Background and General Program Structure
The Society of Neurological Surgeons has established a two-year Neurosurgeon-Scientist Training Program (NSTP) to increase the pool of neurosurgery residents conducting research and to enhance their success rate in becoming independent neurosurgeon-scientists. Additional research by clinician-scientist neurosurgeons is critical to the fundamental discovery that advances new methods of care and new cures. The NSTP will serve as a formal mentored research program for those neurosurgery residents who are beginning a protected research year or who have already completed their protected research year. The primary goal of this new program is to provide participants with the skills, mentorship, education, and experience needed to successfully compete for individual research funding (e.g., NIH K award and R01 grants) and launch productive research careers. Awardees have access to neurosurgeon-scientist mentors through a national network organization and will participate in the Annual NINDS R25 workshop.
Applicants will submit a written application to the program and be interviewed at the AANS meeting by a selection committee. It is anticipated that up to 4-5 candidates per year will be selected based on the application process. Selected residents beginning their protected year of research in Year 1 of the NSTP program will be provided a travel stipend to attend the CNS and NINDS R25 Workshops in the fall and spring, respectively. All those selected for support in year 1 will be assigned a central NSTP mentor, who will work synergistically with the awardee’s local mentor to guide the awardee. All awardees who complete year 1 of the program will be eligible to apply for funding to support continuation of their research project in the year after their year 1 support (i.e., year 2). Residents are eligible for continued support in year 2 whether they are continuing with protected research time or going back into clinical training full time. The key to obtaining research support in year 2 will be making good progress in their research during year 1, clear plans for use of the year 2 funding and a well-considered, specific plan to successfully use the year 2 funding to help transition to a K award application. The request for proposals (RFP) will be launched in January 2023. Each year, applicant interviews for entry into year 1 will be completed during the annual AANS meeting in the spring and award winners will be announced in May. Applicant interviews for entry into year 2 will be completed at the NINDS R25 meeting in the spring. The NSTP start date for both years 1 and 2 will be July 1.
With this announcement, applications are being accepted for admission to Year 1 of the NSTP program from individuals who will be starting a 12-month period of protected time for research in July 2023. In 2023, applications will be accepted for Year 2 support from individuals who are in their protected research year between July 2022 and June 2023.