2019 McKnight Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award

The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience supports innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated. To this end, the McKnight Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award assists scientists working to apply the knowledge achieved through basic research to human brain disorders that affect memory or cognition.

Use of Award Funds

We are interested in proposals that address memory or cognition under normal and pathological conditions. This includes proposals that address mechanisms of memory or cognition at the synaptic, cellular, molecular, genetic or behavioral level in animals, including humans. We are particularly interested in proposals that incorporate fundamentally new approaches, as well as those that involve human experimentation. Collaborative and cross-disciplinary applications are encouraged.

Projects restricted to the creation of conventional mouse knockouts in candidate disease genes identified by association studies, or to broadly overexpress those genes, are discouraged. In addition, projects to perform genetic interaction screens on disease genes in model organisms (yeast, worm, fly, fish) will not be considered, unless the project includes substantive specific aims that investigate the disease relevance of any new genes discovered in human or mammalian model systems.


Applicants must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor or higher, e.g. associate professor or professor, at institutions within the United States. Scientists holding other titles such as research professor, adjunct professor, professor research track, visiting professor, or instructor are not eligible. Applicants may not be employees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute or scientists within the intramural program of the National Institutes of Health. Applicants may not hold another McKnight Award that would overlap with the Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award. We are interested in geographic, gender, and racial diversity and we encourage women and minorities, as well as scientists from all around the U.S., to apply. Funds may be used toward a variety of research activities, but not the principal investigator's salary. The candidate's other sources of funding will be considered when selecting awards.

Selection Process

There is a two-stage selection process, beginning with a letter of intent (LOI). The selection committee will review the LOIs and invite a few applicants to submit full proposals. Up to four awards are made annually, each providing $100,000 per year for three years. LOIs are due on March 26, 2018 (midnight in the last time zone on earth). Full proposals will be due September 10, 2018. Funding begins on February 1, 2019.

How to Apply

The application process is completely online. Please copy/paste the URL https://www.GrantRequest.com/SID_5768?SA=SNA&FID=35006  to access the Stage One LOI form. One investigator (the primary contact for the proposal) will be required to set up a user name and password (please retain your username and password as you will need it throughout the process), complete an online face sheet, and upload a two-page project description with no more than two pages of references; any images must be within the two-page limit. Please single-space in 12-point font using one-inch margins. Project description, references, and NIH Biosketches for each PI should be uploaded as a single PDF.

Finalists will be invited via email to submit a full proposal, and a Stage Two URL will be provided. Competition is very intense; applicants are welcome to apply more than once.

If you do not receive email confirmation of receipt of your LOI within a week of submission, please contact Nan Jahnke at 612-333-4220 or njahnke@mcknight.org

Letter of Intent Date

Monday, March 26, 2018

Application Due Date

Monday, September 10, 2018