APA Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (SCN; Division 40) is seeking applications for its Early Career Pilot Study Awards. A one-year grant of up to $15,000 each (including $1,500 to support travel to the APA Convention) are available for innovative pilot research investigations by early-career neuropsychologists in a basic science or clinical area relevant to neuropsychology and the mission of the SCN. SCN is a scientific and professional organization of psychologists interested in the study of brain-behavior relationships, and the clinical application of that knowledge to human problems (more information about SCN can be found at: http://www.scn40.org/about-scn).

The primary goal of the early career pilot study award is to facilitate collection of preliminary data, which could then be used to secure additional external funding for sustained research within the specified area of clinical neuropsychology.


The Award is intended for investigators who are within 10 years of having completed their doctoral degree and who demonstrate a commitment to basic or clinical research in the field of neuropsychology. Candidates must:

  • Be a member (or student affiliate) of SCN.
  • Develop a research project that is innovative, feasible within the context of the one-year grant period, and has demonstrable potential to leverage additional external funding for continuing work in basic or applied neuropsychology.
  • Commit to completing data collection within one year of the award date.
  • Commit to presenting findings of the awarded research project at the annual APA convention within two calendar years of the award date.
  • Commit to acknowledge SCN support in all presentations of data from this project as follows: “American Psychological Association Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40) 2018 Early Career Pilot Study Award.”
  • Commit to participate in the activities of a relevant SCN Committee (e.g., Awards, Science, Practice, Public Interest, Education)
  • Identify a mentor(s) who will help facilitate the mentee’s success with the project.
  • In the spirit of an early career award, associate professors or investigators with large independent federal awards (e.g., NIH R01) will not be considered.


  • Completed application face page.
  • Brief abstract (max. 400 words) of the proposed project.
  • Detailed research plan, not to exceed four pages, including specific aims, background, significance, innovation, design, methods, and project timeline/feasibility. References are not included in the four-page limit. The research plan should include a clear indication of the proposed project’s relevance to neuropsychology.
  • NIH Biosketches for PI, mentor(s), and co-investigators, including pending, current, and key completed grant support.
  • Detailed budget and budget justification (Note: Travel expenses to attend the APA convention must be included in the budget, and may not exceed $1500. If the current proposal is related to on-going research, the budget justification must address how the current funds would be used ensuring no duplication of funds from on-going or pending research support. If salary support for a mentor is requested it must be well-justified..
  • Summary of resources in the applicant’s setting that are available to support the proposed research.
  • Letter of support from the identified mentor(s) documenting:
    • (a) the mentor’s commitment to facilitate the mentee’s proposed study,
    • (b) specifics about how the mentor will support and advance the proposed research project (if the applicant is a postdoc, an affirmation that the project will be carried to completion even if the applicant leaves for another institution),
    • (c) the mentor’s ability to provide mentorship through expertise in the proposed topic area and/or knowledge of research design and methodology, and
    • (d) the feasibility of completing data collection within the one year timeline of the pilot grant.


In addition to assessing whether the applicant met the eligibility requirements listed above, each proposal will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Significance
    • Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field of neuropsychology?
    • How might this project advance the field of clinical neuropsychology?
    • Are the aims consistent with the overall goals of the SCN?
  • Qualifications of Investigator(s)
    • Does the applicant have the appropriate experience and training to lead the study?
    • Is there a plan for effective interaction among members of the research team?
    • Is the applicant likely to launch a career with promise for impactful continued research in the field of clinical neuropsychology?
  • Innovation
    • Does the project challenge or seek to shift current research/clinical paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, methodologies, instrumentations, or interventions?
  • Approach
    • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analytic plans well-reasoned and appropriate to pilot level funding?
    • Is a clear timeline and plan for completion in the one year grant period presented?
    • Is the project feasible?
    • Are potential problems and alternative strategies presented?
  • Environment
    • Are the institutional support, equipment, and other resources available to the investigator(s) adequate for the project proposed?
  • Budget
    • Is the budget appropriate to the proposed study and in the spirit of an early career award?
  • Human/Animal Subjects Protection
    • Was appropriate attention given to the protection of human/animal subjects?


  • Deadline for Receipt of Applications: 11:59 PM (Eastern Time), February 24, 2023.
  • Anticipated Notice of Award:  April 14, 2023.
  • Award Duration: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.


  • All application materials, including supporting letters, must be submitted electronically as a single PDF file.  See contact information below and in accompanying Application Form.
  • Only one proposal per applicant will be considered.
  • Any scientific or fiscal overlap with other projects should be clearly delineated in the budget and associated budget justification.
  • Each grant will be reviewed by 2-3 individuals who will evaluate the application using the criteria outlined above and provide scores using NIH’s 9-point scoring system
  • IRB approval is a precondition for the disbursement of funds to successful applicants. As applicable, the cost for obtaining IRB approval should be included in the budget.
  • Indirect costs are not allowed. Prior to submitting an application, applicants should contact their institution’s Grants Management Office to verify that this stipulation will be observed.
  • Award recipients will be expected to submit a semi-annual progress report summarizing the study’s progress and accounting for the use of funds.

Application materials are available at https://www.scn40.org/ (under About SCN > Committees > Science Advisory Committee). For further information, please contact:

Laura S. Blackwell, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Senior Pediatric Neuropsychologist
Department of Neuropsychology, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
5461 Meridian Mark Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30342
P. 404-785-5895

Donna Murdaugh, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Institute for Cancer Outcomes & Survivorship
Department of Pediatrics | Heersink School of Medicine
UAB | The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Lowder 500 | 1600 7th Ave S | Birmingham, AL 35233
P: 205.638.2189 | F: 205.638.2121

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