Meeting Awards

Michael Irwin Equity and Diversity Travel Awards

PNIRS is committed to increasing the number of academics/researchers from underrepresented groups, and supporting research excellence dedicated to issues relevant to equity and diversity.  In support of this commitment, PNIRS is announcing, for 2019, the inaugural Michael Irwin Equity and Diversity Travel Awards. These awards have been made possible by a generous donation from Professor Michael Irwin, Cousins Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience. 

The intent of these travel awards is to facilitate attendance by academics/researchers at the PNIRS annual meeting who are a) from underrepresented groups and/or b) conduct research dedicated to issues related to equity and diversity. The goal of these awards is to facilitate greater awareness about the public health issues related to diverse communities, and to support and encourage psychoneuroimmunology research that is dedicated to having a significant impact on diverse and underrepresented communities.

There will be six awards given up to the value of $1,500 to be used to contribute to the cost of attendance at the PNIRS annual meeting.  Awardees must submit an abstract, register for the meeting and attend the PNIRS annual meeting to be eligible for the award. This opportunity is available to individuals who self-identify as being from underrepresented, communities, or whose research focuses on issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The concept of diversity includes, but is not limited to, characteristics such as national origin, race, ethnicity, disability, ethnicity, gender, age religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, educational background, and family structures.

In addition to travel support, awardees will be paired with PNIRS conference “guides.” These guides will ensure that the sponsored awardees optimize their conference experience and provide a point-of-contact and mentorship within the field of PNIRS. 

Eligibility criteria:

Open to academics, student and graduates from traditionally underrepresented demographic groups, or academics, student and graduates conducting research in the areas of equity and diversity.   To be eligible awardees must register for the annual meeting, submit an abstract and attend the PNIRS annual meeting for the current year.

Application process:

Awardees will be selected through a competitive application process that includes self-identification of the applicant’s diversity background (e.g. personal characteristics/background, history of significant contributions to diversity), and/or identification of research focus.  Applications will be called for at the time of abstract submission for the PNIRS annual meeting. To be inclusive, we will consider applications from under-represented nominees with self-identified diversity characteristics such as ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, faith, social standing, and other personal attributes.

The award winner will be chosen based upon:

  • Dedication to a multicultural/diversity focus in research and/or  
  • Self-identification of diversity background.

PNIRS Trainee Scholar Travel Awards

The intent of the PNIRS Trainee Scholar Travel Awards is to facilitate attendance by trainee members at the PNIRS annual meeting.  To be eligible for an award, awardees must be a PNIRS trainee member, register for the annual meeting, submit an abstract and attend the PNIRS annual meeting for the current year.  Awardees will be selected by the scientific affairs committee using the abstract scoring process as a guide.  Awards will vary annually and are to be used to contribute to the trainees' cost of attendance at the PNIRS annual meeting.  

Norman Cousins Award

The Norman Cousins Award is the highest honor given by the PsychoNeuroImmunology Research Society to an individual for outstanding contributions to research in psychoneuroimmunology. Norman Cousins was an articulate spokesman and advocate for Psychoneuroimmunology, whose support and generosity has facilitated the career development of many investigators in this interdisciplinary field of endeavor. To contribute to the advancement of knowledge in psychoneuroimmunology, Ellen Cousins, Norman’s wife, created the Norman Cousins Memorial Fund, and the California Wellness Foundation provided the endowment for the Norman Cousins Memorial Award and Lecture to be delivered as a highlight of the annual meeting of the PsychoNeuroImmunology Research Society.

Robert Ader New Investigator Award

In honor of Dr. Robert Ader, a pioneer in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, the PsychoNeuroImmunology Research Society presents the Robert Ader New Investigator Award. This prestigious award is presented to an outstanding new research scientist who has made exciting basic science or clinical contributions to the field of PNI. The award honors Dr. Ader’s innovation and creativity as a scientist and recognizes his contributions to the instantiation of PNI as a meaningful endeavor dedicated to the betterment of health and the prevention of disease.

BBI Impact Award

Professor Keith W. Kelley, spouse Sara and daughter Megan established the Brain, Behavior, and Immunity Impact Award. The goal is to promote submission and publication of high-quality, cutting-edge research in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity and to increase visibility and participation in the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society. The winner is the corresponding author of the paper with the most citations from those articles published three and four years prior to the award. For example, the 2019 award winner, announced in 2018, is the corresponding author of the paper that achieved the highest level of citations in 2017 to papers published in 2016 and 2015. The Kelley Family provides an annual gift of $5,000 per year and a commemorative plaque for the PNIRS to present to the winner of the Brain, Behavior, and Immunity Impact Award at the annual PNIRS meeting.