2018 Joy Academic Grant Call for Proposals


The Annual Joy grant initiative aims to promote and contribute to the emerging field of neuro-wellness. The grant supports research efforts that potentially impact human performance and well-being, improve regulation of emotions in personal and social context and increase mental and physical resilience under challenge – which are all different aspects of neuro-wellness. Neuro-wellness focuses on the research of improving or enhancing the resilience of the healthy brain towards stress, emotional imbalance and instability, and understanding their underlying mechanisms.

Each year, a new grant theme will support research efforts that elucidate mechanisms that comprise and contribute to human wellness; generate new neuro-wellness-related knowledge through new implementations of existing data; or use state of the art scientific tools, technologies and new modalities to generate new approaches for sensing, monitoring and modulating of the human brain and body.

2018 Joy Grant Theme

This year’s grant theme will cover various research aspects relating to characterization and identification of emotional states and mood alterations in humans. Research proposals that will be considered for the 2018 grant will include research, in various stages, that will eventually provide novel solutions for at least one of the following objectives:

ü Regulation of emotional states: Identify and characterize emotional states; understand the mechanisms underlying emotion regulation; research of positive affect and processes that support and enhance formation of positive habits.

ü Non-invasive methods to manage and improve emotional states and mood- may include, but not limited to sensory/bodily influences on such regulation; neuromodulation techniques, enhancement of brain plasticity.

ü Non-invasive, real-time sensing techniques, continuous monitoring and non-invasive evaluation of emotional states

May include, but not limited to:

o Study of parameters from various anatomic structures (such as skin, face, muscles or eyes);

o Continuous sensing of hormones and neurotransmitters; measurements of surrogate markers of emotional states in humans

o Behavioral and social data as surrogate markers for emotional state

ü Multiparametric big data approaches for understanding, monitoring and predicting vulnerability to dysregulated emotional states or unstable mood –may include, but not limited to setting new physiological parameters, applying machine learning and artificial intelligence: making new sense out of existing data sets (such as heart rate, GSR, EOG, EMG, oximetry, EEG)


The grant will support research performed in academic education centers (universities and colleges) and medical research institutes in Israel. Collaborations between various academic disciplines, different Israeli research institutes, and/or with industry are highly encouraged. International collaborations will be considered.

Applied approach is encouraged. We welcome basic research proposals as long as the future application of the research is clearly stated.

We support studies on human subjects that ultimately target healthy populations.


Additional information & inquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


UK Young Researcher’s Prize 

Dr. Linda Katona
Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford
Subcortically co-ordinated temporal redistribution of inhibition in the hippocampus

Israeli Young Researcher’s Prize 

Dr. Ella Striem-Amit
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Look, no hands! What can we learn from the brains of people born without hands?

UK Early Career Researcher’s Prize

Dr. Charlotte Stagg
Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN), University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital
The neurochemistry of learning, and relearning, human motor skills

Israeli Early Career Researcher’s Prize  

Dr. Nitzan Censor
School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience, TAU
Reactivation-induced perceptual and motor learning


Stav Emanuel

Parasitoid wasp manipulates nocifensive behavior of cockroach host

Emanuel S. , Libersat F.  *

Dept. of Life Sciences and Zlotowski center for neuroscience, BGU

Omer Barkai

A new spice to the inflammatory soup: Platelet-Derived Growth Factor activates peripheral pain-related neurons by inhibiting Kv7 potassium channels

Barkai O. 1 2, Goldstein RH. 1 2, Lev S. 1 2, Binshtok A. 1 2*

1 The Faculty of Medicine, HUJI, 2 ELSC,HUJI

Dario Geisinger

Perceptual cues in the interaction between the Vestibulo Ocular Reflex and the OptokineticNystagmus in virtual reality environments

Geisinger D 1 2*, Hayun K 3, Zivotofsky AZ 3, Suarez H 4, Gordon CR 1 2

1 Department of Neurology, Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, 2  Faculty of Medicine, TAU 3 The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, BIU 4 Laboratorio de Otoneurologia, Montevideo, Uruguay

Hanna Hayat

Mechanisms underlying sensory disconnection during sleep: a role for the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline system

Hayat H. 1*, Regev N. 1, Krom AJ. 1 2, Bergman L. 1, Yizhar O. 3, Pickering AE. 4 5, Nir Y. 1 6

1 Department Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, TAU2Department of Anesthesiology, Hadassah University Hospital, 3 Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute 4 School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, , UK 5 Department of Anaesthesia, University Hospitals Bristol, Bristol, UK 6 Sagol School of Neuroscience, TAU

Tamir Eliav

Representation of large-scale spaces in the hippocampus of flying bats

Eliav T. , Las L. , Ulanovsky N.  *

Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science

Elor Arieli

Differential roles of basolateral amygdala dynamics in taste perception and learning

Arieli E. 1, Gerbi R. 1, Harpaz I. 1, Udi D. 1, Zeidan R. 1, Moran A. 1 2*

1 Department of Neurobiology, TAU 2 Sagol school of Neuroscience

Meytal Cohen-Or

Extremes on the weight spectrum - searching for epigenetic mechanisms/markers

Cohen Or M. 1*, Gerberg Y., Kisliouk T. 2, Meiri N. 2, Weller A. 3

1 Life Sciences, Bar Ilan University 2 The Volcani Center, Institute of animal science 3 BIU, Department of Psychology

Dean Shmuel

Non-invasive brain stimulation synchronized with visual memory reactivation modulates human perceptual learning

Shmuel D. 1, Sharon H. 2 3, Censor N. 1 4*

1 School of Psychological Sciences, TAU 2 Center for Brain Functions and Institute of Pain Medicine, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center3  Faculty of Medicine, TAU 4 Sagol School of Neuroscience, TAU

Oryan Agranyoni

Fecal transplantation modulate depressive-like behavior in WT sabra mice

Agranyoni O. 1, Koren O 2, Salmon-Divon M 3, Navon-Venezia S 3, Pinhasov A 3*

1 1Dept. of Molecular Biology, Ariel University 2 Faculty of Medicine BIU, Zefat, 3 Dept. of Molecular Biology, Ariel University

Moriya Weitz

Characterization and manipulation of GABAergic inputs to the VTA to prevent cocaine-conditioned reward

Khayat A. , Weitz M. , Yaka R.*

School of Pharmacy, HUJI