As a student or postdoc, you are likely to apply for fellowships to support your research. This section focuses on the NIH F31 and F32 applications open to US citizens and permanent residents.
- NIH F31 (parent, predoctoral). The purpose of this program is to help predoctoral students to obtain mentored research training while conducting dissertation research.
- NIH F31 (diversity, predoctoral): The purpose of this program is to support research of predoctoral students from underrepresented populations in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.
- NIH F32 (postdoctoral): The purpose of this program is to provide postdoctoral researchers with the opportunity to strengthen their scientific background and increase their potential for health-related research.
These tips are here to assist you, but should never substitute for checking the most recent funding announcements and instructions. See the page limits for NIH applications. See F31 checklist from GW grants and contracts here.
Consider the Spring course, BMSC 8219 "Writing the Grant-Style Qualifier" that covers many of these points. This chart includes links to ppts in the GW course.
SMHS students and postdocs should also contact Associate Dean for Research Workforce Development, Dr. Alison Hall at email@example.com for individual assistance.
NIH Fellowship Preparation and Tools
|Before you begin:||Contact your NIH program officer with questions; Alert your advisor and administrative support for any school deadlines; reach out to referees for letters||When in doubt, read the instructions! See Forms F Fellowship Instructions for NIH and other PHS agencies (released October 16, 2020).||Register and populate ORCID; ask GW Grants & Contracts for eRA Commons account|
|Application Section||What is this?||Page Limit||Resources||Pro Tips|
|Biographical Sketch||Highlight qualifications:
||5 pages||Use template in fellowship NIH Biosketch
Edit personal statement for each application & indicate mechanism
|Title of Project||Brief descriptive title of project||200 characters including spaces||Consider revising the title from your Qualifier Exam?||Avoid abbreviations and jargon|
|Cover Letter||Fellowship applications must include a list of referees in the cover letter (3; including name, departmental affiliation, and institution).||None Specified, but short|
|Project Summary / Abstract||Succinct project summary||30 lines||State application’s broad, long-term objectives and specific aims, health relatedness; research design and methods; fellowship training plan and the environment in which research training will take place.|
|Introduction||Introduction to Resubmission or Revision (when applicable)
Discusses changes made to the application
|1 page||Chasan-Taber, UMass Amherst: Information and Tips about your Introduction for your Resubmission||BMSC 8219 Review and Resubmission|
|Candidate Background and Goals for Fellowship Training||One PDF for all three sections:
A. Doctoral Dissertation and Research Experience
B. Training Goals & Objectives
C. Activities Planned Under this Award
|6 pages Total|
|Specific Aims||This will concisely state the goals of the research and summarize the expected outcomes, including impacts (2-3 aims)||1 page||UCLA Youtube Video (Sarkisian)
BioScience Writers: Anatomy of Specific Aims Page
|BMSC 8219 Hypothesis to aims|
|Research Strategy||Include A. Significance and C. Approach. (Section B Innovation usu not included for fellowship)||6 pages||Research Strategy Example University of Colorado F31 Sample - Specific Aims and Research Strategy
NIH training Modules about rigor,reproducibility and transparency when designing your experiment
|Bibliography||References cited in research strategy and aims||No limit||NIH Formatting Guidelines|
|Respective Contributions||Describe collaborative process between you and sponsor and respective roles||1 page||JEFworks Blog Respective Contributions Examples|
|Selection of Sponsors and Institution||Why select the sponsor and the institution||1 page||Chapter 3, Hollenbach|
|Facilities & Other Resources||Facilities available to support this research – Laboratory, Animal, Computer, Office, Clinical and Other||None Specified||GW SMHS Cores, Facilities, and Other Resources 2018||How the scientific environment will contribute to the probability of success of the project; information is important in establishing feasibility; see BMSC 8219 Templates.|
|Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research||Addresses the five required instructional components in NIH’s responsible conduct of research policy||1 page||OVPR Responsible Conduct of Research||Include GW plan in your plan to obtain instruction in RCR. Include when you had trainig and plan for refreshers; see BMSC 8219 Templates|
|Sponsor and Co-Sponsor Statements||Research Support Available o Sponsor’s/Co-Sponsors Previous Fellows/Trainees o Training Plan, Environment, Research Facilities o Number of Fellows/Trainees to be Supervised During the Fellowship o Applicant’s Qualifications and Potential for a Research Career||6 pages||BMSC 8219 Sponsor Statement|
|Letters of Support||3-5 letters of recommendation (can’t be from PI or co-sponsors)||2 pages each||NIH Reference Letters||BMSC 8219 IDP and letters|
|Description of Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training||Sponsoring institution documents strong well established research program in candidates area of interest.||2 pages||Review, personalize and update--and contact Dr. Hall||BMSC 8219 Institutional Templates
Typically provided by the director of the graduate program or the department chair.
|Resource Sharing Plan||Certain proposals need to describe how research will be shared||1 page||JEFworks blog: Resource Sharing Plan Example|
|Vertebrate Animals (if necessary – will need IACUC)||Describe the use of vertebrate animals to ensure humane treatment.||1 page||GW Office of Animal Research NIH checklist regarding vertebrate animals section
NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare: Description for what is required for this section
|Human subject use (if necessary – will need IRB)||Describe the use of human subjects||1 page||NIH FAQs about human subjects|
|Budget||The total amount requested for the period of support (includes stipend amount, tuition and fees, and standard institutional allowance)||None Specified||GW SMHS Sample Budget for Doctoral Candidate||
Obtain GW graduate tuition;
|Sample Applications||Examples of successful NIH F, K, T, and R applications can be found at the University of Alabama Grant Library.||NIAID Fellowship Grants - tips|