Application Deadline: September 1, 2016 (Applications for 2017 will be accepted after July 1, 2016)
Pharmacology/toxicology awards support career development activities of scientists embarking on research that integrates information on molecular or cellular mechanisms of action with information on the effects of an agent observed in an intact organism, in experimental animal or clinical studies or both.
Highest priority will be given to applicants whose research will attempt to integrate information on a drug or chemical’s mechanism of action at the molecular or cellular level with a drug’s effect in a human or laboratory animal. Applicants should describe the significance of a hypothesis being tested in the context of potential influences of biochemical, physiological, behavioral, or social systems.
These awards intend to encourage multidisciplinary training to apply the perspective of molecular, cell, and systems biology to pharmacology and toxicology research. Their scope includes basic drug action studies, detection of cellular responses to drugs at the gene level that create opportunities to optimize individualized drug therapy, and the corresponding evaluation of pharmaceuticals in human and clinical populations.
• To encourage progress in pharmacological research through the provision of well-trained investigators.
• To support students in advanced stages of training and thesis research.
Eligibility & Requirements
Applications must be submitted by an accredited U.S. college or university.
- Because of high demand for this fellowship, the PhRMA Foundation will accept only one application per academic institution.
- Applicants must be full-time, in-residence pharmacology or toxicology students enrolled in U.S. schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Eligible candidates will have completed most of their pre-thesis requirements (at least two years of study) and be engaged in thesis research as Ph.D. candidates by the time the award is activated.
- All applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
 The university is responsible for selecting its proposed candidate. Exceptions may be considered for institutions with multiple campuses. While all applications involving pharmacology/toxicology research will be considered, preference will be given to individuals sponsored by a unit with responsibility for pharmacology/toxicology as part of its core mission. The pharmacology/toxicology research and teaching mission of the unit awarding the degree must be part of a core mission displayed on its website.
 An individual may not simultaneously hold or interrupt any other fellowship providing stipend support while the PhRMA Foundation fellowship is active.
- This award provides $20,000 in stipend support per year for one or two years.
- Payments will be made directly to the university on a quarterly basis.
- $1,000 per year may be used for incidentals directly associated with the thesis research preparation (i.e. secretarial help, artwork, books, etc.)
- The program provides no other subsidies (travel, tuition, fringe benefit costs, etc.).
- PhRMA Foundation funds may not be used for indirect costs to the university.
- These funds are not transferable.
- A financial report from the university will be required at the conclusion of each year of the fellowship.
The second year of funding, if applicable, will be contingent on a progress report submitted to the Foundation and a satisfactory review by the Basic Pharmacology Advisory Committee of the award recipient’s progress during the first 10 months of the fellowship. The decision will be based on overall adherence to the program’s goals, as well as the degree to which the awardee has adhered to originally proposed research. The Foundation must also receive certification from the thesis advisor that satisfactory progress is being achieved.
Pre Doctoral Fellowship Application Checklist
Please make a copy of this list to reference during the application process, as incomplete applications will not be considered.
1. General Registration Information
2. Applicant CV or Biosketch
3. Extended Letter
This letter is an opportunity to tell us who you are and to describe your career and future plans. Include a synopsis of your career, your professional interests, and your desired career path. The letter should not exceed two single-spaced pages (12-point font).
4. Thesis Project Description
The student’s detailed description of the thesis project, including objectives, rationale, methods of approach, preliminary results (if any exist), and a bibliography of major references. The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full name or description. This statement (not including the bibliography) should not exceed six single-spaced pages (12-point font). Please use a format similar to the format specified for grants submitted to the National Institutes of Health. This proposal should be written by the applicant and submission of this document will serve as verification that it has been written by the student.
5. Research Abstract
Submit a titled abstract of approximately 200 words concerning your proposed research plan.
Unofficial copies should be scanned and uploaded along with the application. Arrange to have official hard copies sent to the PhRMA Foundation at 950 F Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20004 by the deadline.
Without these transcripts, the application will be considered incomplete. Do not upload secure PDFs, as our reviewers will be unable to open the attachments.
7. GRE Results
Unofficial copies should be scanned and uploaded with the application. Arrange for official copies to be sent to the PhRMA Foundation by the deadline.The PhRMA Foundation’s institutional code is 5967.
We are aware that official copies are not available after five years. If we have questions regarding your scores, you will be contacted.
8. Thesis Advisor Information and Letter of Reference
- The thesis advisor should provide contact information and a biosketch.
- This letter should provide specific information as to the education of the trainee in the discipline of pharmacology/toxicology.
- The reference letter should include an assessment of the applicant, the proposed research, and the training program.
- The thesis advisor should provide his or her history of training/mentoring and a description of the facilities and financial support that will be available to the candidate.
- List the number of other trainees who will be supervised during the candidate’s training period. Provide a list of research support, including current grants, pending applications, total amounts involved, and the duration. (Because the fellowship grants no research funds, this information is necessary to provide further perspective on the resources available for thesis research.)
- Demonstrate the department’s focus on the discipline, and specifically state that your department is responsible for the pertinent discipline’s training at your institution.
9. Department Chair Information and Letter of Reference
- The chair should provide contact information and a biosketch.
- Define the pharmacology/toxicology mission of the department.
- Provide information as to the mechanisms by which the department supports pharmacology.
- Describe explicitly the support the department will provide to the student (e.g. funding, space, etc.).
- Describe the education of the trainee in the discipline of pharmacology/toxicology.
- The reference letter should include an assessment of the applicant and proposed research. Certify that the applicant is a full-time, in-residence Ph.D. candidate, and provide an estimate of when the candidate will complete the requirements for his or her Ph.D. Include information on the candidate’s current source of support and pending applications for stipend support. If none are pending, please state this.
- If the department has a training grant, please note if it is limited to a specific area and the area on which the grant focuses. Indicate how many graduate students are in the department and how many are supported by the training grant.
10. Additional Letter
A reference letter from an individual other than the thesis advisor, who is knowledgeable about the candidate’s scientific skills, must comment on the candidate’s potential for a career in research.
Letters and third-party materials should not be uploaded by the applicant. The application process will request contact information, including an email address, for your chair, thesis advisor, and additional reference. These individuals will receive a prompt from the application system with instructions for uploading their document(s), which will be appended to the application.
All applications will be thoroughly reviewed by our advisory committees and the PhRMA Foundation Board of Directors. Unfortunately, due to the limited time of our volunteer reviewers, we are unable to provide a critique of each application.