Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scientists

Funding for graduate and postdoctoral research and during the transition-to-independent researcher period is available from governmental professional research societies and/or private organizations. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has the most comprehensive approach for research funding from the graduate (F30, F31), postdoctoral (F32) to the transition to independence stage (K awards) and provides a good overview of types of funding to consider at different career stages. The National Science Foundation provides mechanisms for funding postdoctoral researchers as does the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other related professional development opportunities, such as writing and leadership, are included here as well.

General Resources / Grant Writing Help / Travel Funds

General Resources:

Grant Writing

  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Grant Writing Workshop

    The three-day grant writing and mentorship workshop is for assistant professors and postdoctoral scientists preparing to transition into an independent faculty position.

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  • Cold Spring Harbor Scientific Writing Retreat

    This retreat for postdoctoral researchers or young faculty focuses on having participants make strong progress on a current writing project that they bring to the retreat. At the same time they can improve the overall writing skills. Topics covered include: Publication writing for scientific journals; Writing NIH grants; writing for diverse audience and an overview of tips for improving your writing style. The retreat will include a mix formal sessions and less structured writing time.

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  • Communicative Disorders 900: Seminar on Grant Preparation and Writing

    This seminar for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers focuses on issues related to grant preparation and protocol development, with emphasis on challenges faced by new investigators in establishing an initial research program. The primary focus is on NIH funding, but alternative sources will be explored. NIH funding programs aimed at new investigators will be reviewed, including F31, F32, R03, K series, R01, R21, P01, P30, and P50 awards. An overview will be provided of the structure of the NIH, components of grant applications and administration, scientific review process and revision process.

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  • ICTR Scientific Writing Workshop And Related Online Courses

    These workshops target residents, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and junior faculty new to UW-Madison in health professions who conduct clinical research. They are designed to meet individual and institutional needs to enhance training programs for clinical investigators. Lectures, discussions and writing exercises are used to teach knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in manuscript and grant writing.

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  • The Writing Center

    The center offers courses for writing literature reviews, graduate research proposals, conference presentations, dissertations as well as several classes on writing for the academic job market.

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  • UW-Madison Graduate School

    Several campus offices offer workshops on writing successful grant proposals, with some workshops devoted to applying for particular awards.

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Travel Funds

Research Funding – Graduate Students

Government

  • Food and Drug Administration Postgraduate Research Program

    This allows recent graduates (postdoctoral, predoctoral, and postbaccalaurate) an opportunity to initiate and conduct independent or collaborative research that complements projects at the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). Appointments are for one year and may be extended in one-year increments up to three years.

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  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program

    NDSEG fellowships support graduates who will pursue a doctoral degree in, or closely related to, an area of Department of Defense interest. Disciplines include aeronautical and astronautical engineering; biosciences, chemical engineering; chemistry; cognitive, neural, and behavioral sciences; electrical engineering; geosciences; civil engineering; computer and computational sciences; materials science and engineering; mathematics; mechanical engineering; naval architecture and ocean engineering; oceanography; and physics. The DOD plans to award approximately 200 new three-year graduate fellowships.

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  • NIH Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA)

    NIH has a series of grants for training scientists from the undergraduate to senior scientist level. These awards focus on training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. F-series grants are submitted by an individual investigator (student or postdoctoral researcher), while the T-series are awarded to institutions for a program that trains multiple students or postdoctoral scientists and are submitted by established principal investigators. The goal is helping ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.

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  • F30 Individual Predoctoral NRSA for MD/PhD Trainees

    This fellowship enhances the integrated research and clinical training of promising predoctoral students who are enrolled in a combined MD/PhD or other dual-doctoral degree training program, and who intend careers as physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists. Applicants must propose an integrated research and clinical training plan and a dissertation research project in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The fellowship experience is expected to clearly enhance the individuals’ potential to develop into productive, independent physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists.

