Designed to acknowledge the most original and important accomplishments in Neuroscience research at WashU by a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellow


Dr. James L. O’Leary joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy at Washington University in 1928.  In 1948 he joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology, becoming Head of the Department in 1946, remaining until 1971.  For many years, neuroscience research at Washington University was conducted by Dr. O’Leary and his colleagues.  They developed an interdisciplinary and interactive approach to the study of the nervous system that continues today.  Dr. O’Leary’s colleagues, admirers, and former students established a fund in 1975 to award a prize each year to a graduate student and/or postdoctoral fellow or resident for excellence in neuroscience research.

Instructions to apply

Stay tuned for the call for applications in early 2023!

Current Washington University predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and residents are invited to submit a summary of their work to Erik Musiek ( and the Office of Neuroscience Research ( The submission must arrive no later than 5pm (CST), Friday February 11, 2022.

The summary should include a title page indicating the applicant’s name, preceptor, campus box, telephone number, email address and status (e.g. graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, resident). The summary itself should begin with a 250 word abstract and be no longer than 5 double spaced pages, size 11 font, including figures but not references. A separate listing of no more than 10 references is allowed. In addition, a letter from the applicant’s preceptor simply attesting that the trainee performed the work included should accompany the submission. A letter of recommendation is not needed; just attestation to the work. If the work to be presented is published, in press, recently accepted for publication or currently in review, please note this information on the coversheet. If the work has been accepted for publication, please note the journal and estimated date of publication.

Application format:

  • Page 1: Coversheet & Details
  • Page 2: Attestation
  • Page 3: 250 Word Abstract
  • Page 4-8: Research Summary and an emphasis on the innovation and impact of the study
  • Page 9: References

Application should come in one file, pdf preferred.

All work to be considered for the prizes must have been carried out by the applicant while a student, resident, or fellow at Washington University.  From the submitted summaries the Selection Committee will choose those to be presented at the O’Leary Prize program on Tuesday afternoon, March 14, 2023 from 1:00-5:00pm on the Medical Campus.  

Note that each year, a past O’Leary Prize recipient is invited to be a guest judge and present the O’Leary Lecture.  The guest judge will deliver the O’Leary Lecture on Wednesday March 15, 2023.

More on the O’Leary Lecture