News Release

SfN receives largest ever bequest, establishes new endowed fund

Grant and Award Announcement

Society for Neuroscience

Washington, D.C. – The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has received $1.025 million from the estate of John I. Simpson, PhD, making it the largest bequest ever received by the Society. With the funds, the SfN Executive Committee voted to create a new long-term endowed fund, The John I. Simpson Fund, and will use the income from its investments to create and perpetually fund John I. Simpson Trainee Professional Development Awards (TPDAs) beginning at Neuroscience 2023.  

“John Simpson was a longtime SfN member and donor who focused his giving to support neuroscience trainees from around the world,” said SfN President Oswald Steward. “SfN is delighted to honor his memory and tremendous gift by ensuring that future neuroscience trainees benefit from his generosity in perpetuity.” 

The annual contribution by the John I. Simpson Fund will support between 30 and 40 TPDAs every year. Like other donations to TPDAs at levels of $25,000 or greater, the annual John I. Simpson Fund contribution will be matched by $25,000 from SfN Council, providing an additional 30–40 awards annually.  As TPDAs currently represent the Society’s highest fundraising priority, SfN Council is committed to supporting as many early career scientists as possible through this matching initiative. 

TPDAs recognize undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who demonstrate scientific merit and excellence in research. The awards are highly competitive as recipients receive a travel stipend to offset the costs of attending Neuroscience 2023, as well as complimentary meeting registration and enrollment in a year-long virtual professional development program.  

With Simpson’s legacy as one example, SfN welcomes philanthropy from its membership and beyond to support a range of activities and initiatives to advance the neuroscience field. Those interested in advancing neuroscience through estate planning, bequests, or other charitable donations are encouraged to contact SfN’s at or visit the SfN development webpage.  

John I. Simpson, professor emeritus at the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University Langone Health, was a 34-year member of SfN. He passed away in 2020 at age 80.  


The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 35,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and the nervous system. 

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