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Neuroscience Research Prize

Posted October 28, 2015

This award was established to encourage high school students to explore the world of the brain and nervous system through laboratory research.


To identify and reward high school students whose scientific skill and talent indicate potential for scientific contributions in the field of neuroscience.

To recognize the efforts of science teachers who have demonstrated support for students interested in neuroscience.


All entries will be reviewed by a panel of physicians and scientists who are actively engaged in neuroscience research at academic institutions throughout the US. Four prize winners will be selected through two rounds of competition.

Four winners will each receive a $1,000 prize. Three winners and their teachers will receive airfare, two nights hotel, $100 per day for expenses (up to two days), and the opportunity to present their work during a scientific poster session at the AAN 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC—the world’s largest gathering of neurologists. One winner and his/her teacher will receive airfare, three nights hotel, a daily per diem (up to three days), and the opportunity to present his/her work at the Child Neurology Society 45th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC.


  • Students must be enrolled in secondary school (grades 9-12) in the United States, regardless of age
  • Applications must represent original laboratory research as well as the original written work of the applicant
  • Each project should be the work of an individual student; group projects are not eligible (teachers are encouraged to provide guidance as needed, but must allow each student to demonstrate his/her own creativity)
  • Family members of the judges, the AAN Science Committee, or AAN staff are not eligible to apply

Application Materials

Applicants should submit a complete set of the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Maximum 300-word abstract
  • Research report
  • Bibliography

Judging Criteria

All project entries received by the deadline date will be judged by physician and scientist members of the American Academy of Neurology based on the following criteria:

Relevance to Neuroscience

The problem being investigated concerns the brain or the nervous system including, but not limited to: anatomy, physiology, pathology, function, and behavior. Behavior and psychology projects are not encouraged unless there is a clear link to neurophysiology.


Creativity will be based on the originality of the problem solving approach, even if the specific problem being addressed is not a new or unusual one.

Interpretation of Data

The scope of the hypothesis and methodology is feasible. The potential significance of the experiments is placed in the proper perspective. Potential pitfalls of the methodology or interpretation have been addressed.

Research Reports

The report is organized, well-written, and the accompanying figures and tables are clearly labeled and readable.

Communication Skills

The student is able to discuss the project and defend the stated conclusions effectively in an oral interview.


Ten finalists will have the opportunity to discuss their project through telephone interviews with at least two judges. The winners will be selected based on overall written and verbal performance.


The 2016 scientific award application deadline is Wednesday, October 28.

For more information, please contact Erin Jackson at [email protected] or (612) 928-6112.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

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