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Ziskind Clinical Research Scholar Award

Morton Ziskind
Morton Ziskind, MD
(photo courtesy of
Tulane University Archives)


The Ziskind Clinical Research Scholar Award is an ATS Scholarship Award that honors pulmonary and critical care fellows engaged in clinical research. The award was named after Morton Ziskind, MD, a highly respected clinician-researcher from Tulane University who died in 1979 and was renowned for bringing his fellows to the ATS International Conferences and exposing them to memorable learning experiences. To honor his inspiring mentoring practices, the ATS created this award program to recognize the best and the brightest individuals in clinical research. View previous Ziskind Clinical Research Scholar Awardees.


The Ziskind Clinical Research Scholar Award is for early career ATS members that have demonstrated exceptional ability in leadership, scholarship, academic success, and ATS involvement. To be considered for the Ziskind Clinical Research Scholar Award (a one-time award of $5,000), individuals must first be nominated by a research mentor or fellowship program director or associate director. The ATS strives for diversity and inclusion and encourages nominations of individuals from underrepresented populations in the US biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social science research enterprises as defined by the NIH (NOT-OD-20-031: Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity). The ATS also encourages nominations of international researchers. The ATS defines “international” as someone who does not reside in North America.  

For this award, patient-oriented research is defined as research conducted with human subjects or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena. This area of research includes: 1) mechanisms of human disease; 2) therapeutic interventions; 3) clinical trials; and 4) the development of new technologies. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues but do not deal directly with patients. In other words, patient-oriented research is research in which it is necessary to know the identity of the patients from whom the data, cells or tissues are derived.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must have completed MD or DO no more than nine years ago (i.e. in 2015 or later).  If there are extenuating circumstances, please email Leslie Engel.
  • Must be within first four years of enrollment in an adult or pediatric pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship. 1
  • Must demonstrate early success in patient-oriented research as defined by the NIH and described above.
  • Must have submitted an abstract to the ATS 2024 International Conference.
  • Must be an ATS member at the time of application.
  • Must NOT have received an extramural career development award at the time of application (e.g., K award, VA career development award, or equivalent)2.
  • Individuals enrolled in training programs outside the U.S. are eligible and encouraged to apply.

How do I nominate a fellow?

Call for nominations open in January of the cycle year. Only one applicant is allowed from any given institution and must meet the eligibility criteria above.

Please submit the following in your nomination application:

  • Nomination letter from a research mentor, fellowship program director, or associate director (two-page limit).
    • The letter should state why the nominee is considered an “outstanding clinical research scholar” and provide details as to why this person will be a future leader in patient-oriented research and in the ATS. The letter should describe institutional support for the applicant, and acknowledge that only one applicant has been nominated from that institution.
  • Curriculum vitae of the nominee.
  • Personal statement of the nominee stating their future goals (one-page limit).
  • Copy of the abstract submitted to ATS 2024 International Conference by the nominated fellow.
  • Applications must be approved by their respective division or department leadership to ensure that only one applicant is submitted from that institution. 

How are nominations reviewed?

All applications will be evaluated for achievements in the following areas: leadership, scholarship, grants, and ATS involvement. The review committee takes a broad approach to assessing nominations for this award and considers these criteria holistically. In particular, reviewers focus on an individual’s career trajectory and potential for excellence in patient-oriented research.  

Awards Cyle Timeline 

  • January 16, 2024: Call for Nominations opens
  • February 16, 2024: Nominations deadline 
  • May 2024: Awardee notification 


Questions related to the Ziskind Clinical Research Scholar Award Program can be directed to Leslie Engel.


Nominate Here




1. Anyone who is in a combined training program that extends beyond the 4 years will also be considered. However, please email Leslie Engel with your specific situation for confirmation before applying.

2. Fellowship awards (e.g., F32, Parker B. Francis, etc.) and intramural career awards are allowed. Please contact Leslie Engel if there are eligibility questions.