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IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  

A  public  brain  awareness  fair  organized  in  Montevideo,  Uruguay,  by  2015  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  awardee,  la  
Sociedad  de  Neurociencias  del  Uruguay.  

2016  
 

REVIEW  

The  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  
activities  in  2016  further  highlighted  the  
critical  importance  o f  this  joint  initiative.    

The  second  round  of  seed  grant  
applications  in  2016  showed  increased  
interest  with  a  higher  submission  rate.  

FOUNDING  PARTNERS  

Those  awarded  the  first  global  advocacy  
seed  grants  in  2015  will  have  completed  
their  activities  by  the  end  of  2016.  Most  
awardees  have  already  successfully  
concluded  their  events.  

There  were  a  total  of  64  applications,  over  a  
15%  increase  from  last  year.  A  slight  drop  in  
submissions  occurred  in  the  African  region  
but  both  the  Asia/Pacific  and  Latin  
American  regions  experienced  significant  
increases.  

• Australasian  Neuroscience  
Society  (ANS)  
 
• Dana  Foundation    
 
• Federation  of  European  
Neuroscience  Societies    
(FENS)  
 
• International  Society  for  
Neurochemistry  (ISN)  
   
• Japan  Neuroscience  
Society  (JNS)  
   
• Society  for  Neuroscience  
(SfN)  
 
 

 

Since  the  launch  of  activities  in  2014,  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  
Initiative  aims  to  increase  public  awareness  of  brain  research  and  build  
support  for  neuroscience  research,  informed  policymaking,  training  and  
education  around  the  world.  

Events  have  ranged  from  stakeholder  
forums,  scientific  meetings,  symposia,  
public  lectures,  press  conferences,  national  
campaigns,  website  development,  virtual  
conferences,  courses,  poster  sessions  and  
Brain  Awareness  Week  activities.  
They  are  taking  place  in  11  different  
countries  in  the  African,  Asia/Pacific  and  
Latin  American  regions:  Argentina,  Brazil,  
Chile,  Egypt,  India,  Japan,  Malaysia,  
Mongolia,  Nigeria,  South  Africa  and  
Uruguay.  

Notably,  the  Latin  American  region  
received  several  high  quality  applications  
and  was  awarded  six  grants  (although  with  
lower  overall  funding  per  grant).  The  
African  and  Asia/Pacific  regions  were  
awarded  four  grants  each.  
Events  will  take  place  in  13  different  
countries  in  2016/17:  Argentina,  Brazil,  
Colombia,  Japan,  Mexico,  Nepal,  Nigeria,  
Pakistan,  Peru,  Puerto  Rico,  South  Africa,  
Somaliland  and  Sri  Lanka.  

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IBRO    255  rue  Saint-­‐Honoré  75007  Paris  France    •    Tel:  + 33  (0)1  46  47  92  92    •    Email:  ibrocentral@gmail.com    •    Web:  www.ibro.info  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  

Advocacy  event  at  the  Mongolian  National  University  of  Medical  Sciences,  Ulaanbaatar,  Mongolia,  organized  by  2015  IBRO  
Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  a wardee,  Mongolian  Neuroscience  Society.  

BUDGET  SUMMARY  
Expenses  in  2015/16,  covered  a  total  of  11  seed  grants  of  €5,000  each  for  an  overall  expenditure  of  
€55,000.  Four  grants  each  were  awarded  to  the  Latin  American  and  Asia/Pacific  regions  and  three  to  
the  African  region.  
For  the  year  2016/17,  a  total  of  14  seed  grants  were  awarded.  Six  grants  of  €3,300  each  were  
distributed  to  Latin  America  and  four  grants  each  (€5,000  per  grant)  were  awarded  to  the  African  and  
Asia/Pacific  regions,  with  an  overall  expenditure  of  €59,800.    
Funding  for  activities  supported  by  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Initiative  since  2014  has  come  from  
generous  contributions  made  by  IBRO,  the  Dana  Foundation,  the  Federation  of  European  
Neuroscience  Societies  (FENS),  the  International  Society  for  Neurochemistry  (ISN),  the  Japan  
Neuroscience  Society  (JNS)  and  the  Society  for  Neuroscience  (SfN).  

REVIEW  PROCESS  
Reviews  and  rankings  of  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  applications  are  made  by  the  IBRO  
African  (IBRO-­‐ARC),  Asia/Pacific  (IBRO-­‐APRC)  and  Latin  American  Regional  (IBRO-­‐LARC)  
Committees.  Next  year,  the  Pan-­‐European  Regional  Committee  (IBRO-­‐PERC)  will  also  be  involved  in  
submission  reviews  for  the  European  applicants.  
After  proposals  have  been  evaluated  and  ranked  by  the  appropriate  regional  committees,  they  are  
then  sent  to  a  super  reviewer  who  makes  a  final  evaluation.  For  the  past  two  years,  the  super  reviewer  
has  been  the  IBRO  Secretary  General.  Once  he  or  she  completes  the  final  assessment,  the  awardees  
are  then  officially  reported  to  the  members  of  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Committee.  
Review  rankings  for  2016/17:  
Africa:  Out  of  18  total  applications,  7  were  ineligible,  7  were  average  and  4  were  considered  excellent.  
Asia/Pacific:  Out  of  27  total  applications,  5  were  ineligible,  18  were  average/above  average  and  4  were  
considered  excellent.  
Latin  America:  Out  of  21  total  applications,  4  were  ineligible,  11  average  and  6  were  considered  
excellent.  
 

