Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology

The international Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is awarded annually to one young scientist for the most outstanding neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology conducted by him/her during the past three years.

Prize money: US$ 25,000

Entry deadline for the 2018 Prize: June 15, 2018
This deadline has now expired. The next entry deadline is June 15, 2019.

Winner 2017 Eppendorf & Science Prize

Flavio Donato, Ph.D.

The Italian scientist Flavio Donato, Ph.D. has won the 2017 Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology for his work on the driving forces that orchestrate the maturation of circuits representing space in the brain.

Dr. Donato carried out his research in the laboratory of Professors May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser at the Kavli Institute of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Flavio Donato’s work has revealed that, during development, stellate cells in the medial entorhinal cortex are the source of an activity-dependent instructive signal necessary for the maturation of those neurons that give us a sense of where we are. This finding proves the existence of autonomous, intrinsic drivers that guide the maturation of widespread regions of cortex from deep within the brain. Unravelling the unique contribution of these specific neuronal populations to the function of neural circuits will advance our understanding of how the brain processes abstract cognitive functions.


About the Prize

The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology acknowledges the increasing importance of this research in advancing our understanding of how the brain and nervous system function - a quest that seems destined for dramatic expansion in the coming decades.

Eppendorf and Science/AAAS established this international prize in 2002. The Prize is intended to encourage and support the work of promising young neurobiologists who are not older than 35 years. It is awarded annually to one young scientist for the most outstanding neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology conducted by him/her during the past three years, as described in a 1,000-word entrance essay.

Journal Science
Eppendorf is proud to present this prize with the journal Science.
Click here to visit the Science homepage.

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Prize money US$ 25,000

The grand prize winner of the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is selected along with up to three finalists by an independent board of scientists that is chaired by Science's senior editor, D. Peter Stern. The winner is awarded US$ 25,000. This is a personal gift. The grand prize winner‘s essay is published in Science and on Science Online. Furthermore, the winner receives a complimentary 10-year AAAS Membership, a 10-year digital subscription to Science as well as US$ 1,000 in complimentary Eppendorf products.

The award is announced and presented at a ceremony in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Eppendorf provides full support for the grand prize winner to attend this event. The winner is also invited for a later trip to Hamburg to visit Eppendorf.

The finalist essays are published on Science Online. The finalists receive full support to attend the prize ceremony. Furthermore, the finalists receive a complimentary  5-year AAAS Membership, a 5-year digital subscription to Science as well as US$ 1,000 in complimentary Eppendorf products.

Entry details & judging procedures

Rules of eligibility

  • The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is an international research prize.
  • Entrants must be a neurobiologist with an advanced degree received in the last 10 years and not older than 35 years of age.
  • The entrant's essay must describe contributions to neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology.
  • The entrant must have performed or directed the work described in the essay.
  • The research must have been performed during the previous three years.
  • Employees of Eppendorf AG, Science and AAAS and their relatives are not eligible for the prize. 

Procedures for entry

All entrants must submit the following items in English:

  • A completed entry form
  • An essay written by the entrant that describes his/her research with relevance to and in keeping with current methods and advances in the field of neurobiology. The essay must not exceed 1,000 words in length. The applicant must have done or directed all of the work and this work must have been performed in the past three years.
  • A one-page letter of recommendation from his/her postdoctoral adviser, supervisor, or other senior colleague who is familiar with the entrant's work.
  • A Curriculum Vitae that includes the following:
    • Full citations of papers that the entrant has published on the research described in the essay;
    • Academic and professional awards and honors that the entrant has received; and
    • Relevant professional experience
    • Copies of two of the entrant's papers that are most relevant to the essay

The entry form and additional submission materials must be submitted electronically through the prize management system.

Below is a timeline for the prize selection process. You will be contacted only if there are additional materials or information needed. Please note: If your contact information changes after submission then you must inform sciencemag.org or call +1 202326 6513.

June-August: Compilation and review of submissions
September: Selection and notification of prize winner
November: Announcement of prize winner and prize ceremony

The winner and finalists will be informed no later than the end of September. All applicants will be informed by the end of October. The winner and finalists will be officially announced at the prize ceremony.

Deadline for entries

June 15, 2019

Judging procedures

Editors from Science are responsible for the initial evaluation of the essays. The top 10 percent of the essays are forwarded to the judging panel. The judging panel is composed of prominent international researchers in the field of neurobiology and is chaired by Science's Senior Editor, Dr. Peter Stern. Most of the judges are appointed based on nominations from the Society for Neuroscience. The essays are rated in two areas: scientific quality and significance, and clarity and style of the writing.

Contact information

Selection Committee for the 
Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology 
Attention: Maryrose Madrid, Rm. 1049B
1200 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States

E-mail address: eppendorfscienceprize@aaas.org

2017 Prize Winner & Finalists

Prize Winner


  • Graham H Diering, Ph.D.
    The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Past Winners
Advice from past winners

"If you have contributed a new idea to the brain research field, you should apply for this award. Over the past ten years, the Eppendorf & Science Award has emerged as the premier venue for young neuroscientists to share their vision of the future. It is a competition that emphasizes creativity, communication and inspiration. I am extremely grateful that a colleague encouraged me to apply and take the opportunity to share my passions and ideas! Few of us ever thought we would be selected as finalists or winners…"
-Dr. Christopher Gregg, Winner 2010

"Just as there's no one type of neurobiologist, I don't think that there's a single type of prize winner. What's important is to be able to convey your discoveries in whatever field you research, succinctly, simply, and enthusiastically!"
-Dr. Richard Benton, Winner 2009

“This prize is special because the judges care as much about your passion for an interesting problem as the brand name of where you‘ve published. This gets to the heart of why it is exciting to be a scientist – you get to be the first to learn something about how the world works, and you get to tell everyone about it.“
-Dr. Maxwell G. Heiman, Finalist 2009

“I applied for the Prize because a colleague suggested it. At the time I thought it was a bit silly because I thought there was little chance that I could win. Now I realize that everybody thinks this…but of course someone always does win! Everyone who thinks they might have a chance of winning should just give it their best shot. It‘s a challenge to describe your research clearly to the readership of Science magazine because you have to pitch your work broadly and you can‘t just write for people in your small field. But this is good practice anyhow, so even if you don‘t win you‘ll certainly have learnt something from the experience.“
-Dr. Rachel Wilson, Winner 2007

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