Research Awards

Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Travel Grant Awards

These travel grants are available each fall and spring to undergraduate Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program students. They are open to students who are presenting at a research conference on behalf of their research lab. These awards can be used for hotel accommodations, transportation, food and membership fees. These awards are typically given up to $1,000. The program office will email students each semester to give explicit details on the application deadline date. Students that are awarded travel grants will be informed of the reimbursement process.

Application Materials

Applications must be submitted on or prior to the deadline date. Students should apply for a travel grant during the semester in which their research conference is taking place. In the event of the Society for Neuroscience Conference taking place in Washington D.C, travel grants will be disbursed differently.

  • Research proposal that should include an abstract
  • Detailed budget
  • CV or resume
  • Letter of recommendation from a PI

Applications can be emailed to Linda M. White.

Reimbursement Process

  • Funds for reimbursements will be given after the travel has taken place, not in advance.
  • Students should keep all credit card, cash, and itemized receipts. Students will not be reimbursed for alcohol.
  • Travel Grant Recipient Form

Application Deadline Date

  • Fall 2020: Due to the COVID-19 situation, we will not be accepting travel grant applications for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Spring 2021: To be determined

David S. Olton Research Award

The David S. Olton Award is given annually to support undergraduate research in the area of the biology of behavior, broadly defined. Undergraduate students from Johns Hopkins psychology, behavioral biology, and neuroscience are encouraged to apply. The award is $4,000. This award is a research award, designed specifically to help students complete a research project of their own that they might not otherwise be able to carry out due to financial limitations. The award can potentially cover a wide range of costs including stipend support (either during the academic year or the summer) or supplies essential to the project. Note the award is not intended for permanent lab equipment for PIs (see below).

Deadline: 4 p.m. January 15, 2021

Email application materials to Linda White.

Application Includes

  • A short proposal (up to a maximum of 3 pages + 1 page Literature Cited), the proposal should include:
    • An Introduction that describes the background to a broad expert scientific audience, and the research question(s) and/or hypothesis(es) of the project.
    • A Methods section that describes how the hypothesis will be tested, what techniques will be used and the expected resulting data.
    • A Student Contribution and Timeline section that includes specifically what the student will be doing on the project and how/whether the project ties into other researchers’ concurrent projects in the laboratory
    • Literature Cited (at least 5)
  • A 1-page budget with justification including how this award will contribute to your ability to complete the project. If equipment is included for the laboratory it must be clear why this is crucial to the applicant’s project. This should also be discussed in the letter of support from the research sponsor.
  • A letter of support from your research sponsor (emailed directly to the program administrator from the research sponsor)
  • A 1-page summary of research and course experience relevant to the project
  • An unofficial transcript

Key criteria for grant selection in critical order are:

  • s the project within the scope of the award – behavioral biology broadly defined? Is there behavioral relevance to the project?
  • Student independence, contribution and feasibility.
    • Was the proposal written by the student?
    • Does the student demonstrate an understanding of the project (including literature cited)?
    • Is the proposed research feasible for the student to conduct?
  • Quality of science.

The award was established in remembrance of David S. Olton, a professor of psychology at the Johns Hopkins University, who was a leader in the field of hippocampus research. During his career, Olton published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and pioneered the use of the radial arm maze as an important tool in the investigation of learning and memory. He contributed to our understanding of the hippocampus by investigating how aging affects memory, and exploring the use of drug therapies to curb memory loss. Olton also helped design the parameters of the existing Program in Behavioral Biology, and was influential in the decision to renovate Ames Hall.

Shortly after his passing in 1994, his family established the fund in his honor. As undergraduate research had been an interest of Olton’s during his time at Hopkins, the fund was designed with that aspect in mind.

Additional Undergraduate Research Awards 

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences offers an incredible array of opportunities for student researchers. See all of the undergraduate research awards available on the Undergraduate Research, Scholarly & Creative Activity website.