The Rainwater Prize for Innovative Early-Career Scientists

Closes 15th June 2022

The Rainwater Prize Program was designed with a goal of increasing awareness of critical gaps in neurodegenerative research, attracting and retaining researchers to work on tauopathies and rewarding step-wise scientific achievements that can lead to effective treatments for patients. 

The prizes are:

  • The Rainwater Prize for Outstanding Innovation in Neurodegenerative Research

  • The Rainwater Prize for Innovative Early-Career Scientists

  • The Rainwater Milestone Prize for Advances in Tauopathy Research

  • The Rainwater Breakthrough Prize for Effective Treatments in PSP

The Rainwater Prize for Innovative Early-Career Scientists

This prize is intended to reward outstanding achievements of a scientist either as a first author or senior author on published neurodegenerative disease research findings.  This prize aims to support exceptionally productive scientists who are in the early formative stages of their academic career (within 10 years of PI appointment) and who plan to make a long-term career commitment to research aligned with the mission areas of the Rainwater Charitable Foundation.   Nominees will be considered through either a self or non-self-nomination process for published, peer-reviewed neurodegenerative disease research.  Awardees will be chosen by a committee of international scientific leaders from a wide range of fields and backgrounds. The awardee will be chosen based on their scientific contributions, leadership, mentorship, and overall contributions to the scientific community.

This award will consist of a $150K prize provided through a fund started by Richard Rainwater at the North Texas Community Foundation. While it is our hope that the prize money will be used to further the recipient’s research in neurodegenerative disease, the prize recipient will only be able to use the funds for non-profit purposes.

After close of nominations, a follow-up email may be sent to finalist nominees to request a 1-2 page summary of their research program aims and strategy. The awardee(s) will be honored at an award presentation ceremony at Eurotau in Lille, France on April 27-28th, 2023. All pre-approved, reasonable travel expenses for awardee(s) will be covered by the foundation. The awardee will also be invited to present their findings at a future meeting co-hosted by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation.

The objective of all the prize categories is to encourage and accelerate progress toward new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases by:

  1. Enhancing awareness of the critical gaps in neurodegenerative research.
  2. Attracting researchers to work on tauopathies.
  3. Awarding scientific achievements that could lead to new treatments for PSP.

The Rainwater Prize - Richard RainwaterRichard Rainwater

Rainwater, a true visionary and leader, understood that the research he was funding might not be able to help him directly, but he knew the work was important, cutting-edge and was going to inevitably lead to better treatments for patients like him in the future. He therefore dedicated funds to develop a prize program that would launch when the progress in science grew closer to helping patients. Mr. Rainwater passed away in 2015 from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, yet his legacy lives on in the fight to end neurodegenerative disease.



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