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Dissertation award, program purpose.
Although not technically fellowships, these grants support dissertation research costs of students in accredited research doctoral programs in the United States (including Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories or possessions).
U.S. citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in a research doctoral degree program.
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Stipend levels & info.
- NRSA Stipends (FY 2023)
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- Stipend/Salary FAQs
- NOT-OD-23-076: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2023
- NOT-OD-22-190: Adjustments to NIH and AHRQ Grant Application Due Dates Between September 22 and September 30, 2022
- NOT-OD-22-132: Correction to Stipend Levels for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2022
- NOT-OD-21-177: Announcement of Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Awards
- NOT-OD-21-074: Announcement of Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellows
- NOT-OD-21-052: Reminder – Requesting Extensions for Early Career Scientists Whose Career Trajectories Have Been Significantly Impacted by COVID-19
- NOT-OD-21-049: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2021
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Funding Opportunities for Predoctoral Fellows
The following funding opportunities are available through NIMH for individuals in the predoctoral stage of training.
NIMH strongly encourages prospective applicants to consult with the NIMH Research Training and Career Development Program Officer in the appropriate Division well in advance of preparing an application. The Program Officer will discuss the relevance of your proposed research to the Institute’s research priorities, provide guidance on the proposed research and training plans, and help identify the most appropriate funding opportunity for your research and training.
* For a complete list of funded awards and grants please visit NIH RePORTER .
** The NIH RePORTER query for the F31 Predoctoral Awards includes Parent F31 and the Parent F31 – Diversity.
Link to NRSA FAQs
NRSA Policy Updates – Applicants are strongly encouraged to review NRSA policy updates before submitting an application. Failure to follow relevant policies may lead you to submit an incomplete application, which will not be reviewed. Relevant policy notices can also be found in the “Related Notices” section of each funding announcement.
NIMH-Specific Policies and other Relevant Notices
- NIMH National Research Service Awards (NRSA) Practices and Guidance
- Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2023 (NOT-OD-23-076)
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Have You Heard About the NIH Dissertation Awards for Doctoral Students Studying Population Health?
If you have no idea what the NIH R36 grant mechanism is, don’t worry–you’re not alone. But if you’re in population health sciences and approaching the dissertation stage, or know someone who is, it’s worth getting to know more about this particular NIH grant.
The R36 program supports dissertation-related research costs of predoctoral students. There are currently four institutes/agencies that offer R36 grants: NIH, NIMH, NIDA, and AHRQ. Details on eligibility, application guidelines, and supported research topics for each institute/agency can be found at the links below:
- Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Increase Diversity (R36)
- Mental Health Research Dissertation Grant to Enhance Workforce Diversity (R36)
- Drug Abuse Dissertation Research (R36)
- AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36)
With the exception of AHRQ, the primary objective of the R36 program is to provide dissertation research awards to increase diversity of the pool of scientists available to support the scientific mission of the particular institute, particularly by including more underrepresented racial and ethnic scientists and individuals with disabilities.
Catherine had other great advice, including considering the importance of every part of the application in how reviewers will assess its merit. Organization is the key to not feeling overwhelmed with the application, and Catherine suggests keeping a list of all the necessary documents for the application and planning due dates for when each part of the application will be completed.
This advice was echoed by another recent NIA R36 recipient, Harry Chatters Taylor , a doctoral candidate in social work at Washington University in St. Louis. He also suggested starting your application as soon as possible in advance and being prepared to revise over many, many drafts. He further recommends having several people provide constructive criticism and feedback on how to improve the ideas and writing in your application. Having the time and the feedback can be particularly useful for the R36 application because, as he points out, it can be difficult to distill the complexities of your entire dissertation idea into a six-page application.
I also asked for advice from someone who reviews R36 applications. I summarized the main points below:
- Follow the instructions! Following the formatting instructions, for instance, makes it easier for reviewers to follow the application and write their review. And not following instructions could mean your application never makes it to review.
- Make sure you sponsor is really, really committed to you and your project. This should be demonstrated, for instance, in their narrative that should enthusiastically describe your research project and the resources they will provide for you over and above the fellowship award.
- Be as thorough as possible in your description of your dissertation study – within the page limits, of course.
- Try to frame your dissertation study in terms of your path to becoming a leader in the field. Provide context for your research, why it’s interesting to you, and where you might go with future research.
- Finish your application with enough time so that at least two people can carefully read it and note any errors, inconsistencies, and other mistakes.
So if you’re thinking about applying for an R36, what’s next? Mr. Chatters Taylor suggests your first step should be to tell your PhD advisor and get in touch with a program officer at the institute you are thinking of applying to. You may also want to ask someone who has received an R36 if you can read their application so you know what a successful application looks like. And of course, be sure to familiarize yourself with the application instructions!
About the authors
Population Health News Roundup: February 2023
Inclusive Research Methods: A Foray into the Literature, Part 2
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Inclusive Research Methods: A Foray into the Literature, Part 1
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AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36)
The AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36) provides dissertation grants for doctoral candidates. This program supports dissertation research that addresses AHRQ’s mission and priorities and welcomes any areas of health services research as dissertation project topics.