  • F31 NRSA for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships – Parent Program

    These fellowships enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The proposed mentored research training must reflect the applicant’s dissertation research project and is expected to clearly enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist.

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  • F31 NRSA for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research – Parent Program for Diversity

    The program addresses individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by NSF to be underrepresented in health-related sciences nationally, individuals with physical or mental disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. The applicant must be at the dissertation research stage of their training and must show evidence of both high academic performance in the sciences and substantial interest in a research area of high priority to the participating Institutes. An applicant must have a baccalaureate degree and be currently enrolled in a PhD or equivalent research degree program in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences at an accredited domestic or foreign institution.

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  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

    The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The program provides three years of support for students in the early stages of graduate study. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States.

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  • Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

    Computational science is interdisciplinary by nature, using algorithms, mathematics and computers to analyze and solve scientific and engineering problems. This program helps nurture this cross-cutting foundation, resulting in scientists who may reside in science, mathematics, engineering or computer science departments but share an interest in research using computing and mathematical methods. The program also helps these computational scientists develop a sense of community that’s often difficult to find in a single academic department. Students in their first or second year of graduate study in the physical, engineering, computer, mathematical, or life sciences are eligible.

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  • USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Predoctoral Fellowships Grant Program

    The program goal is to develop the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. It’s focused on developing technical and functional competence for predoctoral students and the research independence and teaching credentials of postdoctoral students in the agriculture, forestry, and food sciences challenge areas. For metabolism researchers, relevant focus areas include plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; and food safety, human nutrition, and health.

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Professional Research Societies

  • American Society for Microbiology Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship

    Eligible candidates must be from groups that have been determined by the applicant's institution to be underrepresented in the microbiological sciences, have successfully completed the first year of the graduate program (first year graduate students cannot apply), have successfully completed all graduate coursework requirements for the doctoral degree by the date of activation of the fellowship, be a student member of ASM and be mentored by an ASM member, and be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. Candidates must not have funding OR have funding that will expire by the start date of the fellowship. Three-year tenure for senior-level graduate students from historically excluded and underrepresented groups to conduct research in microbiology.

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  • American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship Program

    The goal of this program is to recognize outstanding pre-doctoral students engaged in medicinal chemistry research. Pre-doctoral students engaged in medicinal chemistry research in a medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, biochemistry, or chemistry department listed in the current ACS Directory of Graduate Research. Must be US citizen or permanent resident visa holders at the time of application. Must have at least 1 yr of graduate school remaining at the time of the award.

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  • American Physiological Society

    The Porter Physiology Development Program provides 1-2 year full-time graduate fellowships in programs leading to the Ph.D. in the physiological sciences at U.S. institutions. The program is open to underrepresented racial and ethnic minority applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its territories and are student members of the Society. The fellowship provides: i) An annual stipend equivalent to NIH pre-doctoral stipend levels; ii) Online professional development activities on networking skills and career development; iii) Opportunities for K-12 outreach and other professional service.

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Private Organizations

  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships

    Fellowships provide three years of support for individuals engaged in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree. Predoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

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  • Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

    This year the program will award approximately 36 dissertation fellowships. The dissertation fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a dissertation leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree. The Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship is intended to support the final year of writing and defense of the dissertation. Dissertation fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

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  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) - Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study

    The goal of the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study program is to ensure the development of a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles in science, including college and university faculty, who have the responsibility to teach the next generation of scientists. Students are chosen for their academic excellence, scientific potential, and commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the sciences. Eligibility: Students nominated by T32 predoctoral training grant principal investigators (PIs) supported by the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS); each nominated student must be training grant eligible but does not need to have been a T32 trainee.

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  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) - International Student Research Fellowships

    This fellowship program supports outstanding international predoctoral students studying in the United States who are ineligible for fellowships or training grants through U.S. federal agencies. Participation is by invitation only. Nominated students must be in their second or third year of study to apply for the fellowship. To activate the fellowship, students must be in the third or fourth year of a PhD program at one of the designated institutions. Students in the first, second, or fifth year of their PhD programs cannot activate the fellowship. In no case will support be provided past year five of a PhD program. Students invited to participate in this program are eligible for a fellowship to support years three, four, and five of a PhD program. Eligible fields of study include biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering, and plant biology—as well as interdisciplinary research.

