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Individual Predoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

Benefits of Fellowships for Graduate & Undergraduate Students

Individual predoctoral fellowships provide research training opportunities to graduate students and undergraduates, including international students. Although graduate students in good standing are guaranteed support for their stipend, tuition, fees, and health insurance, there are considerable benefits to applying for an individual fellowship, including:

  • Experience: The process of applying for a fellowship develops grant writing skills and familiarity with the grant submission process.
  • Prestige: Competing against a national pool of candidates and receiving an individual fellowship from an external source can make a trainee more competitive for future funding or awards.
  • Financial Benefits: Some graduate programs allow for stipend augmentation if the student receives an extramurally funded fellowship. In addition, many awards come with funds to support travel and other educational related expenses (computer, tablet, books, etc.).
  • Benefit to Mentor: Individual fellowships free up funds for the lab's research and other personnel.

Many health sciences graduate students who are US citizens, national, or permanent residents should consider the NIH individual predoctoral National Research Service Award (NRSA), F30 or F31 award, or the the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award.

There are also a number of foundations and organizations that support individual graduate fellowships for both domestic and international graduate students. These opportunities are often tied to particular research areas, support students at a certain thesis stage, or have specific eligibility criteria (e.g., students from underrepresented backgrounds).

Find a non-comprehensive list of fellowships below. Contact the Biomedical Training Programs team with your questions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)

For a current list of NIH funding opportunities, visit the NIH individual fellowship website

Career Level NIH Grant  Eligibility Name
Graduate/Clinical doctorate F30 Enrolled in a MD-PhD or dual clinical/research degree Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral NRSA for MD/​PhD and other Dual Degree Fellowships
Graduate/Clinical doctorate F31 Enrolled in a graduate/clinical doctorate program  Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award / Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31-Diversity)
Predoc to Postdoc  F99/K00 In year 3 or 4 of PhD training Individual Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education.

The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. NSF actively encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors to apply. 

View the GRFP website.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Fellowship For Advanced Study

The goals of the Gilliam program are to ensure that students from groups historically excluded from and underrepresented in science are prepared to assume leadership roles in science and science education, and to foster the development of a healthier, more inclusive academic scientific ecosystem by partnering with faculty and institutions committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the sciences. 

View the Gilliam Fellowships website.

Other Federal Fellowship Programs

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ferguson Fellowship Program

The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Disease Fellowship Program provides educational and experiential opportunities for racial and ethnic minority medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, and public health graduate students in a broad array of public health activities.

Ferguson Fellows are engaged for eight weeks in a rigorous program of public health research and/or intervention, which they summarize in a scientific presentation at the end of the session. Ferguson Fellows’ travel and housing expenses are paid, and they receive a stipend for the summer.

U.S. Department of Energy Computational Sciences Graduate Fellowships

The U.S. Department of Energy provides funding for students in their first or second year of graduate study in the fields of physical, engineering, computers, mathematics, and life sciences. The fellowships are renewable up to four years.

Students receive about $31,000 a year, as well as a $1,000 annual academic allowance for travel, research activities, and attending conferences. Some students may also get matched funds for computer support up to $2,475.

US Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

US citizens or nationals pursuing a doctorate in a field that benefits national security are eligible for this three-year fellowship from the Department of Defense. Fields of study include:

  • aeronautics/astronomy;
  • bioscience;
  • chemical engineering;
  • chemistry;
  • civil engineering;
  • computational, neural, and behavioral sciences;
  • electrical engineering;
  • physics;
  • geosciences;
  • mathematical science and engineering;
  • mechanical engineering;
  • naval architecture;
  • ocean engineering; and
  • oceanography.

Stipends are given for 12-month periods. Students can receive $30,500 in the first year, $31,000 in the second year and $31,500 in the third year. The fellowship also pays for minimum health insurance coverage through the students institution, up to $1,000 a year.