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IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2015/16  REPORTS  
AFRICA  
Three  global  advocacy  seed  grants  of  €5,000  each  were  awarded  to  the  Africa  region  in  2015.    
EGYPT:  Tamer  Emara,  Ain  Shams  University,  Cairo  
Tamer  Emara,  Associate  Professor  of  Neurology  and  Head  of    the  Teleneurology  Unit  at  Ain  Shams  
University,  used  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  organize  the  Arab  African  Teleneurology  
Conference:  A  Treat  and  Teach  Initiative.  It  was  the  first  of  its  kind  at  the  regional  level  and  was  designed  
to  develop  short-­‐  and  intermediate-­‐term  strategies  to  increase  numbers  of  trained  neurologists  and  
neurology  education  programs  in  the  region  with  a  mix  of  online  education  and  on-­‐site  clinical  training.  
It  successfully  facilitated  networking  between  regional  and  international  centers  of  excellence,  scholars  
and  patients,  and  complemented  current  efforts  to  improve  neurology  education  and  practice.  The  
efforts  made  were  part  of  an  overall  plan  to  establish  higher  education  programs  and  relationships  that  
might  lead  to  national  neuroscience  services  run  by  local  professionals.  
Link:  http://atnc.asu.edu.eg/  
NIGERIA:  Owolabi  Joshua,  Babcock  University,  Ilishan-­‐Remo    
Owolabi  Joshua,  Lecturer  in  the  Anatomy  Department  at  Babcock  University,  used  the  IBRO  Global  
Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  support  the  ongoing  Nigeria  Brain  Advocacy  Program  at  Babcock  University.  
Activities  carried  out  included  a  radio  program  series,  BrainHealth  and  BrainPower,  on  Hope  89.5  FM;  a  
brain  awareness  talk  series  on  campus;  and  printing  and  distribution  of  a  free  public  book,  Optimal  
BrainHealth  and  BrainPower  –  Demystifying  Neuroscience  in  Contemporary  Language.  The  overall  seed  
grant  project  was  one  of  only  two  national  brain  health  activities  in  Nigeria  in  2016.  A  final  meeting  is  
also  being  organized  to  encourage  and  persuade  policymakers  and  other  stakeholders  to  make  funding  
available  for  brain  and  mental  health  research  and  prioritize  neuroscience  as  a  research  field  of  
immediate  national  concern.  
SOUTH  AFRICA:  Jacqueline  Bracher,  Neurosciences  Institute,  University  of  Cape  Town  
Jacqueline  Bracher,  Strategic  Projects  Manager  of  the  Neurosciences  Institute  at  the  University  of  Cape  
Town  (UCT),  is  using  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  support  the  creation  and  development  of  
an  Institute  website  to  provide  an  online  platform  that  will  communicate  and  present  all  research,  
training  and  advocacy  activities  of  the  UCT  Institute,  Groote  Schuur  Hospital  and  affiliated  institutions  
for  the  public  to  explore.  The  UCT  Institute  aims  to  be  the  flagship  neuroscience  research  and  treatment  
facility  in  South  Africa  and  perhaps  even  the  African  continent.  It  will  advance  clinical  care  and  transform  
research  and  teaching  in  the  neurosciences  in  Africa  by  drawing  together  experts  in  basic  science,  
clinical  work,  and  public  health.  \  

ASIA/PACIFIC  
Four  global  advocacy  seed  grants  of  €5,000  each  were  awarded  to  the  Asia/Pacific  region  in  2015.  
INDIA:  Prahlad  K  Seth,  Indian  Academy  of  Neurosciences,  Lucknow  
Prahlad  K.  Seth,  Senior  Advisor  to  Biotech  Park  Lucknow,  is  in  the  process  of  organizing  the  activities  
supported  by  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  and  plans  to  carry  them  out  by  the  end  of  the  year.  
 

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IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2015/16  REPORTS  
The  overall  objective  is  to  lay  the  foundation  for  a  sustained  advocacy  program  in  India.  These  initial  
activities  will  attempt  to  sensitize  the  public  about  the  importance  of  neuroscience  research  and  discuss  
the  need  for  greater  funding  with  policymakers.  The  anticipated  activities  include:  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  industry  representatives.  
JAPAN:  Tadaharu  Tsumoto,  RIKEN  Brain  Science  Institute,  Wako  
Tadaharu  Tsumoto,  Leader  of  the  Laboratory  for  Cortical  Circuit  Plasticity  at  the  RIKEN  Brain  Science  
Institute,  used  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  support  the  Non-­‐Profit  Organization,  Brain  
Century  Promotion  Conference,  and  its  24th  Brain  Century  Symposium  in  Tokyo.  The  objective  of  the  
symposium  was  to  educate  and  inform  the  general  public,  science  communicators  and  journalists  about  
brain  science  in  order  to  maintain  and  grow  current  public  interest  in  advancements  in  brain  research.  
The  2016  theme  of  the  symposium  was  "Foods  and  Brain"  and  included  a  special  lecture  by  Takuji  
Takahashi,  a  third  generation  master  chef  of  the  Kyoto  restaurant,  Kinobu.  
Website:  http://www.braincentury.org/brainsympo/  (in  Japanese)  
MALAYSIA:  Michael  King  Hwa  Ling,  Universiti  Putra  Malaysia  
Michael  King  Hwa  Ling,  Senior  Lecturer  in  the  Faculty  of  Medicine  and  Health  Sciences  at  the  Universiti  
Putra  Malaysia  (UPM),  used  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  support  an  inaugural  workshop  
entitled  Embrace,  Network  and  Change:  Towards  National  and  Global  Neuroscience  Advocacy  and  the  6th  
UPM  Annual  Neuroscience  Seminar.  The  workshop  facilitated  discussions  with  policymakers,  NGO  
leaders,  industry  representatives  and  researchers  on  several  key  issues:  Challenges  in  neuroscience  R&D  
in  Malaysia  for  the  next  decade;  problem-­‐based-­‐driven  research  prioritization;  roles  for  academia,  
societies,  agencies  and  NGOs  in  neuroscience  R&D;  and  the  importance  of  networking  as  a  driving  
component  in  changing  the  national  neuroscience  landscape.  The  one-­‐day  seminar  featured  10  
interdisciplinary  neuroscience  lectures  for  academics,  neuroscientists,  medical  and  health  professionals,  
technicians  and  research  officers.    
Website:  http://www.neuroscience.org.my/  
MONGOLIA:  Battuvshin  Lkhagvasuren,  Mongolian  Neuroscience  Society,  Ulaanbaatar,  Mongolia  
Battuvshin  Lkhagvasuren,  Executive  Director  of  the  Mongolian  Neuroscience  Society  (MNS)  at  the  
Mongolian  National  University  of  Medical  Sciences  (MNUS),  used  the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  
to  support  four  major  activities  in  2015/16.  A  national  press  conference  about  brain  science  announced  
the  2nd  Annual  MNS  meeting,  Multidisciplinary  Brain  Science,  and  included  a  brief  description  of  brain  
science,  an  introduction  to  MNS  and  a  Q&A  session.  The  annual  meeting  on  28-­‐30  August  2015  gathered  
more  than  a  hundred  specialists  together  to  discuss  and  develop  brain  science  in  Mongolia.  The  first  
public  event  on  neuroscience  in  Mongolia  was  held  on  13-­‐14  April  2016  at  MNUMS.  Free  public  
neuroscience  lectures  were  offered,  3  interactive  presentation  stations    about  brain  functions,  2  onsite  
consultation  centers  and  fun  games  were  all  offered  to  more  than  300  participants.    A  follow-­‐up  Board  
Meeting  in  May  2016  with  key  decision  makers  including  the  Department  Head  of  the  Ministry  of  