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  • Pharma Foundation

    Predoctoral support is availble to assist full-time, in-residence Ph.D. candidates in the fields of pharmacology or toxicology. Applicants must be enrolled in USA schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry or veterinary medicine. The program supports full-time advanced students who will have completed the bulk of their pre-thesis requirements (at least two years of study) and are engaged in thesis research as Ph.D. candidates by the time the award is activated. Students just starting in graduate school should not apply. Fellowships for up to two years of stipend funding to support full-time advanced students who are engaged in thesis research as Ph.D. candidates by the time the award is activated. Fellows are expected to complete their Ph.D. requirements in two years or less from the time the fellowship begins. An applicant must be a full-time, in-residence Ph.D. candidate. The awards may not be used to supplement funds from other fellowships, traineeships, or assistantships, unless necessary to make stipend levels compliant with institutional policy. For those interested in metabolism the two relevant areas supported by this program are in Informatics and Pharmacology/Toxicology.

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  • United Negro College Fund – Merck Graduates Science Research Dissertation Fellowship

    Each fellowship includes a stipend for the Fellow and a small research Grant to support the research needs of the Fellow. The fellowship stipend is intended to cover from 12-24 months of fellowship tenure. Each UNCF • Merck graduate Fellow will be mentored by a Merck scientist and will be expected to maintain regular contact with his/her mentor. Each Fellow will present a progress report of research work during the last half of the fellowship tenure. This fellowship does not pay tuition. This program is only open to African Americans.

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  • Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

    It honors and supports the graduate education of 30 New Americans – permanent residents or naturalized citizens if born abroad; otherwise children of naturalized citizen parents -- each year. Each fellow receives tuition and living expenses that can total as much as $90,000 over two academic years. Fellows can study in any degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States. Fellows are selected on the basis of merit – the specific criteria emphasize creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishment -- in annual national competitions. Candidates apply directly. A New American is an individual who (1) is a resident alien; i.e., holds a Green Card, or, (2) has been naturalized as a U.S. citizen, or (3) is the child of two parents who are both naturalized citizens. The applicant must either have a bachelor's degree or be in her/his final year of undergraduate study. The Trustees strongly encourage applications from candidates who have not yet begun their graduate studies, but full consideration will be given to candidates in the first or second years of graduate studies in their current program.

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  • Wellcome Trust

    This is a partnership between the Trust and the NIH aimed at promoting the training of exceptional students in international collaborative biomedical research. The Sir Henry Welcome Postdoctoral Fellowship program will provide successful candidates with the support to train in some of the best laboratories in academic institutions in the UK/RoI and the USA. Students will undertake a collaborative project and be co-mentored by supervisors at both locations. It is envisioned that the student will spend an equal amount of time in both laboratories, although the specific division of time will be dictated by the nature of the research project. Students funded under this scheme will be integrated with the NIH Graduate Partnership Program, and will have access to the excellent support and benefits that the program provides. Support is for two years for stipend, tuition and some supply funds.

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Research Funding - Postdoctoral

Government

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner’s Fellowship Program

    The two year for individuals with a PhD, MD or other advanced degree combines rigorous graduate-level coursework with the development of a regulatory science research project. Under the guidance of an FDA senior scientist, fellows will explore a specific aspect of FDA regulatory science. This experience can be in a biology, physics, or engineering lab, in a clinical review team, in biostatistics, informatics, epidemiology, risk analysis, or in other aspects of FDA science. Fellows also have the opportunity to contribute to FDA's review of sponsor's applications for new products or to other regulatory reviews. They work with FDA scientists to develop better research and evaluation tools and approaches, ranging from assays for chemical or pathogen detection to methods to assess clinical or health care data.

