Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award (NRSA) for predoctoral researchers (F31) supports a mentored research experience for up to 5 years (typically 2-3 years) for promising predoctoral students currently enrolled in a Ph.D. or equivalent research degree program (such as Eng.D., D.N.Sc., Dr.PH., D.S.W., Pharm.D., Sc.D.) in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences. The fellowship experience is expected to enhance the trainee's potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist.
Notice of funding opportunity
- PA-23-272, parent F31: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship
- New applications and resubmissions: April 8, August 8, December 8
- AIDS applications: May 7, September 7, January 7
Program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) eligibility
The F31 program is specifically designed to support research training leading to the Ph.D. or equivalent research degree, the combined M.D./Ph.D. degree, or another formally combined professional degree and research doctoral degree in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences.
Students matriculated in a dual-degree program (such as M.D./Ph.D., D.O./Ph.D., D.D.S./Ph.D., or D.V.M./Ph.D.) 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 M.D./Ph.D. or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Fellowship (Parent F30) to support both dissertation research training and clinical training.
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.
By the time of award, the applicant 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).
- U.S. domestic institutions
- Non-domestic (non-U.S.) entities (foreign institutions)
- Foreign components allowed
NIMH support two types of F31 applications. The NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research award (Parent F31-Diversity) is for predoctoral students from diverse backgrounds including those from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce. When submitting, be sure to apply to the appropriate parent announcement.
Individuals may receive up to 5 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level (up to 6 years for dual degree training such as M.D./Ph.D.), including any combination of support from institutional training grants (e.g., T32) and an individual fellowship award. Information about previous Kirschstein-NRSA support must be included in the application and will be considered at the time of award.
For predoctoral fellowships, NIMH will limit support to the first 6 years of Ph.D. research training (excluding clinical internship) except in exceptional circumstances. Potential candidates are encouraged to discuss their individual situation with an NIMH Research Training and Career Development Program Officer before applying if they intend to request support beyond 6 years.
At the time of award, individuals are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.
Salary and research support
The F31 budget provides a stipend (salary support), tuition and fees, and an institutional allowance to help defray the cost of fellowship expenses such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings.
One stipend level is used for all predoctoral candidates, regardless of the level of experience. Stipend levels, as well as funding amounts for tuition and fees and the institutional allowance are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts , and are also posted on the NRSA fellowship webpage .
For a complete list of funded awards and grants, please visit NIH RePORTER .
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to review the notice of funding opportunity and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below prior to contacting the appropriate NIMH Research Training and Career Development representative for additional information.
Q: Do I need to identify a sponsor prior to preparing my application for submission?
A: Yes. Before submitting the application, the applicant must identify a sponsor(s) who will supervise the proposed mentored training experience.
Q: How important is it to contact NIMH prior to submission? How early should I do this?
A: It is very important to have pre-submission correspondence with the NIMH Research Training and Career Development representative overseeing the relevant individual NRSA fellowship program. You should email him/her several months in advance of the submission deadline to provide information regarding your proposed application, including your NIH biosketch, specific aims page, and your sponsor's name.
Q: How can I tell if my research area is within the mission of NIMH?
A: Program priorities at NIMH are diverse, but all meet the institute’s guiding mission to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illness through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. NIMH is also interested in research to reduce the incidence of HIV worldwide and to decrease the burden of living with HIV. The research proposed should be well-aligned with NIMH’s Strategic Plan. Before preparing an individual NRSA fellowship application, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate NIMH Research Training and Career Development representative for feedback on the project's fit with current NIMH or the Division of AIDS Research priorities. We recommend contacting NIMH at least a few months before the deadline.
For a complete list of funded awards and grants please visit NIH RePORTER .
Q: I am an M.D./Ph.D. student in the fifth year of my dual-degree program, and I am no longer eligible to apply for the F30. Am I eligible to apply for this F31?
A: Yes. For predoctoral fellowships, support will be limited to the first 6 years of Ph.D. research training (excluding clinical internship). However, this F31 program does not support the clinical training component of a dual-degree program.