 

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IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2015/16  REPORTS  
Education,  Culture  &  Science  and  Director  of  the  National  Center  of  Mental  Health  established  common  
agreement  over  the  urgent  need  of  neuroscience-­‐based  advocacy  in  education,  research  and  policy  in  
the  country.  MNUMS  President,  Dr.  Batbaatar  Gunchin,  also  took  the  occasion  to  announce  that  
neuroscience  has  been  introduced  into  the  official  university  curriculum  as  an  elective  subject.  At  the  
end,  it  was  agreed  that  this  Board  Meeting  will  be  continued  annually.  
Links:  http://neuroscience.mn/meetings-­‐calendar/meetings/mns-­‐2015/,  
http://neuroscience.mn/neurosciencepublicevent/  

LATIN  AMERICA  
Four  global  advocacy  seed  grants  of  €5,000  each  were  awarded  to  the  Latin  American  region  in  2015.  
ARGENTINA:  Ana  Belén  Elgoyhen,  Sociedad  Argentina  de  Investigación  en  Neurociencias,  Buenos  
Aires  
Ana  Belén  Elgoyhen,  President  of  the  Sociedad  Argentina  de  Investigación  en  Neurociencias  (SAN),  used  
the  IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  support  advocacy  and  awareness  activities  at  the  XXX  Congress  
of  the  Argentine  Society  for  Research  in  Neuroscience  and  the  society’s  30th  Anniversary  in  Mar  del  Plata,  
Argentina,  from  27  September  –  1  October  2015.  The  event  included  an  expanded  scientific  meeting  with  
a  2-­‐day  pre-­‐meeting  course  on  State-­‐of-­‐the-­‐Art  Methods  in  Neuroscience  Research  with  170  students,  3  
plenary  lectures,  6  international  symposia,  2  young  investigator  symposia,  2  parallel  short  talk  sessions  
for  postgraduates  and  poster  sessions  (248  presentations).  A  workshop  for  journalists  was  conducted  
and  a  course  and  poster  session  on  Bridging  Neuroscience  and  Neurology  were  also  organized.  There  were  
approximately  400  participants  who  enjoyed  an  environment  that  provided  active  discussions  on  the  
latest  advances  in  different  areas  of  neuroscience  among  students,  researchers,  decision  makers  and  the  
public.  
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  
Cecilia  Hedin-­‐Pereira,  Professor  at  the  Universidade  Federal  do  Rio  de  Janeiro  (UFRJ),  used  the  IBRO  
Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  organize  activities  for  Brazil’s  5th  National  Brain  Awareness  Week  from  
16-­‐20  March  2016  in  Rio  de  Janeiro.  It  provided  an  excellent  opportunity  to  raise  awareness  about  the  
brain  and  its  function  in  health  and  disease  and  a  public  forum  where  advances  in  neuroscience  could  be  
discussed  between  international  scientists  and  the  general  public.  Guided  visits,  ongoing  experiments,  
discussions  and  talks  were  conducted  under  the  title  código  neural.  These  activities  permitted  discussions  
about  the  neural  code  at  the  interface  between  art  and  science,  bringing  the  public  a  different  view  
about  the  signals  generated  in  the  brain  and  their  meaning,  rethinking  them  through  an  artistic  
perspective.  Artist  Dandara  Dantas  transformed  musical  text  into  imagetic  scores  to  stimulate  
discussions  about  neural  codes  through  her  images,  sculptures,  installations  and  audio-­‐visual  
performances.  The  public  participated  in  this  textual  transformation  as  a  real  experiment  and  analyzed  
results  together  with  artists  and  scientists.  
CHILE:  Andrés  Oscar  Couve  Correa,  The  Biomedical  Neuroscience  Institute,  Santiago  

 

