NCATS Eli Lilly Externship Opportunity

Kate Stuart
March 20, 2016
Posted in Announcements

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Eli Lilly Externship Opportunity in Clinical and Translational Sciences


Project Description

This is an opportunity for an externship in clinical and translational sciences at Eli Lilly and Company for scholars, trainees and investigators of the NCATS, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program.  The externship will support the training and education of participants in techniques and principles needed to pursue research in one of the world’s premiere pharmaceutical companies.  Education and training will be team oriented and provide a firm grounding in one or more of the areas of interest of Eli Lilly. Scientific, theoretical and practical knowledge will include an appreciation of toxicology, regulatory, and commercialization challenges in developing and bringing a biotechnology or pharmaceutical product to patients.

The primary objective of this NCATS externship program is to enhance translational scientists, trainees/scholars’ core competencies in clinical trial design, clinical pharmacology, toxicology and other areas critical to the drug development process.  It is expected that at the end of this externship that participants will appreciate the challenges associated with demonstrating biological plausibility, providing proof of concept pharmacology studies, and navigating the drug approval process from designing clinical trials to submitting a new Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA.


Externship Details

The externship is a flexible arrangement made between Eli Lilly and the participant, and may be up to 6 months or may be divided into two periods.  Each participant will be matched with a mentor and integrated into the scientific project teams at Eli Lilly. Participants will work on intensive, hands-on projects that will expose them to the translational sciences relevant to identifying and developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics.  It is expected that this intensive experience will help participants understand the mechanisms of a drug’s action, identify strategies in developing compounds, and evaluate PK/PD studies that are used in preclinical and clinical studies.  In addition, trainees will have the opportunity to interact as a cohort in seminars/workshops for up to 20 percent of the time to foster cross-fertilization of ideas and promote interdisciplinary learning.


Successful applicants will be provided with lodging by Eli Lilly, in addition to coverage of travel costs associated with one roundtrip between their institution and Eli Lilly in Indiana. CTSA participants will receive stipend/salary support with CTSA funds.  Selected participants will be at Eli Lilly for up to 6 months in duration and will need to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Eli Lilly.  Trainees will be required to attend an orientation session at the beginning of their experience and will showcase their work at the end of the rotation at a research symposium at Eli Lilly. Upon completion of the externship, participants will be required to complete an exit interview with NCATS staff, a post-rotation evaluation and will receive a statement of completion.


Eligible Candidates

Applicants must have a clinical doctoral degree (M.D. or Ph.D.) or its equivalent in biological or biomedical sciences, bioengineering or a related field; have a record of accomplishments in clinical and translational science research and a keen interest in learning more about drug development and commercialization processes. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Application Procedure

Trainees/scholars should review the six project proposals (see attached) and select their top two choices.  To gain novel training, it is encouraged that selected projects be distinct from their academic research projects at their institution.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to discuss their interest in this externship with the NCATS point of contact listed below. To apply, please submit a cover letter that includes a description of your major achievements as a scientist thus far (no more than 2 pages), a statement of research interests and a statement as to how this externship will benefit their research program and career development (no more than 3 pages), an NIH bio sketch and contact information for three references. One of the references must be the PI of the CTSA hub.

All application materials should be submitted by the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) via email to by April 20th, 2016 for consideration.


Selection Process

A review committee comprised of NCATS and Eli Lilly mentors and senior staff will review the applications.  Announcements will be made in May 2016 with a target start date of July 1st 2016, negotiable.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Joan Nagel, M.D., M.P.H.

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences