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NIH Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience Award program (OSNAP)

Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience Award Program (OSNAP)

The Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience Award Program (OSNAP) is designed to recognize those who are conducting exceptional neuroscience research across the nation and have great academic potential in their scientific training.

The OSNAP, which is sponsored by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), the National Eye Institute (NEI), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) requests that directors of graduate or postdoctoral fellowship programs nominate candidates from their programs for consideration. Alternatively, mentors may nominate candidates from their research groups.

Eligibility criteria:

Ideal candidates for OSNAP are graduate students in PhD (or PhD equivalent) programs who are engaged in neuroscience research and are within 2 years from completing their PhD (or PhD equivalent) programs or recent postdoctoral fellows who are no more than 2 years into their research fellowships.

International trainees (graduate or postdoctoral level) who are training at US institutions are eligible for nomination for the OSNAP award. International trainees who are training at institutions outside of the US but in North America are eligible for nomination for the OSNAP award.

The nomination process:

The nomination packet should include:

  • Program director or mentor nomination letter for a current PhD (or PhD equivalent) candidate or an early stage postdoctoral fellow, describing the qualifications of the nominee including previous and current research training and accomplishments, personal characteristics that set them apart, evidence of astute scientific research skills and critical thinking, as well as enthusiasm for working with others;
  • the nominee’s Curriculum Vitae;
  • a cover letter by the nominee describing their future research interests, research goals, why they should be selected for the award, and how the award will affect their career. The letter should also indicate which NIH institute(s) is of interest:

Award recipients will be announced in late Spring 2024 and will be invited to visit the NIH either in person at the Bethesda, MD campus or virtual (if necessary) for an Award Symposium in 2024.

The OSNAP Award includes:

  • a certificate honoring selection as an NIH OSNAP recipient;
  • an invitation to visit the NIH either in person at the Bethesda, MD campus or virtual (if necessary) for an Award Symposium where awardees share their science, meet with NIH leadership, investigators, program staff and research trainees to learn about the unique resources and research conducted in the Intramural Research Program (IRP);
  • the opportunity to give a brief talk and present a poster about their own research; and
  • the opportunity to meet Program Officers from institutes of interest to learn about extramural funding opportunities.

We appreciate your assistance in identifying and recognizing the next generation of exceptional neuroscientists. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Janet Clark at 301-451-4512 or