Advancing Scientists


We live in a remarkable age of scientific discovery. Today, the promise of biomedical research has never been greater and the potential to advance human health in unimaginable ways is real. To prepare for that bright future of good health we must invest in robust, innovative training programs for our students and young researchers. Without their talent, this bright future will not materialize.

To encourage creative problem-solvers to dedicate themselves to advancing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) public health mission, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) raises funds for programs that attract the best minds to biomedical research, support the development of scientific expertise and recognize exceptional scientific achievement.

The future promises remarkable advances in biomedical research. To attain that goal, we need broad, transformative training for clinician scientists. It is time to invest boldly in new ways of learning so that the next generation of innovative thinkers can open new frontiers in knowledge and transform medicine.” –Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

The FNIH portfolio of fellowships supports young researchers in labs across the NIH. And its prizes recognize scientists at critical stages of their careers, from promising scientists-in-training to stars at the peak of their achievements.

Gifts from donors help attract young talent and provide a path to  rewarding careers in biomedical research.

Join with us to activate leading scientific talent in the search for treatments and cures. 

The NIH Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP) is a one-year intensive training program on the NIH campus that offers up to 50 medical, dental and veterinary students the opportunity to become engaged in research early in their careers. Click here to learn how to apply to become a MRSP student and Click here to donate to support this program.

Another example is the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy, which brings recent college graduates and graduate students to the NIH campus to conduct full-time research for one year under the supervision of NIH scientists. The awards support and encourage fellows whose basic research could expand the understanding of disease and lead to clinical advances. 

To learn about other fellowship and training programs at the NIH or other ways to support NIH scientists, please contact [email protected]

Awards and Prizes 

The FNIH manages several prestigious prizes recognizing exceptional scientific achievement – motivating researchers, elevating important discoveries into the broader public’s awareness and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in biomedical research. 

The Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences recognizes outstanding achievements by a promising young scientist. Funded by philanthropist Ann Lurie, the prize has recognized scientific excellence in biomedical research since 2013, and many recipients have gone on to win other major international prizes. For example, the 2014 Lurie Prize recipient, Dr. Jennifer Doudna, was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for her work developing CRISPR genome editing technology. Nominations for the Lurie Prize open in July 2021.

The FNIH’s Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists, established in 2018, recognizes outstanding contributions of early career physician-scientists whose work has the potential to lead to, or has led to innovations in patient care. The 2020 recipient, Dr. Michael Wilson of the University of California San Francisco, pioneered a next-generation diagnostic approach to pinpoint infectious causes of inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system. 

The Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Partnership Award recognizes persons or organizations that have made significant contributions to the FNIH’s work to build, implement and nurture private-public partnerships in support of the mission of the NIH. The 2020 Partnership Award was presented to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

The Deeda Blair Research Initiative for Disorders of the Brain awards fellowships to top mental health researchers and clinicians to advance the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. 

To learn about other awards or ways to recognize outstanding scientific achievement, please contact [email protected]

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