    This program is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and allows recent postgraduates (postdoctoral, predoctoral, and postbaccalaurate) an opportunity to initiate and conduct independent or collaborative research that complements projects at the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). Appointments are for one year and may be extended in one-year increments up to three years upon recommendation of the FDA and subject to availability of funds.

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  • Food and Drug Administration Postgraduate Research Program

    This allows recent postgraduates (postdoctoral, predoctoral, and postbaccalaurate) an opportunity to initiate and conduct independent or collaborative research that complements projects at the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). Appointments are for one year and may be extended in one-year increments up to three years upon recommendation of the FDA and subject to availability of funds.

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  • NIH- Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) F32: Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship:

    The purpose of the Kirschstein-NRSA postdoctoral fellowship is to enhance the research training of promising postdoctoral candidates who have the potential to become productive, independent investigators in scientific health-related research fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The purpose of the Kirschstein-NRSA postdoctoral fellowship is to enhance the research training of promising postdoctoral candidates who have the potential to become productive, independent investigators in scientific health-related research fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The Kirschstein-NRSA F32 award may provide up to three years of support for postdoctoral research training. Note that if you have been supported by a T32 as a postdoctoral researcher that period of service counts within the 3 year maximal amount of support. The NIH encourages applications from individuals sufficiently early in their postdoctoral training period that they can benefit from the mentored research and training opportunities of an individual fellowship award.

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  • NIH National Human Genome Research Institute Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship:

    This is a fellowship program designed for genetics professionals with an advanced degree who are early in their careers and interested in the development and implementation of genetics-related health and research policies at a national level and who are interested in a transition to a career in science policy. This unique fellowship provides three separate types of experiences: time spent in the National Institutes of Health within the Executive Branch; a staff position on Capitol Hill serving elected officials in the Legislative Branch; and experience working with ASHG in the non-profit science advocacy sector. This provides experience for fellows in multiple areas of policy-making and helps build a professional network that advances their careers in policy.

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  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

    The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology. The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site. For FY 2015 and beyond, these BIO programs are (1) Broadening Participation of Groups Under-represented in Biology, (2) Research Using Biological Collections, and (3) National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. These areas change periodically as new scientific and infrastructure opportunities present themselves. For this reason, this solicitation will be changed as necessary to reflect the areas being funded. The research and training plan of each fellowship must address important scientific questions within the scope of the BIO Directorate and the specific guidelines in this fellowship program solicitation.

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  • USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Postdoctoral Fellowships Grant Program

    AFRI supports work in six priority areas: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition and health; bioenergy, natural resources and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities.

Professional Research Societies

  • American Cancer Society

    This award is to support the training of researchers who have received a doctoral degree to provide initial funding leading to an independent career in cancer research (including basic, preclinical, clinical, cancer control, psychosocial, behavioral, epidemiology, health services and health policy research). Awards include a stipend and a small fellowship allowance. Depending on availability of special endowment funds, the Society annually selects one or more of the top-ranked fellowships to be supplemented above the standard stipend.

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  • American Diabetes Association

    The Postdoctoral and Minority Postdoctoral Fellowships are two programs available to postdoctoral researchers (MD, MD/PhD, PhD, DVM, or equivalent) and provide research support for high quality training in disciplines and topics relevant to diabetes in an environment conducive to beginning a career in diabetes research. These fellowships are available to postdoctoral researchers (MD, MD/PhD, PhD, DVM, or equivalent) and provide research support for high quality training in disciplines and topics relevant to diabetes in an environment conducive to beginning a career in diabetes research. PhD, MD, PharmD, DO, DPM (or equivalent) with confirmed postdoctoral position by award start date. Applicants with more than 10 years research experience beyond conferral of their doctoral degree are not eligible for this award. Up to three years of support with training and fringe benefit allowances.

