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The Golden Neuron Awards: Recognizing Excellence in Pain Research

PRF Team

16 February 2024

PRF Funding Opportunities


The PURPOSE Network – the NIH HEAL Initiative’s coordinating center for national pain scientists – has announced the inaugural Golden Neuron Awards to honor outstanding contributions to the field of pain research.

The Golden Neuron Awards will recognize researchers who have demonstrated exemplary dedication and innovation in advancing our understanding of pain. By acknowledging and celebrating these achievements, we not only highlight the importance of pain research but also inspire future breakthroughs in the field.

Please, nominate individuals whose efforts have significantly advanced our collective goals and thereby encourage excellence in pain research. Nominations are open to researchers globally.

Fill out the nomination form here. 

Award Categories

  • Pain Scientist of the Year: Recognizing individuals who have made exceptional contributions to advancing our understanding of pain through groundbreaking research.
  • Best Multidisciplinary Pain Research Collaboration: Honoring outstanding achievements in collaborative efforts that have led to significant advancements in pain research.
  • Mentor of the Year: Celebrating individuals who have shown exceptional mentorship qualities, guiding and inspiring the next generation of pain researchers.
  • Rising Star Researcher: Highlighting emerging researchers who show great promise and potential in making significant contributions to the field of pain research.
  • Best Representation and Inclusion: Emphasizing the importance of inclusivity in pain research by recognizing efforts to represent and include individuals with pain and their families in the research community.

Nomination Details

  • Anyone in the pain research field is eligible for nomination, and nominees do not need to be HEAL investigators.
  • Nominations can be submitted by NIH Program Officers, researchers, or other stakeholders in the pain research community.
  • The nomination process can be completed online through the PURPOSE Network’s Golden Neuron Awards nomination page.

Key Dates

  • Nominations opened: February 1, 2024
  • Deadline for nominations: March 18, 2024

We encourage you to nominate individuals whose contributions have impacted the field of pain research. Your participation in recognizing these stars in pain research will help foster a culture of appreciation and collaboration within the community.

Fill out the nomination form here.  


Who is eligible to be nominated for the Golden Neuron Awards?

Anyone actively involved in the field of pain research is eligible for nomination, regardless of their affiliation or involvement with the HEAL initiative.

What are the criteria for assessing candidates for the Golden Neuron Awards?

Candidates will be evaluated based on their contributions to pain research, the impact of their work, and their history of collaborative team science. Specific documentation requirements vary depending on the award category and can be found on the Golden Neuron Awards page and in the nomination form.

Who is reviewing the Golden Neuron nominations to determine winners?

Nominations are reviewed by the PURPOSE Governing Board, NIH Program Officers, and other key leaders in the pain research field.

Who can see my nomination?

Nomination forms are treated with confidentiality. Only the PURPOSE Network administrator and the review panel responsible for evaluating nominations will have access to information regarding who nominated a particular individual.

Is attendance at the 2nd PURPOSE Annual Meeting mandatory for nominees?

Yes, nominees must register to attend the meeting in person to be eligible for the Golden Neuron Awards. The meeting is free to attend.

How can I contact PURPOSE for further inquiries?

For any questions, please reach out to PURPOSE at PURPOSE@painresearchers.com or call 707-260-0848.

Thank you for your continued support of pain research, and we look forward to receiving your nominations.

Learn more about the Golden Neuron Awards.  

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