The NIH recently reissued the program announcement for the F32 postdoctoral NRSA fellowship. The new program announcement, PA-14-149, is effective with the April 8, 2014, application deadline. The changes are in response to the recommendations made by the Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH.
As always, before applying for an F32 NRSA, be sure to check out the "special notes" of the "components of participating organizations" section of the program announcement, in case there are any guidelines specific to the individual institutes and centers (see Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts.)
The new program announcement is more explicit than the old program announcement in stating that the "mentored training experience will provide... skills needed to transition to the next stage of the applicant’s research career." Other specific changes in the postdoctoral NRSA include that applicants should now include:
1) evidence of high academic performance in the sciences and commitment to a career as an independent researcher.
2) a description of the resources available to the applicant, including the availability of such resources as might be associated with an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
3) a contingency plan that describes how a postdoctoral fellow's research will continue if there is a gap in the research advisor's research funding during the training period.
4) a description and a timeline of any planned, non-research activities (e.g. those relating to professional development) during the award period.