Andrés  Oscar  Couve  Correa,  President  of  the  Biomedical  Neuroscience  Institute  (BNI),  used  the  IBRO  
Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  help  establish  and  launch  a  new  scientific  platform  Loligo  Education,  an    
5  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2015/16  REPORTS  
open  access  online  site  in  Spanish,  to  support  teaching  neuroscience  in  Chilean  schools.  Developed  by  
a  BNI  partnership  with  Biointeractive  and  Howard  Hughes  Medical  Institute  (HHMI),  the  platform  
gathers  a  variety  of  educational  materials  (22  total)  adapted  to  the  curricular  needs  of  the  Chilean  
educational  system  and  aims  to  promote  science  education  in  the  school  community  combining  
cutting-­‐edge  content  and  entertainment.  The  platform  was  launched  on  5  April  2016  at  the  Faculty  of  
Medicine  of  the  University  of  Chile  in  Santiago.  The  event  illustrated  how  students  can  now  learn  
different  aspects  of  biology  and  neuroscience  and  their  relevance  to  daily  life.  They  can  also  benefit  
from  supplemental  teaching  about  the  brain.  Rodrigo  Tapia,  BNI  Outreach  and  Education  Director,  
said  the  project  “provides  a  great  opportunity  to  generate  resources  for  Spanish-­‐speaking  students,  
which  currently  have  very  limited  access  to  high  quality  scientific  material.”  Tapia  hopes  the  platform  
can  lead  to  the  development  of  a  partnership  with  the  Ministry  of  Education  to  increase  its  public  
impact.  
Link:  www.loligo.cl  
URUGUAY:  Francesco  Rossi,  Sociedad  de  Neurociencias  del  Urugay,  Montevideo  
Francesco  Rossi,  President  of  the  Sociedad  de  Neurociencias  del  Uruguay,  used  the  IBRO  Global  
Advocacy  Seed  Grant  to  support  two  main  activities,  the  6th  edition  of  the  Semana  del  Cerebro  
(Uruguayan  Brain  Awareness  Week  between  12-­‐17  March  2016)  and  the  Primera  Jornada  de  Promoción  
del  Apoyo  a  la  Investigación  en  Neurociencias,  the  first  event  promoting  support  for  research  in  
neuroscience  at  the  Uruguayan  Parliament  on  17  March.  The  Brain  Awareness  Week  (BAW)  took  place  
in  four  cities  and  offered  a  fair  including  an  art-­‐photo  exhibition,  Inside  Us-­‐  el  preceptor  del  sentir,  
posters,  interactive  hands-­‐on  activities  and  games  for  families,  public  lectures  (including  one  by  past  
IBRO  President,  Dr.Carlos  Belmonte),  classroom  activities  in  local  schools  and  workshops  for  school  
teachers.  There  was  also  a  free  cycle  of  movies  on  brain  science  offered  with  Cinemateca  Uruguaya.  
Approximately  2,000  people  participated  and  wide  media  coverage  was  enjoyed.  The  parliamentary  
workshop  brought  together  policymakers,  scientists  and  journalists  to  discuss  the  importance  and  
impact  of  neuroscience  research  on  decision  making  and  to  open  new  channels  for  dialogue.  The  main  
challenge  was  to  attract  politicians  to  the  event  but  the  talks  were  recorded  and  disseminated  through  
government  TV.  

FEEDBACK  FROM  AWARDEES  
Four  2015/16  seed  grant  awardees  have  filled  in  the  program  feedback  form  so  far:  The  Mongolian  
Neuroscience  Society,  the  RIKEN  Brain  Science  Institute  in  Japan,  the  Biomedical  Neuroscience  
Institute  in  Chile  and  Ain  Shams  University  in  Egypt.  All  of  them  agreed  that  the  global  advocacy  seed  
grant  program  was  valuable  and  rated  it  highly.  Feedback  highlights  include:  Important  links  made  
such  as  those  between  US,  European  and  Egyptian  researchers  through  the  Arab/Africa  teleneurology  
initiative;  the  integration  of  neuroscience  into  the  Chilean  educational  system  by  the  Loligo  Education  
project;  long-­‐term  media  and  government  relationships  in  Mongolia;  and  an  audience  of  around  600  at  
the  Japanese  symposium  resulting  from  excellent  media  coverage  and  discussions  on  current  topics  of  
public  interest.  All  grantees  expressed  the  need  for  continued  funding  to  ensure  success  of  advocacy  
work  in  the  future,  and  other  support  from  partners  in  the  form  of  event  participation,  partnerships,  
advice  on  relating  advocacy  to  education  and  exchange  of  experiences  and  lessons  learned.  For  more  
details,  the  completed  forms  can  be  found  in  the  Appendix  at  the  end  of  the  report.  
 

6  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2016/17  SEED  GRANT  AWARDEES  
Fourteen  global  advocacy  seed  grants  were  awarded  to  the  African,  Asia/Pacific  and  Latin  American  
regions  for  2016/17.  Descriptions  of  the  advocacy  projects  are  included  below.  

AFRICA  
NIGERIA:  Theresa  Ekanem,  President,  Neuroscience  Society  of  Nigeria  
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  IBRO  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,  Professor,  University  of  Ibadan  
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  IBRO  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,  Dean,  Faculty  of  Pharmacy,  Edna  Adan  University  
Hospital  

 

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.  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  
7  

 

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2016/17  SEED  GRANT  AWARDEES  
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,  Director  of  the  Mental  Health  Information  Centre  of  Southern  Africa,  
Stellenbosch  University,  Cape  Town  
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.  

ASIA/PACIFIC  
 

JAPAN:  Yasushi  Miyashita,  Professor,  University  of  Tokyo  
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,  President,  Neuroscience  Society  of  Nepal,  Kathmandu  

 

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  
8  

 

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2016/17  SEED  GRANT  AWARDEES  
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,  CEO,  Advance  Educational  Institute  &  Research  Centre,  University  of  
Karachi  
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.  It  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,  President,  Neuroscience  Society  of  Sri  Lanka  
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.  
 
 
 
 

9  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2016/17  SEED  GRANT  AWARDEES  
LATIN  AMERICA  
ARGENTINA:  Arturo  Romano,  Vice  President,  Sociedad  Argentina  de  Investigación  en  
Neurociencias,  Buenos  Aires  
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  
neuroscience  advocacy  programs  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,  Vice  President,  Sociedade  Brasileira  de  Neurociências  e  
Comportamento,  São  Paulo  
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  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,  President,  Colegio  Colombiano  de  Neurociencias,  Bogotá  
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  IBRO  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  
 

 

10  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2016/17  SEED  GRANT  AWARDEES  
 Brain  Awareness  Week  activities.  
MEXICO:  Luis  Beltran-­‐Parrazal,  Fundación  Beltran-­‐Morgado  para  el  avance  y  difusión  de  la  
neurociencia  en  Veracruz,  Xalapa  
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.  
PERU:  Luis  Angel  Aguilar  Mendoza,  President,  Society  for  Neuroscience  of  Peru,  Lima  
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  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,  Assistant  Professor,  Institute  of  Neurobiology,  University  of  
Puerto  Rico  
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  
 

 

11  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  
2016/17  SEED  GRANT  AWARDEES  
Neurobiology  at  the  University  of  Puerto  Rico  proposes  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.  
 

 

12  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  

Observing  neuronal  preparations  under  the  microscope  in  the  Brain-­‐Dome  at  the  launch  of  Loligo  Education  organized  by  2015  
IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Seed  Grant  awardee,  the  Biomedical  Neuroscience  Institute,  Santiago,  Chile.    

2017  

LOOKING
AHEAD  

Next  year  will  be  the  third  year  that  the  
IBRO  Global  Advocacy  Initiative  will  offer  
seed  grants.  
All  funding  partners  -­‐  IBRO,  T he  Federation  
of  European  Neuroscience  Societies  
(FENS),  the  International  Society  for  
Neurochemistry  (ISN),  the  Japan  
Neuroscience  Society  (JNS)  and  the  Society  
for  Neuroscience  (SfN)  -­‐  have  expressed  
strong  support  in  continuing  their  generous  
contributions.    
Increasing  interest  in  advocacy  work,  
higher  program  application  submissions  
and  successful  implementation  of  selected  
activities  have  encouraged  this  ongoing  
commitment  to  Initiative  seed  grant  
funding.  
Brain  advocacy  around  the  world  has  
proven  to  be  a  necessary  prerequisite  for  
increasing  public  awareness  and  
understanding  of  neuroscience,  developing  
multi-­‐disciplinary  partnership  networks,  
communicating  research  advances  and  
attracting  more  funding  and  policy  support  
for  brain  research.    

 

13  

In  order  to  further  develop  our  efforts  
and  build  on  previous  work,  2017  seed  
grants  will  be  open  to  applicants  from  
European  countries  that  have  more  
challenging  research  environments,  
including  restrictive  funding  and  
institutional  support.  World  Bank  
categories  of  lower  and  middle  income  
countries  will  be  used  to  distinguish  
eligibility.  
Comprehensive  evaluations  of  
completed  seed  grant  experiences  will  
continue  to  be  conducted  next  year  to  
assess  lessons  learned  from  participants  
and  identify  particular  challenges  and  
opportunities  across  the  regions.    
Conclusions  from  these  reviews  will  
continue  to  help  partners  in  determining  
the  overall  impact  and  effectiveness  of  
the  global  advocacy  seed  grants  
program  and  plan  strategically  for  future  
activities.  
IBRO  thanks  its  partners  and  
participating  awardees  for  their  
dedicated  commitment  to  brain  
advocacy.  

IBRO  GLOBAL  ADVOCACY  INITIATIVE  

 

APPENDIX  
2015/16  Seed  Grant  Evaluations    
&    
Example  proposal  of  continued  
support  from  Egypt  
(Treat  and  Teach  Initiative)  

 

14  

IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant Evaluation
Submission Date

2016-10-24 15:50:04

Applicant ID

GA-006

First Name

Battuvshin

Last Name

Lkhagvasuren

Professional Title

Executive Director

Gender

Male

E-mail

battuvshin@neuroscience.mn

Professional Address

Mongolian Neuroscience Society
Zorig street 3
Ulaanbaatar
14210
Mongolia

Project Title

IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant 2015

Project Objectives

To promote the development of brain science in Mongolia, Mongolian Neuroscience
Society (MNS) proposed to complete the following 4 activities:
1. National press conference about brain science
2. Scientific meeting for professionals, “Multidisciplinary Brain Science” – The Second
Annual Meeting of MNS
3. Neuroscience Public Event for public lectures about neuroscience
4. Board meeting on neuroscience with policymakers.
Additionally, to provide comprehensive information on brain science for scientists and
public, we proposed to inititate the following activities:
- Online official journal of Mongolian Neuroscience Society, “Тархи Судлал - Тархи
судлалтай холбоотой салбар хоорондын эрдэм шинжилгээний сэтгүүл)” (in
English “Multidisciplinary Brain Science – Journal of Mongolian Neuroscience Society”)
for professionals related with brain science in Mongolian.
- Online Brain Science Library – multimedia simplified lectures about intelligence,
memory, behavior, sensation, stress, addiction, suicide, and depression for children
and youth in order to inspire future neuroscientists and provide information about
prevention, treatment, and support groups.

