The 2024 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain: Application Open

Since 2009, the Rita Allen Foundation has provided a special award for early-career leaders in basic pain research whose work holds high potential for uncovering new pathways to improve the treatment of chronic pain.

The Foundation has awarded annually two grants or more in the amount of $150,000 over three years to early-career investigators pursuing innovative research that focuses on basic science mechanisms of pain.

Please see below for a list of recipients of the Scholars Award in Pain.

Eligible candidates will have completed their training and provided persuasive evidence of distinguished achievement or extraordinary promise in basic research in pain. Candidates should be in the early stages of their career with an appointment at the faculty level.

Proposed research projects should be directed toward investigating the molecular biology of pain and/or basic science topics related to developing new analgesics for managing pain. The entire award is made available to projects specifically chosen by the recipient; university overhead (i.e., indirect costs) is not supported.

Applications are reviewed by a selection committee that includes past Scholars Award in Pain recipients and other leading pain researchers.


To be eligible for the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain, the applicant must:

  • Have received committed start-up funds and independent laboratory space from their institution. (This information must be clearly indicated in the Department Chair/Division Chief’s letter of support for the candidate.)
  • Be within three years of the start date of a tenure track position or equivalent (senior postdocs and associate professors are not eligible).*
  • Conduct their research and be appointed at an institution in the United States or Canada.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the field of pain research.

*If extenuating circumstances slowed your tenure trajectory (e.g., home-schooling children during the COVID-19 pandemic, other caregiving responsibilities, etc.) please get in touch with the U.S. Association for the Study of Pain (USASP) directly about your circumstance at The determination of your eligibility will be at the discretion of the Rita Allen Foundation and the Scholars Award in Pain Selection Committee.

Applications will be open from October 18 – December 14, 2023. Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 14, 2023.

More information about applying for this award, offered in partnership with USASP, including a link to the application portal and detailed application guidelines and instructions, can be found on the USASP website: