The Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program Partners with Pediatric Brain Foundation: A New Chapter in Neurosurgical Research

neurosurgeon research career development program

September 15, 2023

The Pediatric Brain Foundation (PBF) has recently entered into a groundbreaking partnership with the Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program (NRCDP). This alliance is set to significantly advance the field of neurosurgery, especially in pediatric care. One of the key elements of this partnership involves the incorporation of the platform into PBF’s resources. This article delves into the objectives of the NRCDP, what the partnership means, and how it is poised to revolutionize neurosurgical research and practice.

Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program (NRCDP)

The Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program is an initiative under the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health. Aimed at supporting the scientific careers of junior neurosurgeon-investigators, the NRCDP provides two years of salary and research support to help individuals achieve research independence. The focus of the program is also on increasing diversity within the neurosurgeon-research workforce, emphasizing support for women and underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.

Candidates eligible for the program must be in a tenure-track faculty position and have a commitment from their department chair to provide at least 50% protected time for research for five years if they receive NRCDP support. After receiving the award, recipients are expected to attend an annual NRCDP retreat for five years to provide updates on their research, receive mentoring, and offer guidance to future NRCDP awardees.

nrcdp neurocdp logo

Academy Emerging Investigators Program

A significant component of the NRCDP is the Academy Emerging Investigators Program. This award offers a two-year support package that includes a $100,000 salary and $50,000 per year for supplies. The intention is to ensure that neurosurgeon-researchers have all the resources they need to produce results that will pave the way for future grants, such as NIH K or R01-equivalent awards.

The Partnership with PBF and Incorporation of

The Pediatric Brain Foundation's partnership with the NRCDP is designed to elevate the level of pediatric neurosurgical research. By incorporating into PBF, the partnership aims to create a centralized hub for neurosurgical professionals to access valuable research, apply for grants, and engage in community discussions.

Boosting Pediatric Neurosurgical Research

This partnership will likely be a catalyst for specialized research into pediatric neurosurgery. The backing from PBF will complement the resources provided by NRCDP, thereby potentially leading to advancements that could benefit young patients.

A Network of Support and Collaboration

The inclusion of will foster an environment of collaborative learning. Researchers, clinicians, and scholars will be able to exchange ideas, thereby accelerating the development of innovative solutions in the field of pediatric neurosurgery.

Advisory Committee

An integral part of the Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program (NRCDP) is its National Advisory Committee. Comprising 12 Department Chairs or Vice-Chairs who are renowned for their research accomplishments, along with several other distinguished neurosurgeon researchers, this committee plays a pivotal role in guiding the program.

Oversight and Governance

The Advisory Committee provides crucial oversight for the NRCDP. They evaluate research proposals, select award recipients, and ensure that the program's objectives align with its mission of fostering diversity and driving innovation in neurosurgery.

Mentoring and Development

One of the key responsibilities of the committee members is to mentor the awardees. During the annual NRCDP retreat, these seasoned investigators offer invaluable advice, insights, and mentorship. This mentoring extends beyond the two-year funding period, as award recipients are expected to attend the retreat for five consecutive years to keep the committee updated on their research progress.

Influence on the PBF Partnership

The committee’s role is expected to expand further with the partnership between NRCDP and the Pediatric Brain Foundation (PBF). Their expertise will be instrumental in selecting research proposals that focus specifically on pediatric neurosurgery. This added layer of specialization will further elevate the quality of research supported through this collaboration.

Fostering Collaborative Research

Given the committee’s extensive research experience and networking capabilities, they are poised to help foster collaborative opportunities. By engaging with PBF and the broader community through, they can help identify synergies and facilitate research endeavors that might not otherwise have been possible.

In summary, the Advisory Committee not only adds a layer of credibility and expertise to the NRCDP but also serves as a catalyst for driving research quality and collaboration, particularly in the wake of the program's partnership with the Pediatric Brain Foundation.

Getch K12 Award

The Getch K12 Award is another esteemed component of the Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program (NRCDP), specifically designed to honor and support the brightest minds in the field. Named in recognition of a luminary in the neurosurgical community, the Getch K12 Award aims to further elevate the standards of research and practice in neurosurgery.

Award Features and Eligibility

The Getch K12 Award is particularly prestigious and selective, with awardees chosen based on the quality of their research proposals, their potential for advancing the field, and their academic credentials. The award provides substantial financial and mentorship support, which includes funding for both salary and research supplies, similar to the Academy Emerging Investigators Program.

Role in the NRCDP-PBF Partnership

With the new partnership between NRCDP and the Pediatric Brain Foundation (PBF), the Getch K12 Award is expected to take on an even more crucial role. Special attention will be given to research proposals that aim to improve pediatric neurosurgery, thereby providing a more specialized avenue for the award’s impact.

Past K12 Winners

The list of past K12 winners reads like a who's who of the neurosurgery research community. These individuals have gone on to make significant contributions to the field, often applying their K12 funding to projects that have led to groundbreaking discoveries and innovations.

Achievements and Contributions

Many past K12 awardees have successfully transitioned to receiving major individual awards, such as NIH K or R01-equivalent grants, thereby fulfilling the original goal of the NRCDP. Their research often gets published in leading scientific journals and is presented at international conferences, further amplifying the impact of the program.

Where Are They Now?

Many past winners currently occupy leadership positions in both academic and clinical settings, often serving as mentors for the next generation of neurosurgeon-researchers. Some have even returned as advisors or members of the National Advisory Committee, offering their insights and expertise to guide the NRCDP and its future awardees.

The Getch K12 Award and the lineage of its past winners form an essential part of the NRCDP’s success. As the program enters into its promising partnership with the Pediatric Brain Foundation, the award and its recipients will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of neurosurgical research.


The partnership between the Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program and the Pediatric Brain Foundation marks a significant milestone in neurosurgical research. By combining resources and expertise, this collaboration is set to expedite advancements in both general and pediatric neurosurgery. The integration of into PBF serves as an essential step towards building a collaborative network among researchers and clinicians, aimed at fostering innovations that can improve patient outcomes in neurosurgery.


  1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program."
  2. Pediatric Brain Foundation official press release. Partnership with NRCDP.
  3. NRCDP Program Guidelines. Eligibility and Award Details.