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Training & Careers

Predoctoral Training Opportunities and Resources


Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards - Institutional Research Training Grants (T32)

NIBIB supports predoctoral, postdoctoral, or combined predoctoral/postdoctoral research training in its scientific mission areas ( Postdoctoral training programs may support either Ph.D. or M.D. degree holders, the former programs typically focusing on basic research and the latter programs focusing on clinical and translational research. NIBIB will accept applications proposing focused or broad-based training programs in bioimaging and bioengineering, including multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary training programs integrating the physical, engineering, and biological sciences. Research training programs for medical residents and clinical fellows may appoint trainees for only 1 year, with the knowledge that these trainees will be subject to NRSA payback if they do not carry out subsequent research-related activities for an additional year.

NRSA policy allows predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees to be supported for a maximum of 5 years and 3 years, respectively. However, NIBIB normally expects its training programs to support predoctoral and postdoctoral institutional trainees (with the exception of medical residents and clinical fellows) for a period of 2 years, after which they should transition to research support. If NIBIB Training Program Directors feel that additional support of an individual trainee is warranted, they should justify the need for this additional training to the Director of the Division of Interdisciplinary Training before reappointing these trainees to their training program.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards Short-Term Institutional Training Grants (T35)

NIBIB uses the T35 mechanism to provide intensive clinical or translational research experiences for predoctoral bioengineering students or short-term training in focused, emerging scientific areas relevant to NIBIB’s scientific mission. NIBIB discourages current T32 awardees from submitting T35 applications; if applicants choose to apply, they must clearly indicate how the proposed T35 activities differ from the activities supported by their T32 award.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

The NIBIB uses the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31) to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research to provide support for research training leading to the Ph.D. or equivalent research degree. Individuals in combined M.D./Ph.D. or other formally combined professional degree and research doctoral degree programs will be supported only during the research component of their program. The overall goal of this program is to increase the number of scientists from diverse population groups who are prepared to pursue careers in interdisciplinary research at the interface between the biomedical and the mathematical, physical, or engineering sciences. Eligible candidates include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Successful applicants will be supported for up to 2 years, typically after they have finished their required coursework and passed their qualifying exams.

HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Initiative for Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training

HHMI and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering have formed a partnership to develop and sustain graduate interdisciplinary research training programs (see HHMI Science Education Grants for InstitutionsExternal link, opens in new window). These predoctoral programs (see NIBIB Funded Training Programs), by developing innovative coursework and community-building activities, are facilitating institutional change that supports interdisciplinary research and increasing the number of interdisciplinary biomedical researchers.

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T32/T35 Training Programs Shift to Steady-State Level and Switch to Single Receipt Date

The NIBIB has implemented a large expansion of its institutional (T32/T35) training portfolio over the last three years, including the addition of new training awards in many of our program areas and the transition to the NIBIB-funded phase of the NIBIB-HHMI Interfaces program. This portfolio growth phase is now complete, and going forward we will maintain the T32 program in a steady state consistent with our strategic plan. Consequently, applications for new T32/T35 programs will only be funded if, and as, they successfully compete with renewal (competing continuation) applications of currently supported T32/T35 programs.

Given this policy, applicants considering a new application or a renewal application for a T32/T35 grant are strongly encouraged to consider alternative mechanisms to support research training. In particular, the NIBIB will place increasing emphasis on the F32 mechanism, as well as support of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on research grants.

Additionally, effective May 25, 2010, the NIBIB will accept Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training (T32) and Short-term Institutional Research Training (T35) applications (new, renewal, resubmission, and revision) for only one receipt date per year – May 25 for January Council. Read the full notice at:

If you have questions about these or other aspects of training, please contact Richard Baird, Ph.D., Director of the NIBIB Interdisciplinary Training Division.

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Last Updated On 12/06/2011