Nature Research Awards - Opportunity for ECRs in brain sciences

23rd Jan 2019

In 2019 the Nature Research Awards for Driving Global Impact will recognize early-career researchers revolutionizing our understanding of the brain, and whose work has made, or has the potential to make, a positive impact on society.

Applications are invited from early-career researchers making major contributions in brain sciences, including areas such as the relationship between brain and behaviour, technological breakthroughs, and novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of brain diseases.

The award will be made to a researcher who has established an independent research group within the past 5 years and whose work has made an exceptional contribution to scientific discovery within the broad spectrum of brain research. Researchers must be able to demonstrate the impact, or potential impact, of their research on society, and outline their plans to ensure that impact is realized. Impact on society is defined as an effect on the economy, society, public policy, or services, health, the environment or quality of life.  

Eligibility criteria 

Applicants should be a researcher, who has established their first independent research group within the past 5 years as of 1st November 2018, and whose research programme contributes to scientific discovery within the broad spectrum of brain research. Researchers should be able to demonstrate the application, or potential application, of their research to make a positive impact on society. 

Applicants should have a research and/or clinical doctorate degree and have transitioned from a mentored, postdoctoral research position or equivalent, to independent, tenure-track, tenured, or equivalent positions in academic, medical or government organisations within the last 5 years as of 1st November 2018. Such researchers should have independent funding (private or public) to direct their own research team or programme and may employ researchers (e.g., PhD students or technicians) as team members. The reference date used for the calculation of the eligibility period should be the date of commencement of any independent, tenure-track or equivalent position. In practice, everyone who commenced such a position after 1st November 2013 is eligible. This period will be extended in the case of maternity leaves or other leaves of absence taken after 1st November 2013 and before the application deadline to adjust for the duration of the leave taken. 

Evaluation process and criteria 

Applications will be assessed by our expert judging panel consisting of staff from Nature Research and independent experts. Panel members will review applications to create a shortlist. The full panel will then meet to discuss the merits of shortlisted applicants and select the winner and two runners up. The judging panel will make up 100% of the votes. The chief judge will make the final decision in the event of a tie. 

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria: 

  • Scientific achievements to date in the field of brain research.
  • Research programme and its potential for scientific impact.
  • Research programme and its potential for impact on society.
  • Planned communications and outreach around the research programme to maximize impact on society.


Prizes will be awarded to one winner and two runners up.

  • The winner will receive a grant of US $30,000, coverage with a profile feature in Nature and on the award’s website, and an expenses-paid invitation to speak at the 2019 Tencent WE Summit, to be held in Beijing in November 2019.
  • The two runners up will each receive a grant of US $10,000 and coverage with a profile feature in Nature and on the award's website.

How to apply 

Applications must be submitted through the online application form. All information should be prepared in advance as the form cannot be saved. Entries must be complete to be eligible and all fields are required unless indicated otherwise. 

Full details on the application can be found by clicking here

Terms and conditions for applicants  

Applicants must read and agree to the terms and conditions of the award programme. 

Key dates  

Applications are invited between 4th November 2018 and 11.59 PM GMT on 9th February 2019

For further information please click here or contact

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