The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by the BIAL pharmaceutical company and the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities with a mission to foster scientific study of the human being from both physical and spiritual perspectives. It is managed by representatives from both institutions.

Today, the BIAL Foundation is a globally renowned institution, particularly in the field of Neuroscience research, aiming to stimulate new research that benefits people, improves health and attains new knowledge.

Among its activities, the Foundation awards several prizes in the field of biomedical research, including the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica and the BIAL Award in Biomedicine.

In partnership with the Portuguese Medical Association, the BIAL Foundation also promotes the Maria de Sousa Award, which aims to support young Portuguese researchers with scientific projects in the area of Health Sciences.

The BIAL Foundation has a Grants Programme for Scientific Research oriented towards the neurophysiological and mental study of the human being in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.

Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation has organised the "Behind and Beyond the Brain" Symposia, a biennial forum for world-renowned experts in neurosciences and parapsychology and for several researchers supported by the Foundation.

Classified as a non-profit institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities and the Portuguese Medical Association.