Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

KI-NIH Collaborative Doctoral Program in Neuroscience

Application Process

Students wishing to be considered for admission into the NIH-KI Collaborative Doctoral Program in Neuroscience must submit an online application through the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) central database. The application system opens annually in August and closes in early December. For the application, students should expect to provide information on their academic history, research interest/experiences, references (3), and a personal statement. Interested applicants will need to apply through the GPP Application Center . Note: The NIH-KI Program uses the Institutional Partnership Long Form for prospective PhD students so it is important to make sure the correct form is completed in the GPP application portal.

Unlike most programs, the NIH-KI Collaborative Doctoral Program in Neuroscience requires applicants to specify areas of research interest and propose a KI-NIH mentor pair upfront as part of the online application. In addition to the application, interested applicants should submit a 1-2 page research proposal that outlines their prospective research project and potential mentor pairing. Competitive applicants will greatly improve their chances of being offered acceptance if they provide a well thought out research plan, identify potential mentors at NIH and KI, and communicate with these mentors ahead of time to assure their interest in supporting the applicants’ graduate research efforts should the applicant gain admission to the program.

The GPP application portal does not have an area for applicants to submit a research proposal so we ask applicants to send proposals separately via email to the Program Director, Dr. Janet Clark and Program Coordinator, Aneka Reid. Once proposals are received it will be included with the application package. Applicants should aim to send their research proposals around the time of application submission in December or by mid-January at the latest. Applicants who do not provide a research proposal and identify research mentors at KI and NIH will not be invited to interview for the program.

Within the application, please include the following:

  • Additional Information section- indicate proposed NIH and KI investigators and also mention whether they have been contacted to serve as mentors for your intended thesis research.
  • Personal Statement section- provide a statement that explains who you are as a person, student, and scientific researcher. Additionally, please address why this program is best suited for your graduate education and development.

Pre and Post Interview Process

Applicants are typically notified of interview selection on or around mid-January. Those selected for interview will travel in person or virtually as appropriate to the NIH in February, where they will meet with their proposed NIH mentors, Program Directors and Selection Committee members. All interviewees are responsible for scheduling meetings with their proposed NIH mentors and selection committee members. Program Director meetings are prescheduled for all interviewees and provided ahead of the program interview dates. Acceptance notifications for the program are sent out in March; after which newly admitted students will need to submit an application to KI to complete student registration and admission. New students will be instructed to work with their KI mentor and department to complete the formal KI application process. In addition to the KI application, new students will need to develop an Individual Study Plan (ISP) with their KI mentor. The ISP is a formal KI requirement for all doctoral students and is a plan that details the scientific project, training timeline, and learning objectives. The plan is not meant to be rigid and is a living document that is updated regularly over the course of the student’s progression through the program. Students should expect to begin work at their NIH laboratory in the summer of their admission year and simultaneously work to map out their graduate training and educational components.

This program prides itself on maintaining strong partnerships with mentors, students and staff on both ends. We accomplish this by prioritizing communication, fostering and nurturing relationships and connecting with our students regardless of location. In summary students have the full support of their NIH mentor, KI supervisor and Program staff to achieve their educational pursuits.

Additional Resources: