nimble Science's SIMBA device and its capabilities to study the microbiome of the small intestine on their website ( 

Additional Eligibility
  • The research team must connect with Nimble Science to ensure feasibility of the proposed research project with the SIMBA capsule, acceptance of the project terms and conditions and to develop the project budget with. Please contact Nimble ([email protected]). 

Application Deadline 

January 10, 2022, 11:59 MST

Award Announcement 

February 2022

Funding Start Date 

April 1, 2022

Project Duration

Up to 1 year



Grant Form Questions

Apply Now!

Note: The SIMBA Capsule is only to be used for Investigational Testing and is not currently licensed for sale or importation in Canada with authorization from Health Canada. 


Toronto Multiple Sclerosis NeuroCAM Principal Investigator Special Purpose Grant

Principal Investigator Special Purpose Grant is aimed to catalyze NeuroCAM approaches to treating Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Toronto by funding the acquisition of new equipment, infrastructure, and building collaborations as a longer term investment for new directions for a lab. While Branch Out is excited to fund research anywhere along the bench-to-bedside spectrum, the key goal of this grant is to move our understanding of NeuroCAM approaches to Multiple Sclerosis along this spectrum towards community-based impact for patients. 

Branch Out is offering a series of seed grants to fund specific areas of NeuroCAM research of importance to the Multiple Sclerosis community. These grants must be held in conjunction with a faculty at the University of Toronto, though collaborations with other Universities and community organizations are highly valued. For the 2022 granting cycle, the following challenges have been posed for innovative research grants:

  • Nutraceutical and Mind and Body treatment approaches for managing neuroinflammation
  • Mobility-based rehabilitation for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Remote assessment and/or intervention technology for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Understanding the development of Multiple Sclerosis to inform lifestyle-based preventative measures

Application Questions

Apply Now!

1 year
Application Deadline 

Apr 30, 2022, 11:59 MST

Award Announcement 

Summer 2022

Funding Start Date 

September 1, 2022

Project Duration

Up to 1 year



  • The research team must include 1 faculty member from the University of Toronto, however, collaboration with other institutions is encouraged.
  • Branch Out values collaborative projects, particularly those that bring the benefits of academic research into the community abroad. The most competitive applications will leverage collaborations to maximize the community impact of the research project and have novel knowledge translation plans. 
  • There will be no extensions or exemptions on the deadline.
  • At Branch Out's expense, grant winners will be expected to present their work to Branch Out stakeholders.
  • Details about allowable expenses will be posted as they are finalized. 
  • Please read some general FAQ for Branch Out grants

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact [email protected]