The John J. Bonica Trainee Fellowship

Grant: One 24-month fellowship of up to US$50,000 per year

Purpose: The John J. Bonica Trainee Fellowship was established in 1998 in memory of the founder of IASP to support training in all aspects of pain research.

The 2020 application cycle has closed. The 2021 application cycle will open 1 April 2021.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • There are no restrictions as to the trainee's age.
  • The selected applicant must provide a proof of PhD completion (or equivalent) prior to initiation of the fellowship.
  • The trainee will generally be in an early stage of his or her career.
  • Trainees must be IASP members at the time of applying.
  • Mentors must be IASP members for at least  one year at the time of applying.
  • The mentor must not have served as a mentor for a John J. Bonica Fellowship trainee within the last three years.

The IASP Fellowships, Grants, and Awards Working Group will evaluate all proposals based on:

  • The qualifications of the applicant and mentor.
  • The usefulness of the training to the applicant's research career.
  • Research proposal: the importance of the problem, the feasibility and potential impact of the proposed research, and the extent to which it will provide a valuable training vehicle for the applicant.

Terms of the Award:

  • During the fellowship, the trainee will pursue either clinical research or basic science research under the guidance of a mentor at the institution of his or her choice.
  • The fellowship is not intended to supplement or extend current training. Preference will be given to candidates who seek training outside their current institution.
  • The applicant should not be working with the proposed mentor at the time of applying.
  • The IASP Fellowships, Grants, and Awards Working Group will consider the balance between clinical and basic science research.
  • The grant will be equivalent to a year's salary and benefits for a person of the trainee's qualifications at the selected institution, up to a maximum of $50,000 per year for two years. The grant may not be used for indirect costs or for the purchase of supplies or equipment, including travel costs.
  • IASP will disburse the award (up $50,000 per year for two years) to the host institution after completion of grant agreements.
  • IASP will disburse the award to the host institution at the start of the training.
  • The training should be completed in 24 consecutive months, but minor exceptions may be granted (e.g., two 12-month periods separated by a month or two).
  • Upon completion of the fellowship, the trainee must submit a report to IASP describing the research performed and training received, including information on activities and products generated with the help of this award. These include publications; presentations at conferences, colloquia, or symposia (or similar meetings); and the generation of additional extramural (external) support.
  • The trainee must acknowledge the John J. Bonica Trainee Fellowship in publications and other products arising from work achieved as a result of this fellowship.

How to Apply:

The 2020 application cycle has closed. The 2021 application will open 1 April 2021.

For more information on the online application process, please review the online application guidelines.

You will need to provide the following documents and upload them into the system:


  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of four pages) using the IASP template available here or through the online system.
  • Description of the research project (justification of the particular project, the methods employed, and whether the proposed experiments will generate interpretable results); maximum of three pages, 11 pt. font, ½ inch (1.27 cm) margins. Citations must be included in the three-page limit.
  • At least two letters of recommendation from IASP members (in addition to the mentor’s letter). These letters must be requested through the online system and uploaded by the recommender, not applicant.


  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of four pages); template is available in the online application system.
  • A letter in which the mentor:
    • agrees to be the trainee's mentor
    • confirms that he or she has sufficient time and resources to support the  training
    • states that he or she has not served as a mentor for the John J. Bonica Fellowship in the past three years
    • provides information of the usual stipend amount for equivalent-level trainees at the mentor's laboratory (including any necessary health insurance)
    • confirms that  the mentor's institution is a nonprofit or governmental institution that agrees to accept a grant for payment of salary and benefits only and will not charge indirect costs (overhead and handling fees) to IASP

Please contact if you have any questions, or call +1-202-856-7400.

Click here to see all previous winners of the John J. Bonica Trainee Fellowship.