FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists

2018 FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists
Nomination Deadline: March 30, 2018
1:00 PM EDT

Eligibility Criteria | Nomination Criteria | Frequently Asked Questions

Submit a Nomination for: 1 Candidate | Team of 2 Candidates


In 2018, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) will present the FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists (Trailblazer Prize), which recognizes the outstanding contributions of early career clinician-scientists whose work has the potential to or has led to innovations in patient care. This $10,000 honorarium and prize celebrates the achievements of medical doctors whose research has translated basic scientific observations into new paradigm-shifting approaches for diagnosing, preventing, treating or curing disease and disability. The prize, made possible by an anonymous donation, will be presented at the FNIH Annual Fall Board Dinner on October 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The FNIH recognizes the unique and critical role that clinician-scientists play in the evolution of medical practice. As noted in the 2014 NIH Physician-Scientist Workforce Report, these individuals play a vital role in ensuring that biomedical advances ultimately benefit patients and improve population health. Through the Trailblazer Prize, the FNIH celebrates the transformational work of clinician-scientists, whose research translates basic scientific observations into new paradigm-shifting approaches for diagnosing, preventing, treating or curing disease and disability.

The awardee will be selected by a jury of distinguished clinical-scientists including:

  • Steven M. Paul, M.D., (Jury Chair), President and Chief Executive Officer, Voyager Therapeutics, Inc., Venture Partner at Third Rock Ventures
  • Barry Coller, M.D., David Rockefeller Professor of Medicine, Head of the Allen and Frances Adler Laboratory of Blood and Vascular Biology, Physician-in-Chief of the Rockefeller University Hospital, Vice President for Medical Affairs, The Rockefeller University
  • Helen H. Hobbs, M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • John I. Gallin, M.D., NIH Associate Director for Clinical Research and Chief Scientific Officer of the NIH Clinical Center
  • Michael J. Welsh, M.D., Director, Pappajohn Biomedical Institute, University of Iowa

Nominators and/or candidates must not contact any member of the Trailblazer Prize jury to ask about or discuss any aspect of the prize. If this occurs, that nomination will be withdrawn from the competition.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidate must be a practicing clinician with at least 50% of time devoted to independent active research efforts.
  • Candidate must hold a full-time primary appointment as instructor, assistant professor or be an early-career staff member of a clinical department or unit.
  • Candidate is nominated for an achievement(s) in basic, translational and/or clinical research leading to new, innovative approaches in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment or cure of diseases and/or disabilities.
  • Two early career researchers may be nominated if they have worked as a team; in this case, at least one of the two must be a clinician-scientist as defined in the first two eligibility bullets above. When the Trailblazer Prize is given to two individuals, the honorarium will be divided among the winners and each will receive a citation and an inscribed crystal award.
  • Candidate must be a legal resident of the United States or a U.S. territory.

Nomination Criteria

  • Nominations are broadly solicited and can be made by any member of an accredited educational and/or scientific institution. There is no limitation on the number of nominations that may be made by a single nominator or institution. No institutional approval is required.
  • No self-nominations will be accepted.
  • Nominations are to be for outstanding early career clinician-scientists who reside in the United States. The prize will recognize an individual or a team of two early career individuals, one of whom must meet the Eligibility Criteria.
  • Nomination materials must be in English.
  • If candidates are U.S. federal government employees or anyone else whose receipt of personal cash prizes may be restricted, the nominator should confirm with the candidate that he or she is eligible to receive this prize.
  • Nominations of women and minorities are encouraged.

Nominations must include the following information:

  • The candidates’ name, title, institution, birthdate, earned degrees and contact information (mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address).
  • The nominator’s name, title, institution, terminal degree(s) and contact information (mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address).
  • A brief explanation of how the candidate(s) fit the eligibility criteria.
  • A 50-word citation of the basis for nomination.
  • A 250-word description of the candidates’ contributions.
  • The candidates’ curriculum vitae (CV), including no more than 10 citations of publications on which the nomination is based. Nominations submitted with CVs listing more than 10 publications will be rejected.
  • Up to three brief letters of support that specifically address the nominees’ accomplishments are encouraged. The letters must be submitted with the online nomination rather than separately; letters submitted through another mechanism (e.g., email) will not be considered during the review process.


Please email TrailblazerPrize@fnih.org with questions.