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Susan S. Spencer Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Epilepsy

Cosponsored by the American Academy of Neurology, the American Brain Foundation, the American Epilepsy Society, and the Epilepsy Foundation


Learn more about this fellowship opportunity

Read FAQs


1. For the purpose of this fellowship, clinical research is defined as “patient-oriented research conducted with human subjects, or translational research specifically designed to develop treatments or enhance diagnosis of neurological disease. These areas of research include epidemiologic or behavioral studies, clinical trials, studies of disease mechanisms, the development of new technologies, and health services and outcomes research.” Disease-related studies not directly involving humans or human tissue also are encouraged if the primary goal is the development of therapies, diagnostic tests, or other tools to prevent or mitigate neurological diseases.

2. The applicant must be an AAN and AES member interested in an academic career in clinical research who has completed residency or a post-doctoral fellowship (for a PhD) within the past five years. At the time of application, applicants can be epilepsy fellows, post-doctoral fellows or newly appointed junior faculty members (first two years of appointment). During the award period it is acceptable for the candidate to be pursuing formal graduate coursework (e.g. MPH) as part of the 75 percent protected time for research.

Materials for Application

Submit one complete set of the following application materials. If you wish to be considered for other fellowship opportunities please note at the top of your 3-page research proposal. Only submit one application.

1. Letter of nomination from the chair of the department of neurology, including assurance that there will be at least 75 percent protected time for research and specifically stating what clinical and administrative duties will be assigned to the candidate during the period of the award.

2. Three-page research plan, including brief statements of aims, background, and the contemplated approaches to methodology and data. The research plan should be written by the applicant and should represent his/her original work. However, the applicant is expected and encouraged to develop this plan based on discussion with the proposed mentor. It is appropriate for the proposed work to be specifically related to the mentor’s ongoing research, but not required.

3. Current curriculum vitae.

4. Two letters of reference supporting the applicant’s potential for a clinical, academic research career and qualifications for the fellowship. Letters of reference are in addition to the three-page research plan.

5. Listing of the applicant’s and mentor’s current and pending support, other than this fellowship, using NIH format.

6. Letter from proposed mentor detailing his/her support of and commitment to the applicant and the proposed research and training plan. More than one mentor is permitted. One mentor should be designated as primary and be responsible for administrative issues. The letter should specifically indicate the mentor’s role in the development and preparation of the applicant’s research plan. Letter should describe:

  • How the proposed research fits into the mentor’s research program.
  • Expertise and experience in the area of research proposed and the nature of the mentor’s proposed time commitment to the supervision and training of the applicant.
  • Mentor’s prior experience in the supervision, training, and successful mentoring of clinician scientists.
  • Potential for applicant’s future research career and comparison of applicant amongst other residents.

7. Proposed mentor’s NIH Biosketch.

8. Document describing arrangements for formal course work including: quantitative clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, study design, data analysis, and ethics.

Contact Information:

Kristin Roehl, Grants Program Manager
Phone: (612) 928-6082


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