Guidelines for Proposals: The New Neuroscience


Understanding how the nearly 100 billion cells in each of our brains can give rise to our unique behaviors, memories, emotions, and personality traits is one of the grand challenges at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Disorders of the brain are devastating to millions of patients and their families, and, though neuroscience research continues to make advances, our ability to understand and treat these psychiatric and neurological disorders remains lacking. A recent acceleration in the development of new molecular tools has allowed neuroscientists to manipulate and image neural circuitry, monitor patterns of gene expression, and edit the genome itself. Such progress has propelled the field of neuroscience to the leading edge of the life sciences, but the link between exciting new discoveries and the subjective, lived experience of patients can be difficult to trace. Through this new series of shorter-length books, we offer insightful surveys of key topics in modern neuroscience, written to be enjoyed by researchers outside the field and by interested laypeople. The series also includes memoirs and commentary by professionals whose lives and careers have been touched by personal experience with brain disorders. Our hope is that by thinking broadly and conceptually about how our brains create our shared experiences, we can build bridges between scientists, patients, and caregivers, and provide a platform for an inclusive discussion about what it means to be human. 

Proposal Guidelines

Submitting a Proposal (From:

Please refer to the series list on our website for information about submitting proposals in specific series. Some series have their own guidelines for proposals.

What to Include in a Proposal

Your proposal should give the editors and marketing staff a clear idea of what your book is about, how you came to write this book at this point in your career, and where the work fits within the field of neuroscience. It may be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What key topic in neuroscience does your book seek to elucidate? Why is it important historically and/or going forward?
  • Does your book address controversies or confusions within the field that you wish to clarify or expound upon?
  • What previously unknown or neglected personal or scientific story are you planning to tell?
  • What will make your book of interest to the lay audience, researchers, caregivers and patients?

Proposals should include the following:

  • A brief narrative description of the book, including its themes, arguments, goals, and place in the literature.
  • A description of the projected audience and any known competing titles.
  • A brief statement on how the manuscript fits into this particular book series.
  • An estimate of the numbers of illustrations or tables, and a note on potential permissions issues (reproduction of illustrations or excerpts of poetry or musical lyrics).
  • A table of contents with brief descriptions of each chapter. Books in this series should be ~128 pages in length as printed.
  • The introduction and another sample chapter (about 50-60 pages altogether).
  • Your current C.V. summarizing professional experience, past publications, and relevant research.
  • Please provide a projected completion date.
  • Please email or mail your proposal to Ted Abel ( and Joshua Weiner ( Our typical response time for a preliminary inquiry is about six to eight weeks.

We look forward to hearing from you.