Eligibility and Requirements *
- Be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents by the time of the grant award.
- Be full-time academic students in good standing, who are enrolled in an accredited research doctoral program in such fields as behavioral sciences, health services research, nursing, social sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy, health informatics, engineering, and mathematics.
- Have completed all non-dissertation requirements for their doctoral degree by the time of submission of the application, including completion of their qualifying exams. (The only exception allowable will be the completion of required clinical internships that follow completion of the dissertation.)
- Not have more than part-time employment in addition to the requirements of their current, full-time academic student appointments (defined as greater than 20 hours per week).
- Not be recipients of mentored career development awards.
- Institution is any of the following: public or non-profit private institution (such as a university, college, faith-based or community-based organization), units of local or State government, eligible agencies of the Federal Government, and Indian/Native American Tribal Government or Designated Organizations.
Award Budget *
- Up to $40,000 in direct costs
Award Project Period *
- Minimum 9 months up to 17 months
*Please refer to the funding opportunity announcement for complete details.
Please note that applicants are encouraged to make sure that their institutions are registered with both the eRA Commons and Grants.gov. Also, the principal investigators (PIs-in this case, the potential dissertation applicants) need to work with their institutions to make sure they are registered in the NIH Commons. The institution and the individual should allow up to 2 to 4 weeks for the registration processes to be completed and verified.
Application receipt dates are February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1, annually. When a postmark/submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.
Please refer to the funding opportunity announcement for complete details.
Frequently Asked Questions
What areas of research does AHRQ support under the R36 program? Applications for dissertation research grants must be responsive to AHRQ's mission, which is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable and affordable, and to work with HHS and other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used. Within the mission, AHRQ's specific priority areas of focus are as follows:
- Research to improve health care patient safety.
- Harnessing data and technology to improve health care quality and patient outcomes and to provide a 360-degree view of the patient.
- Research to increase accessibility and affordability of health care by examining innovative market approaches to care delivery and financing.
AHRQ welcomes any area of health services research as a dissertation project topic. Please review the Research Objectives discussion (Section I. Funding Opportunity Description) of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to note additional guidance. After reviewing this information, you can contact the AHRQ program officer listed below for further consultation.
Should qualifying exams be completed prior to submitting an R36 proposal? Yes. The qualifying exam must be completed by the time of application. Please see the NOFO for additional eligibility information.
When would funding start if the grant is approved? Per the NOFO, the review meeting generally occurs 4 months after application receipt, and the anticipated grant start date (if funded) generally occurs 4 months after the review meeting.
What needs to be done when an R36 grant terminates early? Please immediately notify the Grant Specialist assigned to your grant to inform AHRQ of your plans to terminate the R36 award early. The Notice of Award will be revised to reflect the early termination.
How should R36 grantees notify AHRQ of accepted peer-reviewed publications? Please let us know of your AHRQ-funded research that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal(s) by submitting the Get Recognition for Your AHRQ-Funded Study fillable PDF form (94.6 KB). Please email the completed form to [email protected] , with a copy to your Program Official.
Previously Funded R36 Awards
The NIH's RePORTER Database provides information on previously funded R36 grants .
Division of Research Education Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations (OEREP) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Email: [email protected]
Internet Citation: AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36). Content last reviewed July 2021. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/training-grants/r36.html
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NIH Fellowship Opportunities for Graduate Students
NOTE: If you are applying for NIH F31 click here .
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests nearly $32.3 billion annually in medical research, making it the world's largest public funder of biomedical research.
Please note that each applicant is responsible for determining their own individual eligibility for any fellowship. This includes but is not limited to reviewing which agencies are participating in a funding opportunity announcement. Each applicant should also be aware of the provisions of the award and the requirements of the opportunity, which can be seen and reviewed throughout this page and the hyperlink websites.
At a Glance
- Students may apply for up to five years of funding.
- Awards include stipends of ( $25,320 a year ) and institutional allowance ($4,200 a year).
- If awarded, NIH will pay for up to 60 percent of the requested institutional tuition and fees; and total award amounts may vary depending on the award.
Determining Which On-Campus Office To Apply Through
Graduate Division office
- The applicant is a single-degree seeking student enrolled in a graduate program
- T he submission requires an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) to approve, sign, or submit an application on the applicant’s behalf, please route the application to [email protected] .
Health Sciences Sponsored Project Pre-Award Office (HSSPPO)
- Applicants/students enrolled in a professional degree program (i.e. PharmD, PharmD/PhD, or MD/PhD program) will need to contact.
Determine eligibility .
Each fellowship opportunity has different eligibility requirements. The following eligibility requirements are general, visit their respective solicitations found in the dropdown menu below for additional details.
- Eligibility for other opportunities, search here: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/search_results.htm?scope=pa&year=active
US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents enrolled in a PhD program or equivalent research degree are eligible to apply.
The applicant must be at the dissertation research stage of training at the time of award and must show evidence of high academic performance in the sciences, and commitment to a career as an independent research scientist.
Your sponsor must also meet UCSD’s Principal Investigator eligibility requirement. Work with your department staff to determine whether your sponsor holds one of the appropriate title codes .
