The NINDS Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship by an NINDS Investigator

The NINDS Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship by an NINDS Investigator

Excellent mentorship and training are critical to the development of exceptional future scientists. To recognize the contributions and importance of outstanding mentors, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has established the NINDS Landis Mentorship Award. This annual award is named in honor of former NINDS Director Dr. Story Landis. An extraordinary individual mentor, Dr. Landis generously provided her time and energy to support countless scientific investigators as they navigated the professional landscape of biomedical research.

Each year, NINDS will select up to five (5) Landis Awardees from among faculty members who have shown dedication to superior mentorship and training in neuroscience research. Awardees will receive $100,000 (direct costs), in the form of a supplement to an existing NINDS grant, to support their efforts to foster the career advancement of additional trainees. NINDS hopes this tangible award will impress upon the scientific community as a whole, and faculty and institutional leaders in particular, the high value NINDS places on training and mentorship, and the need to recognize and encourage dedication to mentorship in addition to outstanding research accomplishments.

Selection for this award will be based on first-hand knowledge of an individual’s influence as a mentor. Current or former trainees can nominate faculty members who served as their mentors, and nominees will then be invited to submit additional supporting information. Because outstanding mentors exist across career stages, NINDS will rotate annual requests for nominations for junior, mid-career, and senior faculty. Submit a nomination via our online form. 

NINDS will consider a number of characteristics that define outstanding mentorship to guide the final selection of Landis Awardees. These include: actively engaging with mentees to promote the development of scientific excellence, investing time in their mentee’s scientific and professional development and career progress, challenging mentees to achieve their full scientific potential, which includes the completion of impactful research projects, demonstrating, by example, the importance of scientific rigor, and actively educating trainees in the conduct of rigorous experimental approach, analysis and data interpretation.

Award details

  • Each award is $100,000 direct cost, in the form of an administrative supplement
  • Up to 5 awards per year
  • Awards made once per year


  • Only tenure track or equivalent faculty are eligible for consideration.
  • Candidates must have an active NINDS R01, R35, U01, U54, P01, DP1 or DP2 with at least one year left at the time of award
  • Candidates from 3 different career stages will be considered in different years:
    • 2018: Junior Faculty: Candidates who are in years 5 – 12 from the start of their first tenure-track or equivalent faculty position
    • 2019: Mid-Career Faculty: Candidates who are in years 13 - 20 from the start of their first tenure-track or equivalent faculty position
    • 2020: Senior Faculty: Candidates who are more than 20 years from the start of their first tenure-track or equivalent faculty position
NINDS is now accepting nominations for Senior Faculty for the 2020 Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship. Nominations are due on December 15, 2019.

Nomination, application and award process

Phase I

A Notice will be published that solicits nominations for NINDS Landis Award Candidates. Individuals will be entered into consideration when two (2) or more former or current trainees submit nominations that describe why the candidate should be considered for the award. Nominations should briefly describe what makes the nominated individual an outstanding mentor. Nominations must include specific information on professional interactions between the nominator and nominee and the career activities and/or decisions of the nominating individual that relate to mentorship and training received from the nominee. Nominations may also include any first-hand knowledge of other activities that speak to why the nominee should be considered for a prestigious mentorship award. Specific required components of nominations will be listed in the published Notice and on the Nomination Form.

NOT NS-19-080 was published on July 29, 2019.  For 2020, NINDS invites nominations of outstanding mentors who are 21 years or more from the start of their first tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions (i.e., started their first tenure-track position in 1998 or before). The deadline for submission of 2020 nominations is December 15, 2019.

Phase II

NINDS will send a request to eligible individuals who have been nominated according to the guidelines, asking for:

  • A statement of mentoring approach and philosophy
  • A CV
  • A list of all current and former trainees and brief description of trainee accomplishments (where each trainee went subsequent to the candidate’s lab [or environment], fellowships received by trainees while with the candidate, papers published from work with candidate, etc.)
  • The candidate to request letters of recommendation for this award from at least 2 faculty members who have first-hand knowledge of his/her mentoring activities and research accomplishments (additional letters from current and/or former trainees may also be requested)

Phase III

NINDS will make award recommendations to the NINDS Council, based on:

  • Letters of recommendation from trainees
  • Letters of recommendation from faculty
  • Assessment of factors described in the introduction above
  • Trainee outcomes (when applicable)

Phase IV

Candidate(s) chosen for the award will submit an administrative supplement request for $100,000, with a description of how the funds will be used. The funds must be used in a way that directly supports the advancement of one or more trainees towards an independent research career.  The supplemental funds may be used for support of current or additional trainees, trainee career development activities (e.g. short courses, trainee travel for the purposes of research presentations, etc.) or research supplies that directly benefit trainees in the laboratory.  The funds cannot be used to purchase equipment or for PI salary.