The long-term goal of this award is to increase diversity and equitable access to spine research. To accomplish this objective, this award seeks to assist underrepresented people (see examples below) to attend the ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium for the first time. Specifically, this award will provide financial assistance as well as personal mentoring opportunities for each awardee. To maximize impact, we are seeking applicants that have not attended the ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium previously and likely would not be able to attend without this award.

Overview

This award, presented by the ORS and the Philadelphia Spine Research Society (PSRS), provides complimentary registration, expenses, and mentoring to researchers from underrepresented communities to attend the 7th International Spine Research Symposium for the first time.

Award Details

• Free in-person registration to ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium inclusive of lodging (shared room) and meals for the entire meeting
• Connect with other awardees via shared housing opportunities and/or other events at ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium
• Be paired with personal faculty mentor at ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium

Eligibility Criteria

• Spine researchers from an underrepresented population (see examples below)
• Lack of financial ability to attend conference without fellowship
• There are no eligibility limitations based on career level, although preference is given to early career applicants (e.g., advanced undergraduates, graduate student, or postdocs)
• Preference given to those who have never attended ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium previously in-person
• Commitment to attend ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium in-person if receiving award
• Abstract submission encouraged but not required (Note: abstracts are unpublished and early-stage research ideas to stimulate discussion at the meeting are encouraged; note also that abstract deadline is August 2, prior to the fellowship application deadline)
• NIH funding provides three full fellowships with US citizenship/residency requirement. Conference sponsorship will support three additional full fellowships without US national restrictions

How to Apply

Applicants must register and apply for the award by Monday, October 7, 2024. Please note that this is earlier that the regular registration deadline. Awardees will be notified by October 14.

The following information is required:

  • Indicate your eligibility category
  • Indicate if you are a US citizen, non-citizen US national, US lawful permanent resident, or none of those
  • Short statements entered directly within the website (max 250 words each):
    • Describing an obstacle (research or other) that has limited your accessibility to research opportunities
    • Describing how attending ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium will help you reach your academic and professional goals
  • Single pdf document containing:
    • CV/resume (NIH-style biosketch, or any format) including description of experiences or courses that led to your interest in spine research
    • Letter of support from institution (can be from your department chair or research advisor) justifying why this award is necessary for you to attend ORS/PSRS International Spine Research Symposium and committing to additional financial support for you to attend (as necessary)

Examples of underrepresented populations in spine research (not exclusive list): African/Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, people with disabilities, veterans, first generation college students, and or low socioeconomic status.