How to Apply
Submitting an NIH proposal is a multifaceted process. Below you will find information about the different pieces of the process along with the UCSD NIH Application Guide .
NIH uses an online application portal called ASSIST, from which you will prepare, submit, and track your application.
To access assist, you will need an era commons account. you will also need to create an orcid id and connect this to your era commons account. , search for your opportunity announcement number (ie. nih f31 parent pa-20-246) and follow the step by step instructions to submit..
- NOTE : Both the student and the sponsor/mentor both each need an account. A student should request that a PD/PI role be assigned to their profile. The sponsor/mentor should request their eRA Commons account with the Sponsor role assigned.
- NOTE: If there is not an ORCID linked to your eRA Commons account an error will be generated preventing the application from moving forward to NIH for consideration.
- Important Notice from the NIH
- Three to five reference letters from anyone who is NOT directly involved in the application but who are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications, training, and interests .
- Sponsors/co-sponsors CAN write “LETTERS OF SUPPORT.” Letters of Support are visible to the students and they can be uploaded by the student to their application in the section of “Letters of Support”.
- 'Reference Letters' are private and can only be uploaded by the writer via eRA Commons.
- These letters will be submitted through eRA Commons, separate from your ASSIST application.
- Make sure to provide the correct PA numbers (see above).
- This number will be assigned to you once the mentor's fund manager has created a Kuali PD record for your application. The Kuali Record number is used for the internal administration of the proposal.
- Kuali COI forms should be submitted prior to submission
- The student, the mentor, and any co-mentors should submit COI forms
- COI forms are submitted through Kuali COI, for more information, click the link above. A fund manager should assist in this process.
- Fellowship Assurance Form
To see an example of a funded application, see the Helpful Links dropdown menu.
Downloadable Forms and Helpful Links
- Application Guide UCSD NIH Guide to filling out the ASSIST application online, for your reference.
- How to create a biosketch for NIH
- Sample biosketch
- Blank biosketch template
- Provides budget numbers for ASSIST application, for your reference.
- Note - Formerly known as Cover Page or Intake Form.
- Submit to [email protected]
- Or submit a hard copy, in person at the Graduate Division or via campus mail (MC 0003).
- To view a sample of a funded application from the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases please click here
- NIH's list of common errors
- UCSD IAUCUC
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- PA-20-246 : Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)
- PA-20-251 : Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31-Diversity)
- American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
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Request Proposal Assistance
National Institute of Health (NIH) — F31 Predoctoral Fellowship
Note to PIs: The following program summary is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It does not replace the sponsor’s actual funding opportunity announcement. Always review the most recent version of the sponsor’s full announcement to verify that the deadline has not changed and to identify the most current program requirements.
About the fellowship
The purpose of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) award is to 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.
Any candidate fellow with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her sponsor and organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.
By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status).
The candidate must be at the dissertation research stage of training at the time of award and must show evidence of high academic performance in the sciences, and commitment to a career as an independent research scientist.
The candidate must be currently enrolled in a PhD or equivalent research degree program (e.g., EngD, DNSc, DrPH, DSW, PharmD, ScD) in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences at a domestic or foreign institution.
Students matriculated in a dual-degree program (e.g. MD/PhD, DO/PhD, DDS/PhD, or DVM/PhD) who seek support for both dissertation research training and clinical training are not eligible for this Kirschstein-NRSA F31 program because this F31 program does not support the clinical training component of a dual-degree program. Such students may apply for the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Fellowship (Parent F30) to support both dissertation research training and clinical training.
Award budgets are composed of stipends, tuition and fees, and institutional allowance. Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research and clinical training experiences. Fellowship awards will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award. The application should request a Kirschstein-NRSA institutional allowance to help defray the cost of fellowship expenses such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings. Fellowship awards do not include a separate reimbursement for indirect costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs). Instead, costs for administering fellowships are covered by the Institutional Allowance.
Individuals may receive up to 5 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level (up to 6 years for dual degree training, e.g., MD/PhD), and up to 3 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training grants (e.g., T32) and an individual fellowship award.
April 8, August 8, or December 8.
Last updated: July 2021.
Although not technically fellowships, these grants support dissertation research costs of students in accredited research doctoral programs
Award recipients will receive 1-2 years of support to complete their dissertation leading to a PhD or equivalent research degree, a combined MD/PhD degree, or
NIA supports senior graduate students via the R36 Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Increase Diversity (PAR-19-394). These awards provide funding to
F99 · NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award ; R36 · Mental Health Research Dissertation
The R36 program supports dissertation-related research costs of predoctoral students. There are currently four institutes/agencies that offer R36 grants: NIH
The AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36) provides dissertation grants for doctoral candidates.
NOTE: If you are applying for NIH F31 click here. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests nearly $32.3 billion annually in medical research, making it
The purpose of the Ruth L. ... The proposed mentored research training must reflect the applicant's dissertation research project and is
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announces the availability of NIH Dissertation Award grants (R36) to support drug abuse doctoral dissertation
Share strategies and tactics of effective grant writing that enable strong scores and potentially funding. Page 3. NIH Dissertation Grant (R36). Page 4