BENFRA Pilot Study Funding

Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University

The BENFRA Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University is welcoming applications for one $15,000 award funded by the OHSU Department of Neurology.

The goal of the award is to support a pilot project performed by a trainee researcher on Botanicals Enhancing Neurological and Functional Resilience in Aging (BENFRA). The awardee will work closely with the BENFRA Center at OHSU. Applicants are encouraged to review the goals and mission statement and the faculty and researchers of the Center. 

The deadline for applications is October 2, 2023.


Applications may be submitted by the proposed trainee (undergraduate or graduate student, postdoctoral scholar) or the faculty member mentoring the trainee. 

Eligible Projects

Projects may involve the herbs of focus at the BENFRA Center, Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) or Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) or may involve other herbs previously identified as having resilience-promoting effects for human health, especially for aging related changes to sleep, mood and cognition. Projects must include at least one OHSU faculty level BENFRA investigator as Principal or Co-investigator and provide an opportunity for research training. All research activities must take place at Oregon Health & Science University. 


If applying as a trainee, please include your CV as well as your PI/mentor’s name and their letter of support. If applying as a faculty member/mentor, please include your trainee’s CV.

Applications should be emailed to the BENFRA Center at
by October 2, 2023.
Please include the heading ‘BENFRA Pilot Funds Application' in the subject field.


Please direct questions about eligibility and potential projects to: 
Lucy Allison, BENFRA Administrative Coordinator at

BENFRA Year 4 solicitation, review and award timeline

August  2023  Solicitation announced

October 2, 2023  Applications due

November 2, 2023  Award decision made and applicants notified

Previously funded projects

Evaluating NRF2 activation by extracts and constituent compounds of Centella asiatica and Withania somnifera
Trainee: Cody Neff, B.S.
Mentor: Nora Gray, Ph.D.

Quantitative EEG signatures of Centella asiatica in Aged Mice
Trainee: Noah Milman, Ph.D. candidate
Mentor: Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D.

The Effects of Centella asiatica on Cerebrovascular Reactivity in Aging Mice
Trainee: Ben Zimmerman, Ph.D.
Mentor: Anusha Mishra, Ph.D.

BENFRA welcomes applications from all qualified individuals. We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetic make-up, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Application document