The 2024 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain


The application is now closed.

Applications for the 2024 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain will be open through December 14, 2023.

Since 2009, the Rita Allen Foundation has provided a special award for early-career leaders in basic pain research whose work holds high potential for uncovering new pathways to improve the treatment of chronic pain.

The Foundation has awarded annually two grants or more in the amount of $150,000 over three years to early-career investigators pursuing innovative research that focuses on basic science mechanisms of pain. 

Eligible candidates will have completed their training and provided persuasive evidence of distinguished achievement or extraordinary promise in basic research in pain. Candidates should be in the early stages of their career with an appointment at the faculty level. 

More information about applying for this award, offered in partnership with the U.S. Association for the Study of Pain (USASP), including a link to the application portal as well as detailed application guidelines and instructions, can be found on the USASP website:


2023 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain Recipients
Past Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain Recipients


Research Topics

Proposed research projects should be directed toward investigating the molecular biology of pain and/or basic science topics related to developing new analgesics for managing pain. The entire award is made available to projects specifically chosen by the recipient; university overhead is not supported.


Key Dates and Deadlines

Applications will be open from October 18 - December 14, 2023. Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EASTERN TIME on December 14, 2023 

Grant awards will be announced in the summer of 2024. Subsequently, funds will be awarded for the initial twelve-month grant period upon satisfactory execution of a grant agreement.


Application Requirements 

The application requires the following documents written in English:

  • A signature page that must be signed by the Applicant/PI and the Institutional Official responsible for submitting applications for extramural support.
  • An abstract (no more than 3,000 characters/300 words).
  • Statement (no more than 3,000 characters/300 words) summarizing the candidate's contributions as a leader in the field of pain research and their vision for their career.
  • NIH Biosketch (no more than 5 pages; see template).
  • Research proposal narrative that is 6 pages or less, with 11-point Arial font, and 0.5-inch margins. A 7th page will also be included for references.
  • Three letters of support:
    • One letter from the candidate’s Department Chair or Division Chief that demonstrates strong support for the candidate’s proposed research and career development (start-up funds, lab space, and a tenure-track position). This letter of support will be appended to your attached application.
    • Two additional letters of support should come from the candidate’s post-doctoral advisor or influential advisor or mentor who has impacted the candidate’s research). 
      • Note: When completing the application, candidates will provide email contact information for the individuals requested to submit letters of support. These two individuals will be contacted directly by a representative of USASP requesting that their letters be sent by Friday, December 15.
      • List of current and pending research support from all sources, as well as clarification as to whether there is any overlap between projects funded/submitted elsewhere and the current proposal (overlap should be avoided).


For information about eligibility and in-depth details on how to apply, please click the button below:

Click here for more information about the 2024 application cycle 


Assistance with Applications

For technical support (including questions about trouble logging in and technical issues in completing an application) or questions regarding eligibility, please get in touch with [email protected] (the office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. ET to 5:00 p.m. ET).  Emails received after hours and on weekends will be responded to on the next business day. 

More information about eligibility, the application process, and application deadlines can be found on the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain page. If you have questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with [email protected]