1907 Trailblazer Award Opens for Applications

Fellowships from the charity 1907 Research to help investigators in the UK, US and Canada explore scientific causes and cures for mental illness.

1907 Research is a public charity for mental health that helps research-oriented doctors (MDs and PhDs) identify mental illness causes and cures. Each year, the charity administers the 1907 Trailblazer Award to explore the scientific causes and cures for mental illness.

The award was established to encourage high-impact, step-change approaches to research in the brain and mind sciences for mental health. Applications should describe programmes of work that aim to improve knowledge and outcomes of psychiatric illness through brain-mind research.

Projects must be grounded in the study of biological mechanisms underlying brain function, cognitive processes, and/or consciousness. Basic science projects are accepted along with near-term applications (such as disruptive technologies and potential clinical interventions).

Projects should represent new lines of research and be distinct from other research projects conducted by the investigator. Particularly encouraged is innovative, unorthodox and exploratory research that may be in the early and conceptual stages of project development, but has potential for significant impact on understanding of the brain. The generated data will enable early career researchers to apply for larger awards that will lead to long-term projects and create innovative and sustainable research programmes.

The projects can be framed around a single disorder or can be transdiagnostic, eg with an emphasis on shared risk factors (genetic or environmental) or common neural substrates. For projects in basic science, applicants who provide an in-depth understanding of the disorder(s) they are trying to treat will be prioritised.

The award is open to all research institutions (universities and hospitals) in the UK, US and Canada. Each research institution nominates two candidates and the Advisory Board selects three Fellows from this candidate pool.

Applicants must:

  • Be within ten years of the date when PhD/MD degree was awarded (whichever came later and with exceptions for maternity leave, paternity leave and other excused absences).
  • Be employed by a university or public research institute in the UK, US or Canada, with full-time employment guaranteed for the duration of the project (tenure or tenure-track and international equivalents).
  • Have demonstrated independence from senior colleagues and be able to initiate and direct their own research as principal investigator, have full responsibility for running their labs and full control of their research funds.
  • Have a strong track record of scientific publications relevant to their research programme.

The award provides a $100,000 research grant on an unrestricted basis, alongside a $20,000 prize to enhance the economic security of the scientist, and travel and expense coverage for attendance at two annual meetings. Three awards will be issued in 2021, and funding will be issued for two years.

Institutions should select the two most appropriate applications for submission to 1907 Research, decided via internal competition, by 15 June 2021 (23:59 US EST).

Identified candidates should then submit applications and all necessary documentation via 1907 Research’s application portal by the 30 June 2021 (23:59 US EST) deadline.

Three award winners will be selected and announced by 30 November 2021.