Grants & Fellowship
Grants and Fellowships

The William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship was established by the estate of Dr. Van Wagenen, who was one of the founders and the first President of the Harvey Cushing Society, now the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Following his neurosurgical residency with Harvey Cushing, Dr. Van Wagenen traveled and studied in Europe, broadening his knowledge of neurological surgery and the related basic sciences. This was done at the recommendation of Dr. Cushing, much as Cushing had done, following the example of Sir William Osler.

In considering what contribution of a permanent nature he might make to neurosurgery, Dr. Van Wagenen chose to provide support to a post neurosurgical resident for foreign travel for scientific enrichment, prior to beginning an academic career in neurological surgery. The Van Wagenen Fellowship was designed to give freedom in scientific development without the restrictive limitations usually imposed by many research grants and fellowships.

Awarded annually, this prestigious Fellowship provides:

  • $120,000 stipend for living and travel expenses to a foreign country for a period of 12 months.
  • A family travel and living allowance of $6,000 is available if spouse and/or children are accompanying the Fellow.
  • $15,000 of research support is available to the University, hospital or laboratory, which has agreed to sponsor the Van Wagenen Fellow.
  • If needed, $5,000 is available for medical insurance.

Candidacy for the fellowship is open to all senior neurosurgical residents (PGY 7) in approved neurosurgery residency programs and whose intent is to pursue an academic career in neurological surgery. The fellowship is expected to conclude the year following completion of residency. The country of study must be different than the country of residence.

Application should be submitted with letters of reference, including one from the applicant's Program Director. A letter from the proposed sponsor and documentation of intent to pursue an academic career, while not required, will strengthen the application.

The Van Wagenen Selection Committee will consider the originality and quality of the applicant's proposal, the thoroughness with which the plan for a period abroad has been designed, personal attributes, and the quality of the research environment. Recommendations from the candidate's previous sponsors and fellowship sponsors are important.

Please submit the completed application by October 31, 2014 to:

Van Wagenen Selection Committee
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
5550 Meadowbrook Drive
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-3852

Click here for the 2015-16 William P. Van Wagenen Application

Click here to view our FAQ.

Submit Application Electronically*:
*Please note that electronic applications must contain all documents combined into one PDF.

By January 15, 2015 the Chairman of the Van Wagenen Selection Committee will notify the winning applicant, who will be expected to implement the fellowship within six months following notification. A formal announcement of the award will be made at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Lisa Anne Feldman, MD, PhD

Congratulations to the 2015-2016
William P. Van Wagenen
Fellowship recipient:

Lisa Anne Feldman, MD, PhD

Virginia Commonwealth University

Project Title: Perfluorocarbons as a Novel Treatment for Radiation Necrosis

Sponsor: Mr. Edward Mee, University of Auckland

To read more about the 2015 Van Wagenen Fellowship recipient, click here.

Van Wagenen Fellows Yearbook: Names and photos below represent recipients of the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship. There is no better way to describe the salubrious effects of foreign study than through example, and each of these doctors has a story to tell.

Click here for a Yearbook of Past Van Wagenen Fellows

Van Wagenen Fellow List of Hosting Institutions: A list of reference from previous fellows which includes host institution, host country and year of fellowship. As you know, the country of study must be different than the country of residence.

Click here for a List of Host Institutions

"The Van Wagenen Fellowship remains the most recognized and prestigious award that can be attained by a resident aspiring to become an academic neurosurgeon. For me the Van Wagenen Fellowship provided opportunities and a perspective on neurosurgery that have lasted a lifetime."
~ William F. Chandler, MD, 1977 William P. Van Wagenen Fellow

If you have any questions about the fellowship offered through the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, please feel free to contact our office at 847-378-0500 or by email at

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