The Mount Sinai Summer Institute for NeuroAIDS Disparities

Note: MSINAD conducted its last summer institute in 2016, and is no longer accepting applications.

Scholar Grants

How to Apply

The summer didactic program is open to any individual who wishes to enhance their understanding of NeuroAIDS disparities. However, only 4 MSINAD Scholar Grants will be awarded annually for sponsorship to attend the MSINAD program, and to receive pilot grant monies of up to $20,000.

Applicants for MSINAD Scholar Grants should be at the junior faculty, or pre- or post-doctoral level.

  1. Junior faculty Applicants: You must be within 5 years of your first faculty appointment. You may not have been the principal investigator on an NIH K-type or R-type award. It is anticipated that MSINAD pilot awards will assist the junior faculty candidate in generating data pertinent to an NIMH application that is stage appropriate.
  2. Post-doctoral Applicants: Post-doctoral candidates without faculty position may apply at any stage of their career. Again, it is anticipated that MSINAD pilot awards will assist the post-doctoral candidate in generating data pertinent to an NIMH application that is stage appropriate.
  3. Pre-doctoral Applicants: You must be in advanced portions of your program. If you are in a PhD program, you must be ready to undertake your dissertation proposal. If you are in medical school, you must have completed your basic didactic course work by the time MSINAD begins. You must be prepared to submit some form of application to the NIMH to support your educational studies no later than a year after concluding your MSINAD pilot study (examples: this may be a mechanism such as an F31 or minority supplement; or something that will support your postdoctoral studies such as an F32).

Minority students and scientists are strongly encouraged to apply.


To apply for these grants, the following material must be received by the application deadline, January 18, 2016.

  1. An MSINAD Scholar Grant Application Cover Page (found in the downloadable application)
  2. MSINAD Program Application pdf

  3. A short, single-spaced proposal (five pages maximum), outlining the proposed research project, including:
    • purpose and benefits to the field of NeuroAIDS as it applies to ethnic minorities
    • specific objectives and goals
    • methods for accomplishing the research, including timeline for completion in up to two years
    • how MSINAD can help achieve research and career objectives, with specific reference to NIMH mission and/or mechanisms
    • A discussion of the NIMH award type (e.g., K or R awards) that the applicant ultimately intends to apply for and an anticipated date of submission.
    In this submission, please indicate whether you anticipate accessing the resources of the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank or National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium for your proposed research project.
  4. An NIH-format biographical sketch for the applicant, including eRA Commons name.
  5. A biosketch for your local research mentor, and a description of the mentor's laboratory and environment.
  6. A letter of recommendation from your local research mentor. This letter should detail how an MSINAD award will impact your ability to undertake neuroAIDS research pertinent to minority populations. The mentor should provide a critical appraisal of your ability to undertake the proposed research. The letter should also confirm the mentor's intention to assist you with submission of a future NIMH grant application, and their commitment to provide release time for your attendance in our program, and to your conducting pilot funded research upon your return.
  7. Up to 2 additional letters of recommendation.
  8. A one page personal statement describing your career aspirations and motivation for pursuing neuroAIDS research.
Please note: If you are proposing a pilot study entailing human subjects research and it is chosen for one of our awards, you will need to prepare a human subjects protection plan prior to NIMH approval for your award. Please see sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 of the PHS supplemental grant application instructions for further guidance.


Four MSINAD Scholar Grant awards will be made annually. The awards will consist of:

  1. Re-imbursement for all travel expenses related to attendance at the summer institute
  2. Provision of lodging in Manhattan in the vicinity of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  3. A living stipend of $3000 for the 4 week period
  4. A research grant of up to $20,000, to be awarded upon graduation from the summer institute. Scholars will be required to create their research budgets and justifications early in the summer training program. Upon submission of these budgets, funds will be released to the scholars through contracts to the institutions at which their research will be conducted.

Criteria Used to Assess Awards

The following criteria will be used in determining these awards:

  • Overall Scientific Merit: The applicant must submit and original and feasible proposal that demonstrates the applicant's understanding of the proposed field of research. Prior research experience is not necessary.
  • Purpose: A clear statement and description of the purpose of the research project must be included.
  • Specific Objectives and Goals: Specific goals of the research project must be listed and defined.
  • Methods: The methods proposed for carrying out the research must be defined and described clearly, and timeline should be clearly presented for completing the project in one year.
  • Feasibility of successful completion of proposed project according to proposed timeline.
  • Engaged Research Mentor Letter of Support: This letter should emphasize the mentor's commitment to serve as the research mentor for the duration of the project.
  • Likelihood of continued career success, including funding potential of the applicant from other future resources provided by NIMH.

Document above marked pdf is viewable with the free AdobeTM AcrobatTM Reader. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, click on the image below to download it.
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader