SfN’s Trainee Professional Development Awards Grant Unique Opportunity to Young Researchers
WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) awarded a record number of Trainee Professional Development Awards this year thanks to increased funding from SfN Council and other generous donors, allowing more than 200 deserving young scientists to present their research and collaborate with leading neuroscientists from around the world at Neuroscience 2017.
Earlier this year, SfN Council committed $100,000 in support of Trainee Professional Development Awards. “Council is making a strong statement during these challenging economic and political times,” SfN President Eric Nestler said. “By increasing the amount of financial assistance to this spectacular awards program, we are actively providing outstanding trainees with opportunities to gain recognition for their achievements, to present their abstracts — for many of them, for the first time on a world stage — and to make meaningful connections at Neuroscience 2017.”
The awards are also supported by individual donors, private foundations, and partnerships with corporate donors. SfN has maintained partnerships with Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Lilly USA, the Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research, and Pfizer. New donors this year include AbbVie, Inscopix, Genentech, and Sanofi.
In addition, a memorial fund for Trainee Professional Development Awards was established in honor of the late Nancy Rutledge Zahniser, a University of Colorado pharmacologist and neuroscientist respected for her research on addiction and dopamine who passed away in 2016 from neurogliobastoma. A longtime SfN member, Zahniser was highly regarded for her ongoing commitment to mentoring students, postdoctoral fellows, and young faculty, and her legacy will be commemorated by the Nancy Rutledge Zahniser Trainee Professional Development Awards, which will fund up to five trainees each year.
Trainee Professional Development Awards are presented to deserving undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who demonstrate scientific merit and excellence in their research. These awards provide an opportunity to those in the early stages of their career to present a scientific abstract at a poster session, to meet peers and network with senior scientists, and to participate in learning opportunities at SfN’s annual meeting. Throughout its programs, SfN seeks to promote gender equality and to increase diversity, in all of its forms. Trainees from all around the globe are eligible and are encouraged to apply for the awards.
The increase in available funding this year generated a record number of applications. The more than 200 winners of this year’s awards will receive complimentary registration to attend Neuroscience 2017, along with a $1,000 stipend for awardees based at an institution in North America and $2,000 for those from international institutions. The recipients represent 119 institutions in 11 countries, with 30 recipients hailing from international institutions. Moreover, recipients are at all levels of training: 53 are post-doctoral fellows, 128 are graduate students, and 22 are undergraduate students. Of all of the recipients, 122 are women.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.