Call Our HELPLINE: 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636)

Fellowships & Career Development

The Parkinson's Foundation offers several different grants to encourage young scientists, clinicians and students to devote their talents to the study of Parkinson's disease (PD). Apply now.

Postdoctoral Fellowships for Basic Scientists Program Overview

The Postdoctoral Fellowships for Basic Scientists are two-year fellowships for young scientists, fresh from their Ph.D. training, to study at major research institutions. 

This program grants $100,000 over two years. This consists of $45,000 annually (to be used as salary) as well as a $5,000 annual research allowance to be used at the Fellow's discretion, with sponsor/mentor approval, to pay for items such as books, training courses, travel costs (up to $2,000) or a computer. There is no provision for the deduction of postdoctoral taxes, institutional overhead or fees. We may approve $3,000 of the research allowance to defray the health insurance costs paid by the Fellow if the Fellow sends a written request.

Eligibility & Restrictions

The applicant must be within five years of receiving his or her Ph.D. at the time the award starts, and must name an individual who will serve as his or her research mentor and supervisor. This program is open to both national and international applicants. If awarded, a Postdoctoral Fellow must commit 90 percent of his or her effort to the Parkinson's Foundation-funded project.

Postdoctoral Fellowships for Clinical Neurologists Program Overview

For young clinicians who have completed their neurology residency and are seeking clinical research experience, the Parkinson's Foundation offers the Postdoctoral Fellowships for Clinical Neurologists, two-year awards in the amount of $120,000. This award includes salary support of $55,000 per year.

Similar to the Fellowship for Basic Scientists, the Fellow, with approval of the mentor, may use an additional research allowance of $5,000 per year to pay for such items as books, training courses, travel costs (up to $2,000) or a computer. There is no provision for the deduction of postdoctoral taxes, institutional overhead or fees. However, if the Fellow sends a written request, we may approve up to $3,000 of the research allowance to defray the cost of health insurance paid by the Fellow.

Eligibility & Restrictions

Applicants seeking a Postdoctoral Fellowship for Neurologists must possess an M.D. or equivalent and be within three years of having completed a residency in neurology at the time the award starts. Applicants may not have their own lab and must name an individual who will serve as his or her mentor and supervisor of their research. This program is open to national and international applicants. If awarded, we require a Clinical Fellow to commit 80 percent of his or her effort to the Parkinson's Foundation-funded project.

Parkinson's Foundation-APDA Summer Student Fellowships Program Overview

In 2015, the Parkinson's Foundation and the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) partnered to expand the foundation's existing Summer Student Fellowships Program, which supports students – from advanced undergraduates to medical students – in their pursuit of Parkinson's-related summer research projects. The goal of the Parkinson's Foundation-APDA Summer Student Fellowships is to cultivate students' early interest in helping to solve, treat and end Parkinson's and providing the tools they need to transition into leaders in the field.

Fellows work under the close supervision of a sponsor who is an expert in the Parkinson's community and oversees the project.

We offer summer fellowships for 10 weeks of clinical or laboratory work with a $4,000 award. We invite fellows to apply for up to $1,000 in travel funds to attend a related scientific conference to present their research upon project completion. The award supports the student's summer research, defraying tuition costs of research credits or supplementing living or housing costs. This award may be taxable; the Parkinson's Foundation sends an IRS form 1099 to the recipient at the end of the calendar year.

Eligibility

Undergraduate students and medical students are eligible for summer fellowships. Each applicant must show a mentor with whom he or she will conduct the proposed project. This program is open to national and international applicants.

Visiting Scholar Award

Program Overview

The goal of the Parkinson’s Foundation Visiting Scholar Award is to provide graduate students with opportunities for expanding their existing skillset to benefit their Parkinson’s research. Gone are the days when research is done in silos. Collaboration and learning from one another are key aspects of research conducted today, regardless of the field. The Visiting Scholar Program provides this opportunity so that future Parkinson’s research continues to be innovative, creative, and multi-disciplinary.

This award provides a $4,000 stipend to support the travel and housing of scholar while visiting a host laboratory to learn new techniques that will benefit their Parkinson’s research. Examples include microscopy, molecular biology, surgical techniques, computer modelling, and others. While the goal is to learn a new technique, it should not be done in isolation. A small project incorporating the new technique is required, ideally incorporating the Scholars current research project. Scholars will work under the close supervision of the principal investigator of the host laboratory who will oversee the project. The award is to be used at the Scholar’s discretion to supplement research costs or to supplement travel and housing costs while visiting the host laboratory.

Upon completion of their project, Scholars are invited to apply for up to $1,000 in travel funds to attend a related scientific conference to present their research.

Note, this award may be taxable; an IRS form 1099 will be sent to the recipient at the end of the calendar year.

Eligibility

Ph.D. students conducting Parkinson’s research for their thesis are eligible for this program. This program is open to applicants regardless of nationality or location. Each applicant must identify a mentor with whom he or she will conduct the proposed project. Students must be in their second year or later, and have an expected graduate date no sooner than 6 months after the end of the summer project.

Host mentors and their laboratory are not required to conduct Parkinson’s research, but the technique learned must be applicable to Parkinson’s research. The host laboratory must be a significant distance from the Fellow’s Institution and must not be an affiliate of the Fellow’s Institution.

Application Instructions and Deadlines

All applications must be submitted online through our website at parkinson.org/grants; no paper copies will be accepted. The application period typically opens in December and closes in late January. Please see the grants deadline webpage for current dates. Successful applicants are typically notified in mid-March of decisions.

Briefly, a complete application will consist of the following six items:

  • Brief, two-page proposal describing the research plan (written by applicant in conjunction with both the Ph.D. and host mentors);
  • Statement by the applicant, describing how his or her Parkinson’s research will benefit from learning the new technique described in the research proposal
  • Copy of the student’s academic transcript (unofficial is acceptable);
  • Letter of support, written by the Ph.D. mentor discussing qualifications of the student;
  • Letter of support, written by the principal investigator of the host laboratory under whom the applicant plans to work, affirming that facilities and materials will be available and agreeing to actively guide the student’s work.
  • Application form, completed.

Note: Incorrect or incomplete applications will be rejected without comment.

Review & Decisions

Applications are judged based on the relevance of the technique to be learned to advance an applicant’s PD research, the overall feasibility of the applicant's project, the background of the applicant, and the appropriateness of the host mentor. Final decisions are typically made in mid-March. The Parkinson’s Foundation will contact all candidates at that time. Funding for successful applicants may commence as early as May 1.

Learn more about grant deadlines.

mail icon

Subscribe to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.