The Rising Scientist Awards are given annually to outstanding high school students in the New York metro area who show exceptional promise in science or neuroscience. Each spring the Child Mind Institute and the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center invite New York-area high schools to nominate their best 11th grade science student candidate for this honor. Awards are presented in the fall, as the winners enter their senior year, at our annual On the Shoulders of Giants scientific symposium.

To be selected for the Rising Scientist Awards, a student must demonstrate:

  • Outstanding achievement in science studies, as evidenced by strong academic performance in science courses, participation in related extracurricular activities and proficiency in scientific research studies or independent research.
  • A commitment to understanding and addressing difficult scientific questions, as evidenced by special projects, presentations and/or publications.
  • An interest in scientific research in the field of child and adolescent mental health or pediatric neuroscience.

A preference will be given to New York City public school students.

Each of the 2017 Rising Scientists will receive:

  • A $2,000 scholarship for college expenses and a Rising Scientist Awards certificate, presented in a special ceremony at the Child Mind Institute’s On the Shoulders of Giants scientific symposium.
  • An invitation for student winners, their parents and their faculty sponsors to attend an intimate breakfast event with special guests at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, including the Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award recipient.
  • Recognition in press releases distributed to national media outlets, on the Child Mind Institute website and in targeted social media promotion.

The nomination period for the 2017 program opens on March 6 and closes on June 30, 2017. For more information about the program or nomination guidelines, see the Frequently Asked Questions page or email

Our partner in presenting the Rising Scientist Awards 

The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most. Together with our supporters, we’re helping children reach their full potential in school and in life. We share all of our resources freely and do not accept any funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Learn more at