BIAL Foundation

The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by BIAL Pharmaceuticals with a mission to ‘foster the scientific study of the human being from both the physical and spiritual perspectives’. It funds research in neuroscientific and psychophysiology research, in order to promote health and understanding of the human condition.  It also provides significant funding for parapsychology.

Research Funding

BIAL’s first grants were made in 1994 and have been made biennially ever since. Each is worth between €5,000 and €50,000. The foundation has supported over 700 projects and over 1500 researchers and centres in 25 countries. Some 1260 papers have been published, many of them in leading journals. About 30% of grants are awarded for parapsychological research and 18% for research that spans parapsychology and psychophysiology (equating to18-25 grants every two years for psi research). A list of grant recipients across countries is available on the website.1

The BIAL website has recently been overhauled and the grants section expanded. Each round of grants page gives the benefactor institutions, the researchers involved, the title of the research and a link to the results once completed.2 The breakdown of grant statistics is available on the website.3


Since 1996,4 BIAL has held biennial symposia under the heading ‘Behind and Beyond the Brain’, a platform for BIAL-funded researchers in neuroscience and parapsychology to present their findings. Topics covered include placebo effects, healing and meditation, mind-matter interactions, sleep and dreams, intuition and decision-making, memory, exceptional experiences, emotions, and, the most recent, enhancing the mind. Participants have included

Miguel Castelo-Branco (Coimbra)

Axel Cleeremans (Brussels)

António Damásio (Los Angeles)

Hoyt Edge (Florida)

Peter Fenwick (London)

Eberhard Fetz (Washington)

Fernando Gil (Sorbonne)

Allan Hobson (Harvard)

Jerome Kagan (Harvard)

Irving Kirsch (Boston)

Lorenza Colzato (Leiden)

Stephen Kosslyn (San Francisco)

Stephen Laberge (Stanford)

Dietrich Lehmann (Zurich)

Fernando Lopes da Silva (Amsterdam)

Edwin May (Palo Alto),

Robert Morris (Edinburgh)

Dean Radin (Nevada)

Alcino Silva (Los Angeles)

Ian Stevenson (Virginia)

Robert Stickgold (Harvard)

Documentation and Database

In 2014, BIAL launched the documentation centre which serves as its document repository, including references, and downloadable research papers. Editions of the BIAL Award, ‘Behind and Beyond the Brain’ symposia and grants for scientific research are all accessible and downloadable in most cases. The database5 includes information regarding projects, in the fields of psychophysiology and parapsychology that have been supported by the Foundation since its inception in 1994 to the present time. This information is retrievable by keyword or more advanced searches. The database also indicates which documents are indexed in the various academic sources: SCOPUS and ISI Web of Science.