The BRET Office of Career Development publishes an annual report which provides a summary of key career and professional development resources for biomedical sciences PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. We recommend trainees review the resources highlighted in the annual reports with their advisors and incorporate relevant training opportunities into the student or postdoc’s training plan.
The BRET office has compiled descriptive text and supporting documents that describe the institutional activities and services in place to support the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at VUMC. The text describes resources such as the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Career Development Office, and past program information for the Responsible Conduct of Research training coordinated by the BRET Office. You may customize this test to incorporate it into your own fellowship or career development award application.
StarBRITE includes resources for grant-writing assistance & research related templates, including a calendar of upcoming events that pertain to Responsible Conduct of Research.
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
*Note: We do not maintain a list of specific grant and fellowship opportunities. The databases below are much more comprehensive, and updated much more frequently, and we recommend you search these databases to find opportunities pertinent to your specific area of research.
The F kiosk on the NIH website has links to all policies and program announcements for individual NRSA predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the NIH (“F” awards)
The K kiosk on the NIH website has links to all policies and program announcements for NIH career development awards (“K” awards)
The American Heart Association funds predoctoral fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships, and career development awards for individuals conducting research pertinent to the organization’s mission.
Minoritypostdoc.org maintains a list of postdoctoral funding opportunities for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in science.
The NIH Loan Repayment Program will repay up to $35,000 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 December 1 each year.
The grants.gov database contains federal funding opportunities from U.S. government agencies.
This 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.
Vanderbilt’s institutional subscription to SPIN (read more about how to access SPIN here) (formerly Pivot) allows each user to create a personal profile that will be automatically matched to current funding opportunities. This database offers comprehensive and up-to-date funding opportunities for all disciplines from national and local government agencies, corporations, private foundations and international organizations. Users can receive a customized weekly email “push” of new or updated grants based on saved searches and manage specific grants of interest using monitoring and tracking features.
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.
The UCLA Graduate and Postdoctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) database catalogs extramural funding opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. It contains information on over 500 private and publicly funded awards, fellowships, travel awards, and internships.
The 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.
Many private foundations use the Proposal Central application system. Their list of participating organizations may help you identify potential funding sources.
NIH Guide Listserv is the official publication for NIH medical and behavioral research grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunities. It’s updated weekly.
The National Postdoctoral Association posts a list of International Fellowships & Grants, a directory of funding opportunities open to international scholars.
Your peers are a great source of advice and examples to identify potential funding opportunities! Your departmental grants administrator may also be aware of funding opportunities previous trainees have applied for. You can also use the NIH Reporter tool to identify Vanderbilt students and postdocs who have had NRSAs. Just specify Vanderbilt University as the organization and “Training, Individual” as the Funding Mechanism. You can even use the NIH Reporter tool to find people who have been funded by specific institutes and people who may have had NRSA funding in the past.
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 Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) provides support to faculty submitting institutional training grant renewals and new submissions. Visit the “Training Grant Support” page for more information.
The NIH has webinars on the following topics:
The K kiosk has links to all policies and program announcements for career development awards (“K” awards)
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