The Child Neurologist Career Development Program-K12 funds exceptional, customized research training for pediatric neurologists or graduates of neurodevelopmental disabilities. Scholars receive a three-year intensive, clinically relevant, basic and/or patient-oriented research mentorship at their home institution. A team of national experts in pediatric neurology and neuroscience provide additional mentoring and career development.


  • U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Residents
  • No more than three years from completion of neurology clinical training in an academically oriented department of neurology and/or pediatric neurology capable of providing mentorship with well-established research infrastructure at a U.S. academic institution. Very highly qualified candidates who are further out will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Have an appointment as instructor or assistant professor at a U.S. academic institution with a research mission by July 1, 2025. 

Letter of Intent

Each potential CNCDP-K12 scholar must begin the application process with a Letter of Intent (LOI). Letters of Intent must include all elements listed below combined into one pdf. Resubmissions will not be considered for full applications unless they have been appropriately modified in response to previous critique. Resubmissions must be submitted with a one-page explanation on how this submission differs from the previous application.

Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) with:

  • One-page statement of intent to apply, which includes the title of proposal, date of completion of clinical training, name of institution, primary mentor for the CNCDP-K12 project, and brief career development plan
  • One-page page preliminary, specific aims for the proposed project
  • NIH-format Bio sketches from the candidate and primary mentor
  • Proof of US citizenship or lawful permanent resident status (copy of passport/green card)

Submit your Letter of Intent package in PDF format as one document to

The Minority Research Scholar Program has separate application.

DEADLINE: May 30, 2024, 11:59 PM

There is no limit on the number of candidates who can apply from a single institution.

Letter of Intent (LOI) Instructions (pdf)

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Full Application (Invitation Only)

In-person interviews and application review meetings will occur at the CNCDP Annual Retreat in conjunction with the CNS Annual Meeting from November 8-10, 2024. It is expected that current scholars and new applicants attend all days of the retreat.

DEADLINE: September 5, 2024, 11:59 PM EST

Funding for selected scholars will begin July 1, 2025.

Apply Here

Application Guidelines (pdf)


Program Coordinator, Amber Huggins Battle

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The Minority Research Scholar Program

The Minority Research Scholar Program (MRSP) awards travel scholarships to underrepresented minority early-career individuals pursuing clinically relevant basic or patient-oriented research.

More about Minority Research Scholar Program



Benefits of the CNCDP-K12 Award


Our goal is to train talented, young child neurologists to have a significant national and international impact on the field of pediatric neurology. CNCDP-K12 scholars are the next generation of independent researchers, leading scientists and mentors dedicated to the mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.


  • Customized, frequent mentoring tailored to the scholar’s chosen research project and coordinated with the scholar’s clinical activity, including an in-person mentor from the scholar’s home institution and remotely by a National Advisory Committee (NAC) advisor
  • In-person site visit by a NAC member to scholar’s institution within the first year of the award
  • Option of moving to another institution for the period of research training
  • Guided instruction on research principles and applications
  • Research presentation at annual CNCDP-K12 retreats to audience of fellow scholars, mentors, NAC and NIH staff; retreats include keynote and didactic talks on research ethics, diversity in the child neurology research community and rigor, transparency and bio-statistics and experimental design
  • Annual retreats and joint activities with Neurological Sciences Academic Development Award scholars
  • Hands-on training on writing successful NIH and other agency grants; within six months of the end of their third year, scholars will write a K award to be submitted for funding


Up to $115,000/year salary for minimum of 75% effort/year plus fringe benefits and $38,000/year for research-related expenses, including travel, for a total of three years. Continued funding is dependent on scholarly progress.

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Diversity & Inclusion

The CNCDP K-12 program is dedicated to fostering diversity within the program and throughout the field of child neurology. A diverse clinical and scientific workforce is vital to nurturing scientific innovation and breakthroughs in health.

Applications from a diverse pool of clinician-researchers, especially those traditionally underrepresented in science fields, is encouraged.

Learn about our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Apply Online

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My experience

“My experience as CNCDP-K12 scholar has transformed my research in pediatric movement disorders to help children with dystonic cerebral palsy. Being part of this community of mentors and scholars is shaping my career.”

Bhooma Aravamuthan, MD, DPhil
Washington University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Neurology
Scholar since 2018

Scholar Profile