Fund Details
1907 Trailblazer Award


The 1907 Trailblazer Award was established to encourage high-impact, step-change approaches to research in the brain and mind sciences for mental health. The award provides $100,000 for research to be spent over a two-year duration, a $20,000 prize to enhance the economic security of the scientist, and travel & expense coverage for attendance at two annual meetings. Projects must be grounded in the study of biological mechanisms underlying brain function, cognitive processes, and/or consciousness. We support projects for basic science in addition to near-term applications (e.g. disruptive technologies and potential clinical interventions).

Application Information:

This is a limited submission opportunity and the University Area (Cambridge Campus) may nominate two candidates for this opportunity. FAS and SEAS pre-proposals must be submitted by May 5, 2020 by 5:00pm by clicking the Apply button on the top right corner of this page.

Pre-proposals must include the following materials:
  • Proposal Narrative (limit 4 pages) - In the four pages, the applicant must explicitly address the following four questions 
  1. What is the novel idea and what is the potential impact to the field? Explain the novel idea in lay terms. What does it hope to achieve? How can it empower others in the field to identify causes & cures?
  2. What is the scientific rationale of the idea given current gaps in knowledge? Concise explanations are preferred.
  3. What is your execution plan and why are you uniquely positioned to execute? What tools, resources and relationships do you have to enable you to complete the research? How do you anticipate the US$100,000 research gift to be used?
  4. Why is 1907 Research best positioned to partner with you? Explain why your project requires dedicated unrestricted funding and why it would not be likely to be funded from traditional sources (universities, governments, other established foundations).
  • Resume/CV (with publication list)
  • Nomination letter from department chair or area chair (limit 1 page) attesting to the applicant’s suitability for the award. The letter should also attest to the institution’s commitment to supporting the applicant’s project, including any additional or in-kind commitment of resources, including but not limited to relief from teaching/admin duties.
If nominated, applicants will submit full proposals to the foundation by June 30, 2020. All full proposals must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for review at least five business days in advance of the sponsor deadline.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be within ten years of the date when PhD/MD degree was awarded (whichever came later and with exceptions for maternity leave, paternity leave and other excused absences)
  • Applicants will currently be employed by a university or public research institute in the US, the UK, or Canada, with full-time employment guaranteed for the duration of the project (tenure or tenure-track and international equivalents).
  • Applicants must already work in a supervisory role (PhD, MD, Postdoctoral supervisor primary or secondary)
  • Applicants will have demonstrated independence from senior colleagues. They must be able to initiate and direct their own research as principal investigator, have full responsibility for running their labs and full control of their research funds. Postdoctoral fellows or adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply
  • Applicants will have a strong track record of scientific publications relevant to their research program
  • Research applications may be related to but cannot be identical to any other currently funded projects

Additional Information, Related Websites, and Proxy Instructions:

More detailed information about this opportunity can be found on the program website at

Questions may be directed to Erin Hale (, 617-496-5252) or Susan Gomes (, 617-496-9448).

Search Filters:

  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    • Assistant Professor
    • Associate Professor
    • Professor
    • Other Academic/Research Appointment
      Type of Competition
      • Limited Submission
        • Basic Science
        • Clinical Science
        • Engineering
        • Life Science
        • Multidisciplinary
        • Social/Behavioral Science
        • Other
          Type of Award
          • Early Career
          • Prize/Award
          • Research
            Begin Accepting Applications Date:
            Deadline Date (EST Time Zone):
            5/05/2020 5:00 PM