Funding Agency:
McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience

These awards were established to give promising young investigators in the early stages of an independent research career the opportunity to develop their work on critical problems in brain science. Applicants for the McKnight Scholar Awards must demonstrate interest in solving important problems in relevant areas of neuroscience, including the translation of basic research to clinical neuroscience. Awards are given to exceptional young scientists who hold the M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree and who are in the early stages of establishing an independent laboratory and research career. Traditionally, successful candidates have held faculty positions for at least one year. 

Deadline: Jan. 1, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have:

  • An M.D., Ph.D., or other suitable doctorate
  • A record of meritorious research
  • Evidence of a commitment to a career in neuroscience
  • Full-time appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor, and must have served at that rank for less than four years at the application deadline. Scientists holding other titles such as Research Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor Research Track, Visiting Professor or Instructor are not eligible, and time spent in service in those ranks does not count against the four years of service for determining eligibility.
  • Documentation that the sponsoring institution has government approval for the applicant to work in the U.S.



Amount Description

Each McKnight Scholar will receive $75,000 annually in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Funds may be used in any way that will facilitate development of the Scholar's research program, but not for indirect costs.

Funding Type


Duke Awardees


Jeremy Kay, Duke University
Assembly of Retinal Direction-Selective Circuitry


Seok-Yong Lee, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center 
Structure and pharmacology of sodium channel voltage sensors


Fan Wang, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
Molecular and Genetic Analyses of Mammalian Touch Sensation


Michael Ehlers
Molecular Regulation of NMDA Receptors



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

January 1, 2020