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Pre-Doctoral Fellowships - Individual NRSA


F30 - Individual NRSA for MD-PhD or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Students

Starting with the August 8, 2016 receipt date, NINDS will use the F30 NRSA mechanism (PA-16-306) ONLY to support students at institutions without formal NIH-funded institutional predoctoral dual-degree training programs.  Students at institutions with formal NIH-funded predoctoral dual-degree training programs may apply for F31 NRSA funding (PA-16-309), which supports graduate education only. 

For the F30 mechanism. NINDS will provide funding to applicants who are within 8 years of starting their entire MD/PhD training – funded awards will not extend beyond the 8th year in the MD/PhD program. NINDS holds strictly to the eligibility requirements described in the F30 FOA. Applicants must be within the first 48 months of their entire dual degree program to submit an initial (A0) application. A minimum of 50% of F30 funding must support research training leading to the research doctorate (during this time, 100% of full time effort to research training is expected, with a maximum of ½ day per week allowed for clinical training experiences).

Should the awardee’s timeline change following submission of an F30 application, the award will be adjusted as needed to maintain the requirement that a minimum of 50% of the support be used toward research training (at 100% full time effort). Applicants are expected to contact NINDS if there is a change in plans either before or after the award is made. For awards to be made, applications must clearly indicate the timeline of the entire dual degree program, and the portion of that program for which the award is requested.

For the F31 mechanism. NINDS will provide funding to applicants who are within 8 years of starting their entire MD/PhD training and within 6 years of starting their research training towards the PhD degree –funded awards will not extend beyond these training periods. 100% of full time effort must be devoted to research training. However, approximately ½ day per week may be devoted to continued clinical education.

For all Fellowship mechanisms. Whereas it is expected that the applicant will work with the mentor to develop the application, the applicant should write an original research plan consistent with the mentor’s funded research. Applicants should not simply be working towards fulfillment of specific aims already devised by the mentor. In addition, applicants are strongly advised not to write in the second person, or to refer to themselves in the third person. It is critical that NINDS and reviewers understand what the applicant is doing, what the applicant is proposing, what the applicant him/herself has written, and what has or will be done by others in the research environment.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the before preparing an application, as NINDS will consider only those applications that are designed to support the training and development of scientists with interests relevant to the mission of NINDS.

  • See NINDS Program Announcement:  PA-16-306
  • Revised: Notice of Reissuance of Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Fellowship (Parent F30): NOT-OD-16-107
  • NRSA FY2016 Stipend levels: NOT-OD-16-062
  • Application form SF 424
  • Application Receipt Dates: April 8, August 8, and December 8



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F31 - Individual NRSA for PhD Students

NINDS provides National Research Service Award (NRSA) predoctoral training fellowships (F31) to promising applicants with the potential to become productive, independent investigators in the scientific mission areas of the Institute. NINDS uses this mechanism to support the career development of neuroscientists (some rare exceptions apply), so the applicant must propose dissertation research in an area within the scientific mission of the NINDS and a training program appropriate for a career in neuroscience research. The mentor should be committed to the successful transition of the applicant to a subsequent appropriate position, have a strong track record in training, and have an active, funded research program in the area of the applicant's proposed research. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NINDS Training Office before preparation of an application to determine whether their proposed training and research falls within the NINDS mission. This program will provide predoctoral training support for doctoral candidates who are within their first 6 years of graduate school, have or will have successfully completed their comprehensive examinations or the equivalent by the time of award, and will be performing dissertation research and training. Support will be provided for a maximum of 3 years and a minimum of 12 months. The applicant should provide evidence of potential for a productive research career based upon the quality of previous research training and academic record. The research training program should be carried out in a research environment that includes appropriate human and technical resources and is demonstrably committed to the research training of the applicant in the program he/she proposes in the application.

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F31 - Individual NRSA for Diversity PhD Students

NINDS provides National Research Service Award (NRSA) training fellowships to outstanding predoctoral candidates from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The intent of this program is to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented populations in biomedical research.  Award recipients will receive up to five years of research training leading to a PhD. or equivalent research degree, a combined MD-PhD. degree, or another formally combined professional and research doctoral degree in biomedical, behavioral, health services, or clinical sciences who are within their first 6 years of graduate school. Support is NOT available for individuals enrolled in medical or other professional schools UNLESS they are enrolled in a combined professional doctorate/PhD degree program in biomedical or behavioral research. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Michelle Jones-London, for additional information.

Applicants are required to submit a letter with the application certifying eligibility of the Fellowship Applicant for this program. This letter must be received by the NIH by the application due date, or the application will be considered incomplete and not reviewed. Specifically, information must be submitted by the applicant Institution in a letter certifying that the applicant belongs to one of the following groups as further defined in PA-16-308 (see section on Eligible Individuals): (A) An individual from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis; or (B) An individual with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The certification letter (titled: Diversity_Eligibility_Ltr) must be attached under Item 12 “Other Attachments” in the Section titled “Other Project Information Form.”  The letter must be on institutional letterhead and scanned so that an institutional official signature is visible. 


F99/K00 - NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award

The purpose of the NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students who are from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers. For the F99/K00 award, individuals may receive up to 6 years combined support for both phases, which includes up to 2 years in the F99 fellowship phase and up to 4 years in the K00 career development phase.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit a Letter of Intent to Dr. Michelle Jones-London. See Program Announcement for details. The due date for the Letter of Intent is 30 days prior to the application due date.

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Last Modified November 2, 2016