Select Page

James A. O’Neill, Jr. Global Pediatric Surgery Scholarship

Named after pediatric surgeon Dr. James A. O’Neill, Jr., the Global Research Scholarship Program promotes the development of meaningful research approaches in resource-constrained environments. The program offers an opportunity for APSA members to respond to the pediatric surgical needs of low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Jim O’Neill, a brief history.

Dr. Jim O’Neill, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

Dr. O’Neill’s initial experiences with international medical service were in Guatemala, where he provided pediatric surgical care, and in China with Project Hope, where he helped establish a children’s hospital in Shanghai. After stepping down as chair of the Section of Surgical Services at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, O’Neill dedicated more time to the development of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and to international humanitarian medical work.

He became active in the American College of Surgeon’s Operation Giving Back Program and was a key player in both the clinical arena as a pediatric surgeon and in the education of surgical residents at two hospitals in Kenya — the Naivasha District Hospital and AIC Kijabe Hospital. He sits on many editorial boards and has authored more than 300 publications and edited one of the classic textbooks, the two-volume Pediatric Surgery.

Dr. O’Neill is a member of many professional societies and has held numerous leadership positions, including chair of the AAP Section on Surgery executive committee, president of the American Pediatric Surgical Association and director of the American Board of Surgery. He sits on many editorial boards and has authored more than 300 publications, including the two-volume Pediatric Surgery. Dr. O’Neill’s research interests include trauma and burns, neonatal physiology, oncology, biliary disorders, conjoined twins, vascular disorders and workforce issues. He has received honors from seven universities and has given lectures throughout the world.

Seeing the positive outcomes of your efforts and a life well lived.

            Jim O’Neill, on the most rewarding part of volunteerism.

Trainees, colleagues and many others who crossed paths with O’Neill have spoken of his humility and love for people. He has received many awards and honors, including the prestigious William E. Ladd Medal (AAP), the Arnold Salzberg Award (AAP), the Humanitarian Award (APSA), and the International Volunteerism Award (ACS).

Dr. O’Neill spent decades working to establish and sustain surgical education and improve surgical care in underserved regions of the world. He has made many contributions during a career dedicated to the provision of surgical care to underserved children. Naming of the Scholarship recognizes Dr. O’Neill’s monumental contributions.

Equity in healthcare is an ethical initiative.
Do something worthwhile.
Live a meaningful life.

Eligibility and Application

The Grant’s Goal
To encourage high quality research into pediatric surgical disease and care in regions of health inequity and resource constraints across the globe.

Who Should Apply
Pediatric surgeons from low- and middle income (LMIC) countries are encouraged to apply for this grant.

Award Prize
Awards range from $5,000 USD (individual) to $25,000 USD (institution).

Priority given to projects that engage quality improvement, innovation, prospective, or interventional studies; utilize multidisciplinary teams and family-centered care; potential for defined impact and/or sustainability.

Applications for the 2024 grant were accepted through February 15, 2024. Please check back in December for information about the 2025 grant.

Past Grant Recipients

2024 Grant Winners

Dr. Alicia Massenga

Buganda Medical Centre, Tanzania

Emergent Management and Transfer of Gastroschisis Patients in Northern Tanzania: Referral Survey, Toolkit development, and Implementation Assessment

Dr. Felix Oyania

Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda

Stepwise Intervention to Improve Mental Health and Inclusion for Children with Stomas in Uganda

Generous donations from APSA members help transform our mission and vision into reality. No donation is too small, and all donations go toward our goal of saving all lifetimes.