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Office of Graduate Student External Grants and Fellowships | GradFund

The National Institutes of Health, a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, is tasked with advancing biomedical research to improve the health of Americans. One of the ways in which they advance that goal is by investing in the training of graduate students who will go onto productive, independent biomedical research careers creating knowledge that will protect and improve human health. Read more about the NIH’s mission on their website.

Is an NIH Fellowship the Right Fit for You?

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What are they looking for?

The NIH invests in the training of promising graduate students who will go on to create “fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.”

What does this fellowship include?

The NIH’s Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral National Research Service Award Fellowships provide up to five years (typically 2-3 years) of support through a stipend for living expenses as well as funds for tuition and fees.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are currently enrolled in a research doctoral degree program.
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When should I apply?

The NIH application requires a detailed explanation of your research and training plans, and should be written with the input of your advisor. Talk to your advisor about whether you are ready to work on your NIH application. There are three application cycles per year, with deadlines in April, August, and December.

Ready to apply? Scroll down for GradFund Resources.

GradFund Resources for your NIH Application

Step-By-Step Tutorial

The GradFund NIH tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process of writing your NIH application. From getting to know your funder to completing the last piece of the application, this guide will get you there. It’s full of great resources from the NIH that will give you valuable insights into their priorities and application process as well as GradFund advice on how to navigate this complex application.

Forums & Chat

Use our forums to exchange ideas with your peers and GradFund staff about applying to the NIH. We also offer an online chat service called ‘Ask a Fellowship Advisor,’ where you can ask quick questions about our services, your scheduled meetings, or application procedures.

Meet with Us

Meet with a GradFund Fellowship Advisor for a Help with a Funder or Application Essay Conference meeting to help get started with, revise, or finish your application.

Mentoring Program

Join a mentoring program and meet regularly with a peer mentor and other graduate students working on this application for help, support, and expert guidance.

NIH Proposal Writing Tutorial

We have developed the NIH tutorial to assist you in the development of an NIH fellowship application. Our tutorial is designed to teach you best practices in proposal development, to understand how to navigate the NIH application process, and to help you with the task of writing a competitive application to the NIH including organizing all of its components.

Proposal Writing 101

Articles and Advice

2016 Ford Fellows Roundtable: What It Means to Be A Ford Fellow (Advice from the Archives)

Advice from the Archives Series Note: Occasionally, we dig into the archives to uncover a post we feel holds relevant and timely information worthy of a repost. If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate...
Read More

Tips for Success in the Fulbright Competition (Roundup Post) – Part Three

Series Note:  We have previously published a number of posts on the Fulbright competition on the GradFund blog, all of which offer useful tips and suggestions to help you craft a strong application. In light of the upcoming application period (our on-campus deadline...
Read More

Tips for Success in the Fulbright Competition (Roundup Post) – Part Two

Series Note:  We have previously published a number of posts on the Fulbright competition on the GradFund blog, all of which offer useful tips and suggestions to help you craft a strong application. In light of the upcoming application period (our on-campus deadline...
Read More

Fulbright: What If My Project is Controversial?

What should you do if you are applying to the Fulbright-IIE, but your project engages with diplomatically sensitive topics? This issue comes up often in our meetings with graduate students who are interested in applying for the Fulbright, but who fear that their...
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Tips for Success in the Fulbright Competition (Roundup Post) – Part One

The Fulbright US Student Program provides graduate students and recent graduates with an opportunity to undertake research, studies, or teaching overseas, in over 140 countries. The competition is the largest exchange program of its kind, and is very popular among...
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Five Tips for How to Prepare and Justify a Budget

It does not matter if you are a scientist, humanist, or social scientist; at some point you will be asked to write and justify a budget, whether for conference travel, a fellowship, or a research grant. In order to write an accurate and realistic budget there are...
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Interested in Applying for a Fulbright IIE?  How to Get Started

The Fulbright US Student Program offers students the opportunity to spend an academic year abroad for a course of study, research or to work as an English Language Teaching Assistant. If you are interested in an experience overseas, and you are a US citizen, I...
Read More

Applying for Funding in the Humanities: Advice from a Fellowship Adviser (Advice from the Archives)

Advice from the Archives Series Note: Occasionally, we dig into the archives to uncover a post we feel holds relevant and timely information worthy of a repost. If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate...
Read More

Summer Fun(ding): Getting ahead of the Fall Application Season (Advice from the Archives)

Advice from the Archives Series Note: Occasionally, we dig into the archives to uncover a post we feel holds relevant and timely information worthy of a repost. If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate...
Read More

Applying for Funding as an ESL or EFL Student

  There is no such thing as knowing too many languages! As someone who began to communicate in English on a daily basis only as a young adult and who learned ancient languages through English (a language that was not my own), I can say that I still live through...
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NIH Proposal Writing Workbook

Once you’ve watched Proposal Writing 101, dive into our extended NIH Proposal Writing Workbook. The workbook will take you step-by-step through the development of an NIH F-31 application.

Login for Access!

In order to access the step-by-step guidance found in our NIH Proposal Development Workbook, please log in to our website using your Rutgers Scarletmail credentials.

GradFund's NIH Forums

Use our forums to ask questions about the NIH and exchange application tips!
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Meet with Us!

Introducing A New Booking System!

We look forward to meeting with you!  Effective May 2017, we are using a new meeting booking system to manage GradFund appointments.

Whether you are a new or returning user, if you have not yet used our new meeting platform WCOnline, please click on the first time user link to set up an account so you can log into the system.

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