Rising Star Awards

Identifying and funding critical and cutting edge brain disorders research

Given the challenges of understanding and finding therapies for psychiatric disorders, IMHRO’s Rising Star Awards aim to encourage the community of neuroscience researchers to direct their efforts toward basic, translational and clinical science while supporting the research of emerging leaders in the field.

In 2016, IMHRO, in collaboration with the organization AIM for Mental Health and the Sullivan Family Foundation, and with Janssen Research and Development, is offering up to two major awards for research related to psychiatric illness.

Chosen by IMHRO's Scientific Advisory Board, each Rising Star recipient will receive up to $250,000 to fund research for their studies.


About the Awards

IMHRO / Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award

One grant will be awarded for research toward novel therapies for psychiatric illness with the objective to advance the translation of scientific knowledge of underlying disease mechanisms in bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression toward benefits to patients and the healthcare system. Specifically, the program supports translational research on innovative targets, with the potential to advance discovery of therapeutic approaches in the near term. The emphasis will be on the approaches that provide a viable path toward renormalizing or compensating for novel biological alterations or those that have already been discovered. This award is not specifically focused to advance the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of psychiatric diseases.


IMHRO / AIM Sullivan Family Foundation Rising Star Research Award

A second grant will be awarded for clinical research in humans focused on non-drug related treatments specifically for anxiety or depression in children and adolescents with the potential to advance discovery of therapeutic approaches in the near term. Proposals may include research projects focused on innovative strategies and technologies focused specifically on early interventions, treatments, and/or cures.



Candidates should be leaders of an independent research program and have a track record in a scientific field that can be applied to the study of the underlying mechanisms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression or anxiety. Candidates should be no longer than 10 years from their initial independent appointment. The proposal should not overlap with existing funding.


Nomination and Application

Candidates should be nominated by the Dean, Department Chair, or Head of their Scientific Program of the University in which he or she is employed. Multiple nominations are permitted by each University. The application packet should also include an NIH style biosketch (4 pages maximum including all other support) and a letter of intent (one page, Arial 11 pt. font, single-spaced) describing the aims and significance of the project with an outline of the research plan. Additionally, an IMHRO face sheet should accompany the application. The IMHRO Scientific Advisory Board will review these letters and select a short list of candidates who will be asked to submit a more detailed five page research proposal.     


Application Process

The application submission period is now closed. Finalists will be notified by June 17, 2016.

For more information on the Rising Star Research Awards, please contact us.

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