1907 Trailblazer Award

Funding Agency:
1907 Research

The 1907 Trailblazer Award was established to encourage high-impact, step-change approaches to research in the brain and mind sciences for mental health. In addition to supporting a specific research project, the Award intends to increase the size of the talent pool of early career investigators researching causes & cures for mental illness. We promote these aims by providing a US$100,000 research gift on an unrestricted basis, a US$20,000 prize to enhance the economic security of the scientist, and travel & expense coverage for attendance at two annual meetings. Each winner will be invited to two annual meetings to present interim findings (year 1) and final findings (year 2), where they can form scientific relationships with other Award winners, our Advisory Board Directors and Research Directors. We aim to build community and provide value to the scientist in excess of the monetary element.

Applications for the 1907 Trailblazer Award should describe programs of work that aim to improve knowledge and outcomes of psychiatric illness through brain-mind research. Eligible disciplines include but are not limited to neuroscience, neurology, psychology, psychiatry, cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, computational neuroscience, neuroimaging, genetics and engineering (including novel technologies and devices). We particularly encourage research that involves human patients, but projects can also focus on well-validated animal models, and/or on psychiatrically-relevant research in healthy humans or conceptual/theoretical work. The projects can be framed around a single disorder or can be transdiagnostic, e.g. 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 prioritized.


  • Duke Internal: April 17, 2020 (was March 27)
  • Nominations to Sponsor: May 31, 2020 (was April 30)
  • Candidate Application Deadline: June 30, 2020 (was May 31)

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

▪ Applicants must be within ten years of the date when PhD/MD degree was awarded (with exceptions for career breaks including maternity and paternity leave)
▪ Applicants will currently be employed by a university or public research institute in the US, the UK, or Canada, with full-time employment guaranteed for the duration of the project (tenure or tenure-track and international equivalents). Applicants must already work in a supervisory role (PhD, MD, Postdoctoral supervisor primary or secondary)
▪ Applicants will have demonstrated independence from senior colleagues. They must 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. Postdoctoral fellows or adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply
▪ Applicants will have a strong track record of scientific publications relevant to their research program
▪ Research applications may be related to but cannot be identical to any other currently funded projects



Amount Description

The award is $120,000, comprised of the following:

  • $100,000 Unrestricted Gift for research & administrative costs

  • $20,000 Prize directly payable to the award recipient (50% after year 1, 50% after year 2)

  • Annual Meeting travel & expenses for two years

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

Internal Nomination

Internal Deadline: March 27, 2020

Internal Application Portal: http://www.grantinterface.com/sl/ujdX2S

Materials to submit for internal application:

  • Applicant CV
  • Address the following question in 1 page:
    • What is the novel idea and what is the potential impact to the field?

      • Explain the novel idea in lay terms. What does it hope to achieve? How can it empower others in the field to identify causes & cures?
  • Letter of support from department chair

Internal Deadline

April 17, 2020

External Deadline

June 30, 2020