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Sumiko Okada Scholarship

The Sumiko Okada International Fellowship Fund is a research grant honoring Sumiko Okada, a Japanese speech pathologist, who contributed to the field of dysphagia with her publications and yearly presentations and posters at DRS Annual Meetings.

The Fund was jointly established by the Japanese Society of Dysphagia Rehabilitation (JSDR) and the DRS to subsidize international expenses for young researchers in the field of dysphagia. This award is currently being funded entirely by the Japanese Dysphagia Research Society.

Award recipients will present their research findings in an oral presentation (in English) during the annual meeting of the Japanese Society of Dysphagia Rehabilitation.

The award will provide up to two awards per year to cover travel and registration expenses for young researchers to attendthe JSDR Annual Meeting. Each award will be worth 300,000 yen (approximately $3,000).

Allowable Uses:
Award recipients will be reimbursed for up to $3,000 for expenses to attend the Japanese- Korean Joint Swallowing Conference and JSDR Annual Meeting. Award recipients must make their own travel arrangements. Allowable expenses include:

  • Event registration
  • Basic airfare and ground transportation
  • Hotel stay
  • Meal allowance


  • Applicants must be under the age of 40 at the time of application,
  • Japanese citizens and residents of Japan are ineligible for this award,
  • Applicant must be a DRS member or student member in good standing (current with all dues payments),
  • Training members (e.g., student, post-doc, fellows) must provide an official letter from their department verifying fulltime enrollment and good standing status in their program,
  • Applicants must have an abstract officially accepted to the DRS Annual Meeting. If an applicant has more than one accepted abstract, the applicant must choose one specific abstract to use for this award application,
  • And eligibility is for those within 10 years after the award date of terminal degree, which is PhD or MD - physician or dentist. Terminal degree is at the doctoral level, hence PhD and MD candidates are eligible to apply. 


  • Awardees are expected to keep all DRS dues payments current,
  • Award recipients will present their research findings in an oral presentation (in English) during the annual meeting of the Japanese Society of Dysphagia Rehabilitation,
  • Awardees will provide a copy of legal identification, such as a driver’s license or passport to the Awards & Scholarships Committee for verification of date of birth and place of residence,
  • Awardees may be asked to provide a brief presentation at the DRS Annual Business Meeting following the JSDR Conference,
  • And each awardee can only receive these funds one time.

The Awards & Scholarships Committee will grade applications based on the following:

  • Two-Page letter of interest, describing why the applicant should be considered for this award,
  • NIH-Style Biosketch in NIH format, (5 pages max) (NIH biosketch format required, click here for requirements),
  • Two recommendation letters from current DRS members. (Each must be current DRS members), 
  • Official notification letter from DRS of abstract acceptance to the 2020 DRS Annual Meeting,
  • Complete Copy of the specific abstract accepted for the 2020 DRS Annual Meeting,
  • Structured research summary of research study (3-4 pages max),
  • Research summary must be organized as follows and must include the following details:
    • Title,
    • Authors (principal investigator and co-investigators),
    • Specific Aims,
    • Background,
    • Significance,
    • Methods and Research Design,
    • Variables and Statistical Analysis Plan,
    • Hypothesis/Hypotheses,
    • Results/Findings,
    • Conclusions,
    • Future Directions/Implications of Research,
    • And references.

The Sumiko Okada Scholarship application has now closed. Please contact the DRS office at (not .com) if you have any additional questions. 

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