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How to Apply

Application materials for the McKnight Scholar Awards are available in September each year. Applicants must demonstrate interest in solving important problems in relevant areas of neuroscience.

Selection Process

The McKnight Scholar Awards Review committee will evaluate the applications and select a limited number of applicants to be interviewed. Applicants will be notified in March and interviews are scheduled for Friday, April 5, 2019, in San Francisco.

The committee recommends candidates to the Board of Directors of the Endowment Fund for final decision. Awards will be announced in mid-May 2019.


In this competition, up to six McKnight Scholars will be selected to receive three years of support, beginning July 1, 2019.

Candidates for the McKnight Scholar Awards must:

  • An M.D., Ph.D., or other suitable doctorate.
  • Have demonstrated an interest in solving important problems in relevant areas of neuroscience, including the translation of basic research to clinical neuroscience.
  • Be in the early stages of establishing an independent laboratory and research career.
  • Full-time appointment at the rank of assistant professor, and must have served at that rank for less than four years at the application deadline. Scientists holding other titles such as Research Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor Research Track, Visiting Professor or Instructor are not eligible, and time spent in service in those ranks does not count against the four years of service for determining eligibility.
  • Show evidence of a commitment to a career in neuroscience.
  • No more than four years of experience in an independent faculty position (exceptions may be made to allow for parental leave).
  • Have a U.S.-based sponsoring institution, to which awards will be paid.

Applicants may not:

  • Be employees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute or scientists within the intramural program of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Apply in more than two rounds of competition.
  • Apply for continued postdoctoral support.
  • Have been awarded tenure.
  • Hold another McKnight award that would overlap with the Scholar award.

Amount and Purpose of Support

Each McKnight Scholar will receive $75,000 annually in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Funds may be used in any way that will facilitate development of the Scholar’s research program, but not for indirect costs.

Application & Guidelines



Application due January 7, 2019