(Pictured: 2020 ORS Spine Section Award Recipients)

The ORS Spine Section was the first research section formed within the ORS. Over the past several years, the membership community has grown to over 300 Section members.

The ORS Spine Section leadership has continued to develop ideas for initiatives that bring value to its Section members, particularly junior investigators. This fellowship promotes research collaboration and the acceleration of the spine field. This fellowship is designed to advance an ongoing study or establish new collaborations by providing a mechanism to promote exchange of research methodologies and/or development of pilot data to support larger scale funding.

The fellowship will recognize an applicant and a host PI and provide $1,500 to support the travel of the applicant for research exchange with the host PI.


  • The award will recognize an applicant and a host PI and provide $1,500 to support the travel of the applicant for research exchange with the host PI.
  • Award funds should be used to cover the costs of furthering an ongoing piece of research or act as a pilot project fostering new collaborations.


Host: The host should be a well-established researcher who has demonstrated an outstanding and sustained commitment to training and collaboration. The host can be at any career stage beyond their PhD, MD, or DVM with a well-documented and sustained track-record of collaboration, with particular emphasis given to diversity and inclusion. The host must also have clearly demonstrated impactful research relevant to the applicant’s research project; this may be viewed in its broadest sense.

Applicant: The applicant must be an ORS and ORS Spine Section member in good standing. The applicant can be a graduate trainee, or at any career stage beyond their MD, PhD, DVM or equivalent with a promising (for trainee applicants) or sustained (for faculty applicants) track-record of research impact.

The research collaboration or proposed project must be in line with the research interests of the ORS Spine Section.


Submission package must include:

  • A completed online application, providing evidence of outstanding collaboration and research training, with special emphasis on the host’s substantive and on-going contributions to diversity and inclusive excellence.
  • The application should document a coherent and significant advancement to be made to the applicant research skills or project need.
  • Recent CVs of the applicant and host in support of the application.
  • Letter (2-page max) from the host / host institution endorsing the exchange/travel.

The Call for Submissions is Now Closed.

General Information:

The purpose of this fellowship is to enable Spine Section members to expand their expertise and research network with a travel fellowship that complements or extends their expertise.

The applicant (ORS Spine Section member) can visit a lab of a host PI (either a Spine Section member or a PI non-Section member if well justified).  

Applications will be submitted for the travel fellowship by an applicant / host team. Special emphasis in award selection will be given to applicant/host teams that promote diversity and inclusion in research collaboration.

The fellowship will be presented at the ORS Spine Section Scientific Meeting during the ORS Annual Meeting.

Applicant will receive $1,500 to support travel or exchange costs for research training or pilot data collection.

The applicant must attend the subsequent ORS Spine Section Scientific Meeting and present their experience.

Completion of a summary report of up to 500 words along with up to 4 photographs illustrating aspects of the travel or exchange are required.

The summary report must be submitted to the Spine Section within 6 weeks of completion of travel or exchange.

Completed reports should be sent to the ORS Spine Section Chair and ORS office.

Summary report content and photographs may be used to promote the award and the ORS Spine Section, including use in the Spine Section e-newsletter, The Spinal Column.

Submission of fellowship details of expenditure along with copies of receipts.  

2024Emma Coltoff
2023Jenna Wahbeh
2022Irina Heggli
2021Neharika Bhadouria

The section was launched in March 2015 at the ORS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada by the organizers of the Spine Research Interest Group (RIG) and the ORS. The Spine Research Section will play an important role in our diverse ORS community and to the future of patient care. Learn more.

The ORS Spine Section represents the voice of spine research and sciences within the ORS community and beyond, and advance spine research and related sciences to improve patient care through basic, translational and clinical research.

Since ORS Sections are integral parts of the Society, Section membership requires membership in the ORS. All current members of the ORS are eligible to join one or more Sections of the ORS paying appropriate Section membership dues.

ORS Members
If you are currently an ORS member, and would like to add a Section membership, please complete the Join an ORS Research Section application.

Not a Current Member of ORS?
Join the ORS and an ORS Section today by completing the online membership application.