Neurosciences Postdoctoral Scholar Awards

Postdoc scholars researching in a lab

Our postdoctoral scholars program provides research support and a community of mentors and peers to extraordinary Stanford postdocs advancing our understanding of the mind and brain in health and disease.

The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute's Postdoctoral Scholar Awards support innovative, collaborative and creative postdoctoral researchers from across Stanford who are pursuing novel, multi-disciplinary approaches to understanding the workings of the mind and brain. In addition to receiving research funding, scholars meet regularly for workshops, journal clubs and other activities that allow them to learn from one another’s varied research and personal backgrounds and establish community and collaborations. These Interdisciplinary Postdocs and Brain Resilience Scholars will advance our knowledge of brain health and aging.

Program Tracks

Wu Tsai Neuro brain logo

Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Since 2015, the Wu Tsai Neuro's Interdisciplinary Scholars track has supported innovative young researchers with backgrounds in basic and clinical neurosciences, biomedical sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, engineering, education, law, business and humanities who are engaged in cutting edge interdisciplinary research in the neurosciences, broadly defined.

Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience Brain logo

Brain Resilience Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Since 2023, the Brain Resilience Postdoctoral Scholars award of the Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience supports trainees generating paradigm-shifting insights on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and how to maintain brain resilience into old age.



This program is open to current Stanford postdocs. Our next postdoc applications will open in Winter Quarter 2024.

Program sponsor
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute & Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience

Funded Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholar projects

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Interdisciplinary Scholar Award
Restoring multi-limb motion in people with paralysis via brain-computer interface

Intracortical brain-computer interfaces (iBCIs) can restore lost communication and motor function for people with severe speech and motor impairment due to neurological injury or disease. iBCIs measure neural activity from the brain, decode this activity into control signals, and use these signals to guide prosthetic devices such as computer cursors and prosthetic arms.

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Interdisciplinary Scholar Award
Microglia-Mediated Astrocyte Activation in Chronic Pain

While acute pain is an important biological signal in response to injured tissue, chronic pain occurs when the pain signaling outlasts the initial injury and has deleterious effects on health and quality of life. Chronic pain represents an enormous public health burden with few therapeutic options.

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Interdisciplinary Scholar Award
Simultaneous 15O-PET and MRI of cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reserve

Continuous blood flow to the brain is needed for neural tissues to survive. Noninvasive imaging of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in humans is challenging, but is critically useful to understand normal brain physiology and to help patients with cerebrovascular disorders such as stroke.

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Interdisciplinary Scholar Award
Engineering nanoscale optical transducers of mechanical signals in the nervous system

Communication between cells in the nervous system regulates the senses, memory, and information processing. Using electrical and biochemical sensors, such as patch clamps, voltage-sensitive dyes, and calcium-sensitive dyes, scientists have mapped with extraordinary detail the interactions of the nervous system.

Funded Brain Resilience Postdoctoral Scholar projects

Our Model

This program awards two years of fellowship funding and is pleased to provide parental leave. Postdoctoral scholars also receive $5,000 of discretionary research funds annually.


The program provides scientific and career-growth opportunities and guidance under the leadership of program co-directors and faculty mentors Professors Miriam Goodman and Liqun Luo. Scholars meet monthly with their cohort and program faculty mentors to share ideas and discuss approaches to scientific and career challenges, visit each other’s labs to learn about different research techniques and areas of study, and practice communicating their research to scientific and general audiences.

In addition, Brain Resilience Postdoctoral Scholars attend events and seminars hosted by the Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience, and are stewarded by Knight Initiative Associate Director Natasha Hussain and faculty mentor Elizabeth Mormino to learn from one another and build community around the topic of neurodegeneration and brain resilience.


The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Postdoctoral program brings together cohorts of postdocs representing the broad range of demographic, experiential and scientific diversity. Women and postdocs from groups underrepresented in the neurosciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

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Application and Eligibility Details

Carefully review the detailed information below if you are interested in applying to the Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholars track or the Brain Resilience Postdoctoral Scholars track of the program.

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Terms and Conditions

Learn more about the terms and conditions of this program. 

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