F32 - NINDS Postdoctoral NRSA Fellowship


F32 - NINDS Postdoctoral NRSA Fellowship

Fellowship designed specifically to support outstanding scientific training for individuals who will begin or are just beginning a new postdoctoral training period in a given laboratory or research environment.

The NINDS F32 is different from the parent NIH F32
The NINDS F32 has different requirements, instructions for both candidates and mentors, and review criteria than the parent NIH F32. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the program announcement carefully and completely.

Program Announcement

Due Dates for New Applications
June 19, 2019, and October 17, 2019.

Applicants are eligible to apply within approximately 12 months prior to joining a postdoctoral laboratory to within the first 12 months of starting in that laboratory. Support may be requested for a first or subsequent mentored postdoctoral position. The eligibility window applies for both new and resubmission applications. Applications are open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents; research doctoral programs; members of underrepresented groups.

Duration of Support. The NINDS F32 is designed to only support postdoctoral fellows during the first 3 years in a given postdoctoral laboratory or research environment. Therefore applicants are encouraged to apply early in their eligibility window. For example, if applicants wait until late in their eligibility window to apply, and receive the award 6 months into their 2nd postdoctoral year of being in their laboratory, they will only be eligible for up to 18 months of support. To facilitate early applications preliminary data are not required.

Additional Information

The proposed F32 research must fall within the NINDS mission.  NINDS will not accept applications that fall within the mission of other NIH institutes and will not accept applications that are submitted under the parent NIH F32 program announcement number. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NINDS office for training and workforce development prior to applying to confirm the mission relevance of the proposed F32 project. Mission-relevance is determined by the specific aims and significance of the research according to specific NIH referral guidelines (not simply by the source of mentor funding). NINDS F32 applications will be reviewed by the NINDS Scientific Review Branch (NST 2).

Preliminary data are discouraged. In order to encourage earlier submissions, the inclusion of preliminary data is discouraged.  Applicants will neither benefit nor be penalized if preliminary data are included. Reviewers are instructed not to attach any value to preliminary data (see Applying for the NINDS F32 (pdf, 127 kb) for details and potential exceptions).

Don’t wait to apply! The first round of NINDS F32 applications has been reviewed, and the first awards have been made.  For this round, NINDS funded 22% of the applications that were reviewed. The histogram below shows that (as hoped) the reviewers did not consider the time spent in postdoc when evaluating the merit of the application. Applicants early in their postdocs were as likely to receive fundable scores as applicants late in their postdocs. In this first round, we received (as expected) few applications (<0.5%) from those who had not yet started their postdocs. The take-home message here is that you don’t need to wait until you’ve spent a year in your postdoc lab to submit a competitive application. Candidates who apply early in the eligibility window are as likely to get funded as those who apply later on.

NINDS F32 Funded Applications

Candidates should carefully read all descriptions, instructions and review criteria in the FOA for an understanding of how the applications will be evaluated. For further information and FAQs, please refer to:  Applying for the NINDS F32 (pdf, 127 kb)




Stephen Korn, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Training & Workforce Development 

Letitia Weigand, Ph.D.
Program Manager

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