Applying to the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in Neuroscience

The Klingenstein-Simons Neuroscience Fellowship supports innovative research by early career investigators. The research should have relevance for understanding the mechanisms underlying any of a wide range of neurological and behavioral disorders, and it may lead to improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. We recognize, however, that some of the most important contributions towards disease cures can come from basic research, without an immediate understanding of their relationship to disease, and will continue our support of basic research.

Our hope is that our funding will seed new directions in the fellows’ research programs by providing an unencumbered addition to their regular source of research support. Through our yearly meetings we hope to foster collaboration and mentorship between current and former fellows at different stages in their careers. We give priority to candidates who may not have received substantial funding from other private awards yet have highly promising scientific careers. The Klingenstein-Simons award gives recognition to outstanding scientists who have made valuable contributions in their early research efforts, and who show the greatest promise for a successful research career.


The Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship supports early-career investigators engaged in basic or clinical research that may lead to a better understanding of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several areas within neuroscience are of particular interest:

  • Cellular and molecular neuroscience. Studies of the mechanisms of neuronal excitability and development, and of the genetic basis of behavior.
  • Neural systems. Studies of the integrative function of the nervous system.
  • Translational research. Studies designed to improve our understanding of the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

General Information

To apply for a Klingenstein-Simons Neuroscience Fellowship, please follow these instructions:

  • Applications, including three letters of recommendation, are due February 15, 11:59pm EST.
  • Candidates may reapply if they continue to meet the eligibility requirements
  • More than one application may be submitted from an institution.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for an award, investigators must hold a Ph.D. and/or an M.D, and have completed all research training, including post-doctoral training. Candidates must also meet these four qualifications:

  1. The candidate must have a tenure track appointment or equivalent. A letter indicating the commitment of institutional resources to establish the investigator and the prospects for long-term support by the institution must be provided by an institutional official (e.g., dean), including date of appointment.
  2. The candidate must be an independent investigator at a university, medical center, or research institute with a maximum of four years between the completion of last postdoc and the application deadline.
  3. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement, but it’s expected that candidates will be permanent residents of the U.S. and their research will be conducted in U.S. institutions.
  4. Applicants must inform the Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund of other sources of funding. Although there’s no strict prohibition against holding more than one fellowship at one time, the Fund may take other funding into account when deciding whether to grant an Award.


Applications will be reviewed, and selections made, by a Scientific Advisory Committee of distinguished neuroscientists.


The award of $225,000 is payable over a three-year period beginning July 1. It may be used for salary support, research assistants, equipment, or for any other purpose which promotes the scientific activities of the Klingenstein-Simons Fellow. The award is for the exclusive use of the Fellow and may not be used for institutional or departmental support. No provision is made for institutional overhead, but fringe benefits may be charged to the award. Payments will be made to the investigator’s institution with the understanding that the total amount of the award is to be made available to the Klingenstein-Simons Fellow, and will be transferred (together with any purchased equipment) should the Fellow change institutions. Annual reviews of the Fellow’s activities and the funds disbursed will be required.

Online Application to Include

The online application should include the following:

Candidates must have a tenure track appointment or equivalent. A letter indicating the commitment of institutional resources to establish the investigator and the prospects for long-term support by the institution must be provided by an institutional official (e.g., dean), including date of appointment.

Copies of the abstract page from four of your best papers published in peer-reviewed journals that are representative of your work.

Please describe in no more than 1,000 words (not to exceed four double-spaced pages with 1″ margins using no smaller than 11-point font size), an outline of your research plans and the relevancy of your plans under a Klingenstein-Simons award. Please give specific aims. Figures are allowed but must fit within the 4-page limit. Concise figure legends do not count toward the 1000-word limit. References are in addition to the four pages and can be single-spaced.

You are required to provide email addresses for three or four references, including one from your department head or equivalent, who we will contact for letters of reference for your application. Letters of recommendation are also due by February 15. Please be sure to give your recommenders enough time to submit their letters.

Please contact the Foundation at with any questions.

Application portal opens annually on October 1 and closes on February 15.

Begin Application