Dana Foundation

The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing neuroscience within society. Programmatic foci include areas such as neuroethics and neuroscience and law. Since its founding, the Foundation has appropriated almost $500 million for philanthropic purposes.


The Foundation pursues its mission through grants, partnerships, social outreach, and bidirectional engagement.

  • Coordinated by the Dana Foundation, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science. Every March, partners host imaginative activities in their communities that share the wonders of the brain and the impact brain science has on our everyday lives.
  • For Brain Awareness Week partners and educators of all stripes, Dana Foundation provides lesson plans and fact sheets and news and scientist interviews designed to be easily understood by non-scientists.
  • The Foundation sponsors membership in the Dana Alliances, now including almost 700 scientists and clinicians from 45 countries, who commit to sharing their science with the general public.
  • The Foundation supports the work of the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior, including its series “Recent Cases in Law and Neuroscience.”
  • The Foundation supports the efforts of BioBus to bring neuroscience experiences and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to underserved populations in New York City during Brain Awareness Week.
  • The Foundation is providing partial support for the Washington D.C.-based PBS television station WETA for a prime-time documentary series called “The Youth Mental Health Crisis,” with award-winner Ken Burns as executive producer, as part of its Well Beings campaign of workshops and user-made videos and chats. The series is scheduled to air in April 2022.
  • The Foundation awards annual grants to SfN to fund the Science Educator Award. This award honors two outstanding neuroscientists who have made significant contributions to educating the public about neuroscience; one who conducts education activities full time and one who devotes time to research while conducting outreach, policy, and education activities. Honorees are actively involved in teaching and outreach initiatives, including programs for professional advancement, student mentorship, and the development of educational resources.
  • The Foundation awarded a grant to SfN in 2019 to develop a Leadership Development Program to better position neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the workforce and as leaders in various capacities in the field.