Target Audience(s)

 

- Scientists at academic organizations: Mongolian National University of Medical
Sciences, Mongolian National University, Mongolian Academy of Medical Sciences,
and so on
- Policy makers including government agencies: Ministry of Education, Culture, and
Science, Ministry of Health
- Health professionals at hospitals, health organizations: doctors, epidemiologists,
biostatisticians, nurses, social workers
- Psychologists in public and private universities, psychological centers
- Journalists, media representatives
- High school students
- General public

15  

 

Main challenges to advocacy
and brain research in your
area

Overall, the development of science in Mongolia is still struggling with its old academic
system, limited science funding, corruption, and brain drain. We still have the old and
corrupted academic system which has been remained unchanged since the communist
regime collapsed 25 years ago. This system has the strongest negative impact on the
development of science in Mongolia. For example, information on the size, distribution,
policy of scientific research funding is closed; the rules of professorship are outdated;
the term of principal investigator is not established, and the list will be too long. General
awareness of Mongolian people for neuroscience, modern psychology, advanced
technologies in brain science or molecular biology is still very limited. Young scientists
graduated at state-of-the-art institutes in a developed country have almost no chance
to continue their career in research due to limited numbers of laboratories. In addition
to the lack of laboratories, there is no distribution company of international lab supply
companies since the infrastructures including railways, auto roads, and energy plants
are not well developed. There are also no labs that provide laboratory animals for nonclinical, clinical, and essential research services in Mongolia.

Project Region

Asia/Pacific

Award Amount (in EUR)

5000

Project start date

08-01-2015

Project end date

07-31-2016

Project location

Zorig street 3
Ulaanbaatar
Mongolia

Identify completed
activity/activities

1. National press conference about brain science
2. Scientific meeting for professionals, “Multidisciplinary Brain Science” – The Second
Annual Meeting of MNS
3. Neuroscience Public Event for public lectures about neuroscience
4. Board meeting on neuroscience with policymakers

Number of participants in
activity/activities

500

Did the seed grant provide
sufficient funding for project?

5/5

Were project objectives
fulfilled?

4/5

Comments

Yes. We have completed all the main projects we proposed successfully. However, the
additional projects on establishing a society journal and online library are in progress
and need more funding.

Did the course increase
awareness and support of
brain research in the target
audience(s)?

5/5

Comments

The number of members has been increasing since we launched public-oriented
activities.

Do you find the seed grant
program effective?

5/5

16  

 

Comments

For such a small and developing society like Mongolian Neuroscience Society, this
grant was the key source for conducting public events, press conferences, and lobby
meetings to raise awareness of brain science in the country and therefore, it is of great
importance to us.

Identify any project
challenges

Although we have successfully fulfilled our main objectives, establishing an official
journal of the society and creating an online library for neuroscience was very
challenging both financially and technically.

Identify any project benefits
(e.g. partnerships, policy
involvement, public
engagement, scientific
exchange, media
opportunities, etc.)

Governmental agencies confirm their support for political or international collaborations.
Media and press companies recognized us as a professional society and some
journalists and writers joined our society. Actually, we are discussing to include a
separate section for brain science on Cosmopolitan Mongolia, a popular magazine,
providing information on brain science news to the readers. For the first time,
neuroscience is included as an elective subject to the official curriculum at the School
of Biomedicine of Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences. National
companies are interested in our activities, i.e. Nrantuul Group LLC, one of top 20
companies in Mongolia, sponsored the 3RD Annual Meeting of MNS this year. We are
working on academic exchange projects with regional organizations such as Korean
Brain Research Institute and Neuroscience Program at Academia Sinica of Taiwan.

Would you suggest any
changes to the seed grant
program?

Please keep supporting this seed grant program, at least for several years, so that we
could become financially stable enough to maintain our regular activities.

What advice or support, if
any, would you appreciate
from IBRO Global Advocacy
partners?

It will be of a great honor for us if an IBRO executive officer or a world-renown scientist
would visit Mongolia during our annual meeting in the future. We could organize a
single plenary lecture, lobby meetings with policy makers, social events, and TV
interviews which will definitely attract more public attention and funding.

Any other comments

In conclusion, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to IBRO
for this great support which made all these events possible.

17  

IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant Evaluation

 

Submission Date

2016-10-19 05:49:30

Applicant ID

GA-005

First Name

Tadaharu

Last Name

Tsumoto

Professional Title

Director

Gender

Male

E-mail

tsumoto@brain.riken.jp

Professional Address

Retzius Vag 3
Solna
Stockholm
171 65
Sweden

Project Title

Brain Century Symposium

Project Objectives

The Japanese Non-Profit Organization “Brain Science Promotion Conference”, in
collaboration with the Japan Neuroscience Society, holds “Brain Century Symposium”
once a year on the importance of brain research to society. Recently the general public
in Japan become aware of the importance of brain science, in particular in modern
society with a large aging population. At this stage it is very important to publicize
recent advances of brain science. Thus the objective of this activity is to advocate the
importance of brain science not only to science policy makers but also to the general
public and mass media through attactive, updated lectures.

Target Audience(s)

The general public, science communicators, journalists, law makers in the Congress
and science policy makers in the Government offices.

Main challenges to advocacy
and brain research in your
area

In Japan the Decade of Brain campaign was successfully carried out in late 1990s.
Consequently the Japanese Government provided some financial support to brain
research, and various projects such as“Knowing the Brain”,“Creating the
Brain”,“Protecting the Brain”and “Nurturing the Brain” projects were launched.
Thereafter, however, such enthusiasm about brain research faded in Japan. The
challenge is therefore to re-activate and further strenghten supports to Brain Research.

Project Region

Asia/Pacific

Award Amount (in EUR)

5000

Project start date

9-14-2016

Project end date

9-14-2016

Project location

Asahi Hall, Yurakucho
Tokyo
Japan

Identify completed
activity/activities

A Report of Brain Century Symposium in Japan supported by the IBRO Advocacy
Seed Grant was submitted to the IBRO office on 6th October 2016.

Did the seed grant provide
sufficient funding for project?

4/5

18  

 

Comments

The amount of the seed grant did not completely cover the cost of the activities but
substantially contributed to the operation of the activities.

