The ASPIRE Program maintains a repository of funded predoctoral fellowships from various agencies, including NIH, NSF, and AHA. Visit the ASPIRE Grant Repository website to learn how to access the resource.
The BRET Office provides support to early-stage graduate students in the biosciences who are writing applications for the NSF GRFP award program. (You will need to log in with your VUNet ID and password to view past overview presentations and example applications).
The BRET Office has compiled descriptive text and supporting documents that describe institutional services to support the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at VU and VUMC. The text describes resources such as the BRET Office of Career Development ASPIRE Program. This text can be customized and incorporated into your fellowship or career development award application to help you convey the strength of the training environment at Vanderbilt. The BRET Office of Career Development also publishes an annual report. We recommend trainees review the annual report with their research advisor and incorporate relevant career and professional development training opportunities into their fellowship training plan. Additionally, the "descriptive text" website has many useful resources for writing an RCR plan.
StarBRITE includes resources for grant-writing assistance & research related templates, including a calendar of upcoming events that pertain to Responsible Conduct of Research.
The Vanderbilt Writing Studio offers individual consultations to help Vanderbilt students and postdocs improve their writing, with a particular focus on structure, argumentation, and clarity of expression. They also have handouts and links to style guides.
View the video presentations from the October 18 Grants & Fellowships workshop. After logging in to Mediasite using your VUNet ID and password, use the folders on the left-hand side to navigate to the sessions of interest:
- The Importance of Funding Early in Your Career - Dr. Susan Wente
- Navigating the NIH and Peer Review Process - Dr. Heidi Hamm
- Non-NIH Funding, FINDing Grants, and Aligning Your Research Interests with Organizations' Funding Priorities - panel discussion with various speakers
- Writing the "Science" of a Grant: Blow Their Socks Off, Not Your Foot - Dr. Mike Stein
- Fellowship Fundamentals - Dr. Kim Petrie
- Foundation Fellowships: A Perspective from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure - Dr. Jerome Jourquin
- NIH National Research Service Awards - Dr. Kim Petrie
- Creating an RCR Education Plan - Dr. Liz Heitman
- Behind the Curtain: An Inside Look at Peer Review - Dr. Kim Petrie
- Fellowship Pitfalls and What You Can Do To Avoid Them - panel discussion with various speakers
Career Development Awards Sessions
- Overview of Career Development Awards - Dr. Kathy Hartmann
- From Good to Great: Career Development Plan and Mentor Plan - Dr. David Calkins
- Creating an RCR Education Plan - Dr. Liz Heitman
Databases for finding funding opportunities
Vanderbilt’s institutional subscription to Grant Forward (formerly SPIN and Pivot) allows users to create a personal profile to match them to comprehensive and up-to-date funding opportunities government agencies, corporations, private foundations and international organizations. Users can receive weekly emails of new or updated grants based on saved searches and manage specific grants of interest using monitoring and tracking features.
UCLA Graduate and Postdoctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) database catalogs funding opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, including fellowships, travel awards, and internships.
Vanderbilt has an institutional subscription to the Research Professional funding database. You can access the database freely from campus computers or set up a personal account using your Vanderbilt email address.
Foundation Directory Online can be accessed via the Eskind Biomedical Library (Browse resources: databases) and contains over 120,000 in-depth profiles of foundations, corporate giving programs and grantmaking public charities.
US Government opportunities
- F kiosk on the NIH website has links to program announcements and policies for individual NRSA predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the NIH (“F” awards)
- K kiosk on the NIH website has links to program announcements for NIH career development awards (“K” awards)
- NIH Loan Repayment Program will repay up to $50,000 of qualifying student loan debt per year for individuals involved in certain types of biomedical research. "Qualifying research" includes pediatric research, clinical research, health disparities research, contraception and infertility research, and clinical research for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Program applications are accepted online between September 1 and November 18 each year.
- grants.gov database contains federal funding opportunities from U.S. government agencies.
- NIH RePORTER and NSF FastLane databases of previously funded projects are useful for determining which NIH institutes or NSF directorates have funded research in your area, and for identifying Vanderbilt scientists who have had funding from NIH or NSF.
- NIH Guide Listserv is the official publication for NIH medical and behavioral research grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunities. It is updated weekly.
Private funding opportunities
The best way to identify the most up-to-date information on funding opportunities is to search a funding database for opportunities based on your research area and career stage. Vanderbilt has an institutional subscription to a funding database called Grant Forward (formerly SPIN and Pivot). It contains up-to-date funding opportunities from government agencies, corporations, private foundations and international organizations.
American Heart Association funds predoctoral fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships, and career development awards for individuals conducting research pertinent to the organization's mission.
List of Non-NIH Funding Opportunities, maintained by the Fogarty International Center, includes a variety of international grants and fellowships in biomedical and behavioral research. It provides information about funding opportunities and travel grants available to those in the field of global health research.
Many private foundations use the Proposal Central application system. Their list of participating organizations may help you identify potential funding sources.
The National Postdoctoral Association posts a list of International Fellowships & Grants, a directory of funding opportunities open to international scholars.
The Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) provides pilot funds for clinical and translational hypothesis-driven projects that involve human tissue, human information (e.g. medical records), and/or have application to human health. Postdoctoral fellows, research fellows, and faculty are eligible to apply. The Office of Research maintains a list of internal funding opportunities. Most require a faculty appointment or sponsor. Vanderbilt has numerous institutional NIH training grants to support research training.
The “All About Grants” tutorials from NIAID offer great advice and tips for investigators applying for NIH awards. Some of the information is specific to NIAID, but much of it applies to funding from many different NIH institutes and centers. The NIH Center for Scientific Review manages the peer review process for the NIH.
Their “Applicant Resources” page includes tip sheets, links to study section rosters, and a video showing mock peer review of an application.
NIAID/NIH has a sample F31 Diversity Fellowship application and summary statement on their website.
The Best-Kept Secrets to Winning Grants, Nature, May 24, 2017