ORISE STEM Workforce Development Fellowships

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) administers a wide range of fellowships and internships that are STEM based. ORISE manages fellowships for the US Department of Energy and over a dozen other Federal agencies. If you are interested in STEM based research at the graduate level then ORISE has many options with you in mind. The full spectrum of opportunities spans undergraduate through postdocs and even university faculty members.

US National Aeronautics and Space Administration Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Graduate Fellowships

The Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program increases the number of graduate degrees awarded to underrepresented persons (women, minorities, and/or persons with disabilities) participating in the STEM workforce, thereby eliminating the shortage of skilled workers. Approximately 20 students are selected annually to receive financial support for their graduate education.

Fellowship tenure is a maximum of 36 months for individuals pursuing a doctorate and/or masters degree in NASA-related fields, for example: aeronautics/aerospace, biology, physics, chemistry, etc. The fellowship provides up to three years of support that includes a stipend and tuition offset. Annual stipends for students pursuing master’s degrees start at $16,000. Annual stipends for students pursuing doctoral degrees start at $22,000. Regardless of the degree pursued, annual tuition offsets start at $8,500.

US National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

The Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences offer Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships and related supporting activities in an effort to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in selected areas of science in the United States. These fellowships support training and research in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in a host institution only in the areas of biology and social, behavioral and economic sciences within the purview of NSF.

Supporting activities include travel grants to graduate students to visit prospective sponsors and starter research grants for fellows.

Independent Organizations

PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship 

These programs provide up to two years of stipend funding to support full-time advanced students who will have completed most of their pre-thesis requirements (at least two years of study) and be engaged in thesis research as PhD candidates by the time the award is activated. Fellowships are $25,000 per year, for up to two years. 

American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

To enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising students who are matriculated in pre-doctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and brain health.

Ford Foundation Fellowships

Through its program of fellowships, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation.

The Hertz Foundation Fellowship

The Hertz Fellowship provides financial and lifelong professional support for the nation’s most promising graduate students in science and technology. The fellowship includes up to five years of funding, valued at up to $250,000, and the freedom to pursue innovative projects wherever they may lead. In addition, fellows take part in ongoing mentoring, symposia, and workshops with our vibrant community of more than 1200 fellows, a set of peers who span disciplines, generations, and geography.

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Every year, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports thirty New Americans, immigrants, or the children of immigrants, who are pursuing graduate school in the United States. Each fellowship supports one to two years of graduate study in any field and in any advanced degree-granting program in the United States.

Each award is for up to a total of $90,000. Here is the break down: Each Fellow receives $25,000 in stipend support a year (all stipend awards are capped at $50,000 per year), as well as 50 percent of required tuition and fees, up to $20,000 per year, for one to two years. The first year of Fellowship funding cannot be deferred.

American Association of University Women

The purpose of the American Dissertation Fellowship is to offset a scholar’s living expenses while she completes her dissertation. The fellowship must be used for the final year of writing the dissertation. Applicants must have completed all course work, passed all preliminary examinations, and received approval for their research proposals or plans by the preceding November.

Students holding fellowships for writing a dissertation in the year prior to the AAUW fellowships year are not eligible. Open to applicants in all fields of study. Scholars engaged in science, technology, engineering and math fields or those researching gender issues are especially encouraged to apply.

Contact Us

The Biomedical Training Programs team provides support for the health sciences training infrastructure at the U. Our team works closely with offices across campus to coordinate and support activities related to undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees. We provide pre and post-award support for the 20+ institutional training grants on campus and stay current on national trends and evolving grant requirements to ensure compliance and enhance programs. Contact us with your questions about training programs and pre and post award support.

Sean Flynn, PhD
Associate Director, Training Programs
SarahMay Case
Academic Programs Manager (Post-Award Support)
Jess Kieper, CRA
Research Manager, Institutional Training Programs
Jeanette Ducut-Sigala, PhD
Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Health Sciences Training Programs