The 2023 Rita Allen Foundation Award for Chronic Pain Research: Application Closed

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 who are pursuing innovative research on mechanisms that initiate and propagate pain in the nervous system.

Please see below for a list of recipients of the 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 the development of new analgesics for the management of pain due to terminal illness. The entire award is made available to projects specifically chosen by the recipient; university overhead is not supported.

Applications are reviewed by a selection committee that includes past Award in Pain recipients, as well as other leading pain researchers. 


To be eligible for the Rita Allen Foundation Award for Chronic Pain Research, 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 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.

*We are accepting applications from individuals up to four years from the start of their faculty position, if there are extenuating circumstances that slowed their normal trajectory (e.g., home schooling children during the COVID19 pandemic). Please include a brief explanation of the request for an exemption from this requirement.

Applications will be open from October 15 – December 15, 2022. Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 15, 2022.