Were project objectives
fulfilled?

5/5

Comments

Reflecting the public attention to Brain Scinece, the Brain Century Symposium
attracted a great number of attendants. The number of audience was as many as
about 600 so that the lecture hall was completely full.

Did the course increase
awareness and support of
brain research in the target
audience(s)?

5/5

Comments

This symposium was held in a very timely manner to focus on the current interests of
the general public and thus succeeded in advocating the importance of brain science to
society. For example, after each talk many questions were asked from the audience
and the lecturers well responded to the questions. To the audience thereafter we
distributed questionnaires about quality of the lectures and what they want to hear in
the next Symposium. Then we got very good feedbacks form the audience.

Do you find the seed grant
program effective?

5/5

Comments

Yes, it is very effective.

Identify any project
challenges

We need more solid financial supports to cover honorarium and travel costs of
qualified and well known lecturers who attract the general public.

Identify any project benefits
(e.g. partnerships, policy
involvement, public
engagement, scientific
exchange, media
opportunities, etc.)

This year the most influential news paper in Japan "Asahi Shinbun" partially supported
the activity. Consequently the attention of wider public than last year was obtained.

Would you suggest any
changes to the seed grant
program?

The size of the seed grant could be more flexible.

What advice or support, if
any, would you appreciate
from IBRO Global Advocacy
partners?

I am not sure about the current relationship with the Brain Awareness Week activity
that is supported by Dana Foundation. If there is no link, some links with Dana
Foundation might be desirable.

19  

IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant Evaluation
Submission Date

2016-10-18 10:06:34

Applicant ID

GA-004

First Name

Andrés

Last Name

Couve

Professional Title

PhD

Gender

Male

E-mail

andres@neuro.med.uchile.cl

Professional Address

Universidad de Chile
Independencia 1027
Santiago
RM
Chile

Project Title

Loligo Education

Project Objectives

Loligo Education (www.loligo.cl), developed by the Biomedical Neuroscience Institute
(BNI) in partnership with Biointeractive, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), is a
pioneering initiative in Latin America. It gathers a variety of educational material
adapted to the curricular needs of the Chilean educational system and aims to promote
science education in the school community combining cutting-edge content and
entertainment.

Target Audience(s)

High school teachers and students.

Main challenges to advocacy
and brain research in your
area

• Lack of scientific activities that bring neuroscience closer to the community.
• Poor understanding of how scientific issues such as motor behavior, emotions,
perception, learning and memory relate to their daily lives.
• Difficulty in accessing scientific knowledge and technological activities outside the
metropolitan area.
• Lack of attractive online educational initiatives to teach science in an entertaining
fashion, especially to children and young people attending primary and high school.
• Lack of an online neuroscience platform in Spanish that serves a wide Latin American
community, encouraging collaboration between educational and research groups.

 

Project Region

Latin America

Award Amount (in EUR)

5000

Project start date

12-01-2015

Project end date

05-30-2016

Project location

Independencia 2017
Santiago
Chile

20  

 

Identify completed
activity/activities

The initiative, launched at the Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Chile on April 5
2016, is supported by the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), Comisión
Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), and Fondo Valentín
Letelier of Universidad de Chile.
Loligo Education, whose name refers to the giant squid which has been an important
experimental model for neuroscience, and for Chilean neurophysiologists, consists of
22 educational resources freely available through the BNI website and www.loligo.cl.
Here, users can learn different aspects of biology and neuroscience and their relevance
to our daily lives. More importantly, they also supplement formal teaching.
Rodrigo Tapia, BNI Outreach and Education Director, said that the project "provides a
great opportunity to generate resources for Spanish-speaking students, which currently
have very limited access to high quality scientific material. It contributes to
science education in an entertaining and practical way. It brings us closer to establish a
scientific culture in the country".
The Loligo Education platform contains videos about neuronal and brain function,
covering topics like learning and memory. In addition, it includes an interactive comic,
games and a short documentary about the value of science.
BNI is currently implementing a hands-on workshop for high school teachers in which
the material contained in Loligo Education will be implemented in the classroom.
Rodrigo Tapia hopes to develop a partnership with the Ministry of Education to
increase the impact of the initiative.
BNI also showed its advances in the area of scientific education through the BrainDome, an interactive journey through the brain where attendees access neuroscience
through a comic strip, video games, interactive screens, and observe neuronal
preparations through the microscope.
The launching event congregated a large and vibrant community of students and
teachers. The ceremony was led by Dr. Andrés Couve, Director of BNI, and Rodrigo
Tapia. Jennifer Bricken and Javier Robalino, from Biointeractive HHMI, were special
guests to the event. Javier Robalino presented the lecture "How do we know what we
know? Using stories of scientific discovery in the classroom“.
Santiago, May 2016

Did the seed grant provide
sufficient funding for project?

4/5

Comments

It complemented funds from the Chilean Government and Biointeractive-HHMI.

Were project objectives
fulfilled?

5/5

Comments

We have successfully implemented the workshop. Currently on its 3rd session.
Online material is crucial to sustain workshops and an active community.

Did the course increase
awareness and support of
brain research in the target
audience(s)?

5/5

Comments

Yes, this is a complementary initiative to all our efforts that include online and on-site
material, press, and social media campaign.

Do you find the seed grant
program effective?

5/5

Comments

It was friendly and had clear objectives.

Identify any project
challenges

No major obstacles were encountered.

21  

 

Identify any project benefits
(e.g. partnerships, policy
involvement, public
engagement, scientific
exchange, media
opportunities, etc.)

Helped improve our collaboration with Biointeractive-HHMI

Would you suggest any
changes to the seed grant
program?

A continuation system would greatly benefit these initiatives.
Advocacy and outreach need constant attention.

What advice or support, if
any, would you appreciate
from IBRO Global Advocacy
partners?

Experience of successful and high impact activities in developed countries.
How does advocacy relate to education.

22  

IBRO Global Advocacy Seed Grant Evaluation

 

Submission Date

2016-10-18 08:13:41

Applicant ID

GA-003

First Name

Tamer

Last Name

Emara

Professional Title

Assistant professor of neurology

Gender

Male

E-mail

thmfe@yahoo.com

Professional Address

Egypt

Project Title

Arab African teleneurology network

Project Objectives

Forming a teleneurology network serving two functions: treat and teach

Target Audience(s)

Medical and non medical stakeholders

Main challenges to advocacy
and brain research in your
area

Lack of trained neurologists
Lack of training programs

Project Region

Africa

Award Amount (in EUR)

5000

Project start date

01-19-2016

Project end date

01-21-2016

Project location

League of Arab states
Cairo
Egypt

Identify completed
activity/activities

Conference successfully completed. A network is established. A teleneurology unit is
now functioning in Ain Shams University.

Did the seed grant provide
sufficient funding for project?

4/5

Comments

The seed grant shared partially in covering the expenses of inviting experts from USA
and Europe to attend the meeting. This has helped the success of the meeting.
Important links were established as a result. I value the concept of providing rapid
access seed grants to similar capacity development projects

Were project objectives
fulfilled?

5/5

Did the course increase
awareness and support of
brain research in the target
audience(s)?

5/5

23  

 

Do you find the seed grant
program effective?

5/5

Identify any project
challenges

May be work on mutual partnerships between IBRO and seed grant holders to
maximize sustainability

Identify any project benefits
(e.g. partnerships, policy
involvement, public
engagement, scientific
exchange, media
opportunities, etc.)

Start teleneurology unit that serves areas in Egypt and africa

Would you suggest any
changes to the seed grant
program?

Rapid response

24  

THE TREAT AND TEACH INITIATIVE
It is estimated that neurology cases constitute 20-25% of ER admissions.
Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the world. According to the
WHO records, stroke occurs 20 years earlier in developing countries when
compared to developed ones. 90% of epilepsy cases occur in the developing
world.

Regarding practice, 85% of stroke deaths now occur in LMIC, DALY lost due to
stroke are seven times that in high income countries, and rehab services are
offered to 3% of stroke population. Stroke incidence has increased by 100% in
the last four decades in those countries.

Neurology education in many African countries is almost non existing. Around
90% of African universities do not have master degrees in neurology. Most of
the trained neurologists get their training abroad, many of them leave their
countries because there are no posts for neurologists in the university or the
ministry of health. The number of trained neurologists in many countries can
be counted on the fingers. In countries with good neurology training programs,
well established neurology services can only be found in central cities and
patients have to travel for hundreds of miles to find a good neurology service.

 

25  

We want to work on short and intermediate term strategies that might help
reduce the gap in the number of trained neurologists as well as the deficiency
of neurology education programs in Africa. We are trying to complement the
current efforts to improve neurology education in Africa with an initiative that
has a mix of online education and onsite clinical training and working on
establishing medical services that may include a stroke unit, memory clinic,
neurorehabilitation units, or a neurology department. This would hopefully,
lead to national neuroscience services run by local HR.

Through a series of online lectures provided by Egyptian and
international academicians, we will be offering neurology education to medical
providers in these countries. The online material is coupled with clinical
bedside training. There will also be case conferences and clinical support for
growing neurology practice in the target countries on a regular basis.
Master degrees from Ain Shams University, Cairo, will be offered and work will
be done to establish local/joint master degrees to ensure sustainability.

 

26  

Treat and Teach
Executive plan
The first 100 African neurology trained physicians: Flagship program



 

Ain Shams Teleneurology unit has been giving online modular neurology training
webinars for the last 7 months (e.g. CT interpretation, Headache, How to setup a
comprehensive stroke service). In the last 2 months; we have started doing online
telemedicine consults as well. Trainees are from Egypt, Ghana,Somalia, and Ethiopia.
The capacity of our e-learning/telemedicine solution is 250 sites per webinar. We are
currently using 6.
As per the concept note, the plan is to mix these online services with onsite training and
service development.
What we suggest is the following;
○ Setup a modular neurology curriculum
○ Form a network of interested universities/hospitals. If we connect 50 hospitals
with 2 trainees per hospital. We will be working with 100 trainees.
○ Trainees can choose to have one or more modules.
○ They can be neurology trainees, or simply a family practitioner who sees a lot of
headache cases in his practice and wants to give them a better service. The
reason for that is the difficulties with getting a neurology position, and also the
paucity of trained physicians in general.
○ Each module will have an academic part, case based learning followed by
service implementation with telemedicine support.
○ The online training is mixed with onsite training short courses that can be done
between the participating sites and Ain Shams University.
○ Lectures can be given by Egyptian, African and international speakers.
○ The support of the participating institution is of paramount importance.
○ For example; the family practitioner who finished the headache module will have
the support of his institution to start a headache clinic. After 50 mentored cases
via telemedicine, he can then be trusted to ask for online consults for chronic
migraines or cases with less common diagnosis. In a year’s time, this will lead to
a visible new, and hopefully successful service that will help at least 100 patients
per year. During this year, he will spend a few weeks in an established headache
service and will have the chance to attend an onsite headache course and get to
share his experiences.
○ This real life achievement will eventually lead to someone else asking; what
about my epilepsy cases?

27  

This program will rapidly improve awareness to the need of neurology specialists
and will also quickly leverage the services provided to neurology patients. I would
assume that a minimum of 50% of the trainees will choose to continue their
neurology training.
I think this will be the biggest number ever of physicians that got neurology
training in their countries or in Africa.

 
 

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