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  • American Heart Association

    Program descriptions for postdoctoral fellowships are released each September. This provides information on the research areas of interest to the society in relation to postdoctoral fellowships.

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  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

    Postdoctoral fellowships are designed to attract qualified, promising scientists entering their professional career in the T1D research field. The program is intended for those in a relatively early state in their career. The applicant is required to work with a sponsor who can provide a training environment conducive to beginning a career in type 1 diabetes-relevant research. At the time of activating the award, the applicant must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DMD, DVM), or the equivalent from an accredited institution and must not be simultaneously serving an internship or residency. Awards are for three years as long as progress is being made.

    The Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship program is designed to attract qualified and promising health scientists, to provide an opportunity to receive full time research training, and to assist these promising individuals in transitioning from a fellowship to an independent (faculty-level) position. JDRF envisions the 3-year award term as a period in which fellows will receive critical research training that will position them to work at the leading edge of their chosen field. An additional, optional 1-year transition award will further assist fellows to proceed to independent faculty or research appointments and will serve as a bridge between the fellowship and independent competitive research funding. During the fellowship phase, the applicant is required to work with a sponsor who can provide a training environment conducive to beginning a career in diabetes-relevant research. At the time of activating the award, the applicant must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DMD, DVM, or equivalent) from an accredited institution and must not be simultaneously serving an internship or residency.

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Private Organizations

  • Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowships

    This program provides one year of support for individuals engaged in postdoctoral study after the attainment of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree. Postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

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  • Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar Awards

    Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar Awards are open to U.S. scholars who have recently completed their doctoral degree – typically within the five previous years. Postdoctoral awards are available in STEM fields, the arts, humanities and social sciences. These grants present an excellent opportunity for recently minted scholars to deepen their expertise, to acquire new skills, to work with additional resources and to make connections with others in their fields. Grantees will be expected to engage with graduate students in the host country and to continue their specialized training in cutting edge research. In addition to their primary research or teaching activities, grantees will be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host country academic community.

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  • Helen Hay Whitney Foundation

    To attain its ultimate goal of increasing the number of imaginative, well-trained, and dedicated medical scientists, the Foundation grants financial support of a three-year duration to young men and women planning careers in biological or medical research. Under this program, approximately 24 three-year research fellowships are awarded annually.

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  • Life Sciences Research Foundation (LSRF)

    The LSRF believes that seminal advances in life sciences depend upon the training and support of the highest quality young scientists when they are embarking on exciting and adventuresome research as postdoctoral fellows. To promote this vision LSRF partners with the best young scientists with diverse sponsors who share common interests. Three years of support that covers stipend, limited fringe benefits, supplies, travel is available. Individuals who have held a PhD or MD degree for more than 5 years at the time of application are not eligible for an LSRF fellowship.

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After Your Postdoc – Transition to Independence Awards

  • NIH Pathway to Independence Awards

    NIH supports Research Training and Career Development programs to help prepare individuals for careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research. These fall in the “K award” mechanism. This site is organized to help you target your particular educational or career stage to find out what programs are available for you. It is important to keep in mind that program details and areas of emphasis may vary across NIH Institutes and Center. Therefore, you are encouraged to contact an Institute or Center training representatives to discuss specific programs and how they fit your training and career goals. There are a large number of K awards. Information on all of these awards can be found at the website listed below. For three of the most relevant K awards more detailed is provided below.

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  • K01 Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award

    The purpose of this program is to provide support and protected time for an intensive, supervised career development experience in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences leading to research independence. Some NIH Institutes use the K01 to enhance workforce diversity, or for individuals who propose to train in a new field, or for individuals who have had a hiatus in their research career.

  • K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award

    The purpose of this program is to prepare qualified individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation. This program provides support and protected time to individuals with a clinical doctoral degree for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research.

  • K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award

    The purpose of this program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators. This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers or clinician-scientists from mentored research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions, and to provide independent NIH research support during the transition that will help these individuals launch competitive, independent research careers.