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The John J. Bonica Trainee Fellowship

How To Apply

No Longer Accepting Applications

All applications must be submitted in English through the online submission portal. No applications will be accepted via email or postal mail. 

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.

No Longer Accepting Applications

Fellowship Overview

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. One Fellowship is given each year for $100,000 which is distributed over the course of 2 years. Fellowships are expected to last 2 years. 

Fellowship Details

  • 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.

Fellowship 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.

Fellowship Application Requirements

Complete the online application. Additional documents needed for the online application are listed in the subsequent points.


  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of four pages) using the IASP template.
  • 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. Citations should follow the format for the journal PAIN. Instructions can be found here. If you wish to exclude the full author list to save space, that is acceptable. Citations should be no smaller than 9 pt. font. 
  • At least two letters of recommendation in addition to the mentor’s letter. At least one of the recommenders must be an IASP member. These letters must be requested through the online system and uploaded by the recommender, not applicant.


  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of four pages) using the IASP template.
  • 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.

Fellowship Review Process and Criteria

The Fellowships, Grants, and Awards Working Group reviews all applications and makes final decisions. Applications will be reviewed 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.
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  • 2022: Erika Scott, PhD (Canada)
  • 2021: Paulina Ramirez Garcia (Australia)
  • 2020: Saurab Sharma (Nepal)
  • 2019: Vinko Palada (Sweden)
  • 2018: Christopher Donnelly (USA)
  • 2017: Emerson Krock (Canada)
  • 2015: Somayyeh Mohammadi (The Netherlands)
  • 2014: Nicole Scheff (USA)
  • 2013: Whitney Scott (Canada)
  • 2012: Amber D. Shaffer (USA)
  • 2011: Anne-Sophie Wattiez, PhD (France)
  • 2010: Luis Chaparro, MD (Colombia)
  • 2009: Lucie Low, BA, MSc (UK)
  • 2008: Masataka Umeda, PhD (Japan)
  • 2007: Clare Munns, BSc (UK)
  • 2006: Jen-Kun Cheng, MD, PhD (Taiwan)
  • 2005: Yunhai Qiu MD, PhD (Japan)
  • 2004: Deborah Falla, PhD, BPhty(Hons) (Australia)
  • 2003: Raul Gerardo Sanoja, MD, PhD (Venezuela)
  • 2002: Tuan Diep Tran, MD, PhD (Japan)
  • 2001: Javier Mazario, BSc (Spain)
  • 2000: Suellen M. Walker, MB BS (Australia)
  • 1999: Mary T. Ersek, PhD, RN (USA)
  • 1998: Laura S. Stone, PhD (USA)