CNF Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) Summer Research Scholarship

CNF Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) Summer Research Scholarship

Applications for Summer 2020 Accepted from December 1, 2019-April 13, 2020

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Each year, the CNF offers one summer clinical research scholarship for a first- or second-year U.S. or Canadian medical student who has an interest in training as a child neurologist. The award is made for clinical research focused in the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities in children to be conducted under the direction of a child neurology/NDD subspecialist during summer break. The selected applicant will receive a $3,500 scholarship to support his or her research project.

Guidelines: Applications should not exceed five pages (including the cover letter) and should include the following:

  • A cover letter with complete applicant contact information (name, email, phone, address), mentor contact information (name, title, email, phone, address), project title
  • The hypothesis to be tested
  • A description of the proposed methods
  • Goals of the project
  • The feasibility of the proposal
  • The facilities to be utilized

In addition, the application must also include a letter from the child neurology/NDD mentor agreeing to sponsor the student and oversee the project. The letter should specify that the mentor will be responsible for ethical conduct of research and for obtaining, if necessary, Institutional Review Board approval of the research.

Applications should be sent to:

Email Address:  
Subject Line: Child Neurology Foundation NDD Scholarship

Applications must be submitted by April 13, 2020. Only emailed applications will be accepted. Confirmation of receipt will be sent to all applicants. If confirmation is not received within 48 hours, please contact Rebecca Penfold-Murray at Applications will be reviewed by a committee of child neurologists. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by May 15, 2020.

The recipient and mentor are each responsible for providing a summary of the research and the mentor-mentee experience to the Child Neurology Foundation by September 10, 2020.

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Penfold-Murray, CNF Director of Programs

2019 Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Ms. Emily Isenstein, an MD-PhD candidate at University of Rochester.

Ms. Isenstein will receive a $3,500 scholarship to support her research project titled: Investigating the Differentiation and Integration of Visual and Proprioceptive Information in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Emily Isenstein recently completed her first year of medical school at the University of Rochester, where she is a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program. In her undergraduate years, Emily was a member of the Affect and Cognition Lab at Cornell University and graduated with a degree in Human Development, concentrating in Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience. After graduating, Emily worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai where she was inspired by the collaborative intersection of research and medicine to pursue an MD/PhD dual degree. At the University of Rochester, Emily plans to intertwine her medical and graduate education to become a physician scientist with a focus on autism spectrum disorder and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Emily has worked with individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities for over ten years as an Equine-Assisted Therapy Instructor, and has long been fascinated by the role that kinesthetic awareness plays in autism etiology and presentation. With support from the NDD scholarship, this summer Emily will conduct research on visual-proprioceptive integration in autism that will serve as the foundation of her PhD research. She hopes that by further understanding variability in proprioceptive functioning, the field will move closer towards developing personalized therapeutics and care. After completing her schooling, Emily plans to pursue a career that will allow her to both provide and improve care for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Past NDD Scholarship Recipients

2018: Ms. Brittany Charsar – Thomas Jefferson University
Research Title: Classification of Mutations in TUBB4A: A New Spectrum of Disease.

2017: Mr. Benjamin Morgan – The Hospital for Sick Children Toronto
Research Title: The impact of hypoperfusion on brain development and neuro evelopmental outcome in children with Moyamoya disease.

2016: Ms. Ashley Bach – University of California San Francisco
Research Title: White matter injury and brain development in preterm newborns and neurodevelopmental outcome at school age

To stay informed about the next cycle of these grants and other opportunities, join the CNF Partners email list.