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Interdisciplinary Scholar Awards Application and Eligibility

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute

The application period for the 2021 Interdisciplinary Scholars award is now closed.

Required with the application are a faculty sponsor statement, a co-sponsor statement (if any), 1-2 additional letters of recommendation, description of any present sources of tuition or stipend funding and a curriculum vitae. Please contact Elise Kleeman at with any questions. 

Key Dates for 2021 Scholar Awards
Application Deadline September 8, 2020, at 5:00 pm PDT, including faculty sponsor statement(s) and recommendation letters
Notification of Awards December 2020
Award Start Date Funding may begin between January 1, 2021 and June 1, 2021
Funding Period One year of funding from start date, renewable for a second year of funding.
To Apply The application period is now closed.

See below for detailed information on the Interdisciplinary Scholar Awards Process

All application materials must be submitted online.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The applicant must be appointed as a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University at the time the award begins. If the applicant is not an appointed scholar at the time of the application deadline, additional documents must be submitted with the application (contact the Program Coordinator for details). The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute interdisciplinary scholar awards are not to be used for recruiting purposes. Instructors and Research Associates may not apply.
  • Applicants must hold an MD, a PhD and/or a DVM/VMD degree(s).
  • The faculty mentor/sponsor and co-sponsor (if any) must be appointed at Stanford University. The faculty mentor ("primary sponsor") must be the faculty who is sponsoring that postdoc’s appointment at Stanford University. A co-sponsor is not required. Acting and consulting appointees are not eligible to be a sponsor or co-sponsor.
  • The faculty sponsor and co-sponsor should be Neurosciences Institute Faculty Affiliates. Any interested Stanford faculty member is invited to join Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
  • Foreign scholars may have J-1 (receiving stipends) or H1B visas (receiving salary). Citizenship is not a selection factor.

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute is committed to offering equal opportunity employment and encourages applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, cultural or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.

Additional Application Guidelines:

  1. A faculty sponsor may not have more than one active Neurosciences Institute fellow at a time.
  2. A faculty member may sponsor one (1) application and/or serve as a co-sponsor on no more than two (2) applications per cycle.
  3. Funding is restricted to support investigative activities that are focused in the interdisciplinary neurosciences, which may include basic science, translational and applied science, and the social sciences, and that are conducted under the direction of a Stanford University faculty member.
  4. If the postdoctoral scholar currently has other fellowships, or has applied to fellowships that may be awarded during the Neurosciences Institute Interdisciplinary Scholar Award period, full disclosure of the names, amounts and dates of the other award(s) must be made in the application materials.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

All applications will be reviewed by a panel of faculty drawn from the Schools of Humanities & Sciences, Engineering and Medicine with expertise in neuroscience. Applicants will be notified of results in December.

The review process focuses on the applicant, the interdisciplinarity of the research and training opportunity, and the potential impact of the proposed research.

The Interdisciplinary Scholar Awards selection committee reviews applications based on:

  1. Applicant qualifications.
  2. Scientific merit of the proposal. The proposal must be written by the applicant and reviewed by the faculty sponsor.
  3. Interdisciplinary approach to the neurosciences broadly defined.
  4. The applicant's career path, academic focus and progress to-date.
  5. Number of years of postdoctoral research training since latest doctoral degree, with preference to applicants in the first two years of their post-residency or postdoctoral training. If considerable time has elapsed since the doctoral degree, and that time was not spent engaged in research or clinical residency, the applicant is expected to describe in the application how the time was spent.

Note: The committee does not provide feedback on individual applications.

Application Materials

Applications are to be submitted via the online application service at No printed documents are to be mailed directly to our program.

The Interdisciplinary Scholar Awards application will only be visible during the application period shown in the table of key dates above. A complete application and supporting letters must be submitted online by the deadline.

Please begin the online application with enough time to allow the system to solicit the required letters prior to the application deadline.

Please carefully read the Eligibility Criteria and the Review Process and Selection Criteria sections of this page. You will also need to read the full Terms and Conditions of the program before you start the application process.

A complete application consists of:

  1. Complete online application.
  2. Applicant's Curriculum Vitae formatted using the Neurosciences Institute Interdisciplinary Scholars CV Template (uploaded by applicant online). Other CV formats will not be accepted. Download the CV Template
  3. Research Proposal: (three page limit, including any graphics and/or charts, references not included). The research proposal must be written by the postdoc and reviewed by the faculty sponsor.These two or three pages should include a brief statement of proposed investigation in the following sections: Background, Goals, Hypothesis, and Experimental Methods. Formatting guidelines require at least 1-inch margins at the top, bottom, left and right; and 12 point or larger font Times New Roman, Times Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana. Include title of project and your name on both pages and number pages. If the applicant choses to include references, the reference should include enough information to allow the reviewer to look up the paper.
  4. Description of the collaborative process between you, your sponsor and co-sponsor (if any) in the development, review, and editing of this research training plan. Discuss the respective roles in accomplishing the proposed research.
  5. References - All references are requested and submitted only through Slideroom.  Exactly three references are required.


    1. Faculty Sponsor Statement - required: In lieu of a letter of reference, the Faculty Sponsor should submit the Neurosciences Institute Interdisciplinary Scholars Sponsor's Statement through the reference management feature of the slideroom application. Download the Sponsor's Statement Template
    2. Co-Sponsor Statement - optional: In lieu of a letter of reference, the Faculty Co-Sponsor (if any) should submit the Neurosciences Institute Interdisciplinary Scholars Sponsor's Statement through the reference management feature of the slideroom application. Download the Co-Sponsor's Statement Template
    3. Request 1 or 2 letters of recommendation for a TOTAL of 3 references. At least one letter should be from a scientist not directly engaged in the proposed research

      Important Reminder: do not skip this portion of the online application form - you cannot return to the page to add the information later, and your letter writers will not be contacted.