SfN Awarded $1.28 Million to Support Underrepresented Neuroscience Researchers
Washington, D.C. – The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) successfully competed for a $1.28 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to continue its longstanding Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP). Since 1982, the NSP has enhanced career development and professional networking opportunities for graduate and postdoctoral neuroscience researchers from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and individuals with disabilities.
"The Neuroscience Scholars Program adds enormous value to neuroscience by building a diverse community of scholars who bring quality and excellence to the field. The next five years of NSP scholars join a vibrant and growing community of successful NSP alum who are advancing knowledge and also giving back to the program," said SfN President Diane Lipscombe.
The renewed grant, awarded under NIH’s R25 research education program mechanism, will enable SfN to develop a strong focus on leadership development that builds on the program’s recognized strengths in mentoring, networking, and community-building. The next iteration of the program will also encourage succession for participants. NSP alumni will lead NSP webinars and online discussions, serve as class advisors and mentors, and organize a new biennial mid-year NSP Conference. The two-day conference, for both current NSP participants and alumni, will feature a deep-dive into a thematic topic, provide professional and career development sessions such as "Responding to Criticism on Scientific Publications" and "Developing and Communicating Your Public Image," and include opportunities for networking, leadership development, and grant proposal mentoring in small group settings.
For each year of the renewed grant, the NSP will select 15 to 18 NSP Fellows and approximately 70 NSP Associates. NSP Fellows enjoy a two-year experience with formal mentoring, access to a comprehensive curriculum of professional development and research-enhancement workshops and webinars, financial support to attend SfN’s annual meeting, and enrichment funds to support professional and leadership development. NSP Associates benefit from a two-year program that offers access to interactive webinars on neuroscience research and career-related topics; an online community for discussion and learning; partial funds to offset travel to the SfN annual meeting; and access to mentoring, networking, and scientific exchange annual meeting events.
Since its 1982 launch, more than 900 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers have completed the program. SfN’s NSP efforts have received formal recognition: In 2018 NSP was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, & Engineering Mentoring at a White House ceremony, the nation’s highest recognition of science mentoring excellence. NSP also received a Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives in 2014, notable as an award showcasing the unique and indispensable role associations play in bettering communities, fostering volunteer efforts, and harnessing the collective will and expertise of their members to ensure a better quality of life.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of more than 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and the nervous system. The Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP) is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25NS089462.