*** 2022 Funding opportunity details will be announced in spring of 2021. ***
The PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Drug Discovery provides stipend support for individuals engaged in a multidisciplinary research training program that will create or extend their credentials and provide new skills in drug discovery research.
To apply, applicants must submit a letter of intent, due May 15, 2020. Those whose submissions are selected will be notified by July 1, 2020 and asked to complete a full application.
Applicants (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) must have a firm commitment from a sponsor/mentor at an accredited U.S. university. The award supports candidates proposing to gain new skills in drug discovery research.
Ideal applicants will be within their first two years of postdoctoral study. Funding is for up to two years. Applications requesting funds to continue an existing postdoctoral program for a third to fifth year will not be considered.
While all applications involving drug discovery will be considered, preference will be given to individuals sponsored by a unit with responsibility for drug discovery training and research as part of its core mission.
Applicants must hold a PhD or appropriate terminal research doctorate in a field related to the proposed postdoctoral activities or expect to receive such a degree before activating the award.
$50,000 per year, for up to two years.
Important: Please click the buttons at the top of this page (Award Aims, Eligibility, etc.), to learn the full details about this award.
Drug Discovery is the process through which potential new medicines are identified. It involves integration of a range of scientific disciplines, including innovative and unique biology, chemistry and pharmacology.
Modern drug discovery has extended beyond traditional small molecules to embrace a variety of novel therapeutic approaches, including peptides, oligonucleotides, antibodies, proteins, stem cells and CAR-T cells.
The evolving process of drug discovery should include innovative culture-based and animal-based efforts that embrace new cutting-edge technology, including target-specific structural and computational drug-based design and the use of genomics.
- To provide stipend support for individuals engaged in a multidisciplinary research training program that will create or extend their credentials in drug discovery research.
- To support postdoctoral career development activities that will result in achieving new skills in pharmaceutically relevant areas.
Eligibility and Requirements
- This award supports candidates proposing to gain new skills in drug discovery.
- The award is available to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens.
- Applicants must have a firm commitment from a sponsor/mentor at an accredited U.S. university.
- Applicants must hold a PhD or appropriate terminal research doctorate in a field related to the proposed postdoctoral activities or expect to receive such a degree before activating the award.
- Applicants must be within their first two years of postdoctoral study at the time of award activation.
- While all applications involving drug discovery research will be considered, preference will be given to individuals sponsored by a unit with responsibility for drug Discovery training and research as part of its core mission. If the drug discovery mission is not apparent at the sponsoring unit’s website, the sponsor letter must describe how the academic appointment will support the applicant’s career development in drug discovery.
- Applicants who are applying for funds to support postdoctoral work in the laboratory where their graduate work was performed will be given lower preference.
- This award is for two years and provides $50,000 in stipend support per year. The second year of funding is based upon a receiving a satisfactory progress report from the applicant upon completion of the first ten months of funding.
- The fellowship provides no other subsidies (travel, tuition, fringe benefit costs, etc.)
- PhRMA Foundation funds may not be used for indirect costs to the university.
- Awards may be activated beginning January 1, 2021 or on the first day of any month thereafter, up to and including August 1, 2021.
- Payments will be made directly to the university on a quarterly basis.
- An individual may not simultaneously hold or interrupt any other fellowship providing stipend support while the PhRMA Foundation fellowship is active.
- A financial report will be required upon completion of the first twelve months of funding.
- A final progress report and financial report will be required at the conclusion of the fellowship.
- Unspent funds are to be returned to the PhRMA Foundation.
- These funds are non-transferable.
- Any changes to the proposed project must be approved by the PhRMA Foundation.
To apply for a PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Drug Discovery, applicants must submit a letter of intent, due May 15, 2020 @ 11:59 PM EST. Those whose submissions are selected will be notified by July 1, 2020 and asked to complete a full application.
To start a Letter of Intent, go to the proposalCENTRAL website at https://proposalcentral.com/. If you are a new user of proposalCENTRAL, follow the “CREATE ONE NOW” link under “Need an Account?” and complete the registration process. If you are already a registered user, login at https://proposalcentral.com/ with your username and password. If you have forgotten your password, click the “Forgot your Password?” link.
Once you are logged in, please click the “Professional Profile” tab at the top and complete steps 1-10 or update with current information. Your name, degrees, Position/Title, Academic Rank, Department and address will be pulled from this page in proposalCENTRAL.
To start a Letter of Intent, select the “Grant Opportunities” tab and a list of applications will be displayed. Find “PhRMA Foundation” and click the Apply Now link next to the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Drug Discovery Program to create your Letter of Intent.
Letter of Intent
The letter of intent, written by the applicant, should not exceed one single-spaced page (12-point font and .one-half inch margin). It should be written in a style and format that is similar to the NIH specific aim page (project synopsis to include how the project is novel, innovative, cutting edge across disciplines, and showing how the impact of the project may move science forward, etc.) The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full name or description. Upload the completed document in Section 6: Letter of Intent.
Projects that integrate cutting-edge scientific drug Discovery approaches will be favored.
Those whose submissions are selected will be notified to by July 1, 2020 and asked to complete a full application. Full applications are due September 1, 2020 @ 11:59 PM EDT, including letters of support.
Full Application Components
1. Extended Letter
We want to know our applicants. Include a synopsis of your career, your professional interests, and your desired career path. This is an opportunity for you to tell us how your project specifically relates to drug discovery. Applicants who don’t address the clear connection between their project and drug discovery will not be considered.
The letter should not exceed two single-spaced pages (12-point font, one-half inch margin).
2. Applicants biographical sketch or CV (5-page limit)
3. Project Title (maximum of 200 characters -entered directly into ProposalCENTRAL)
4. Project Summary / Abstract (maximum of 2,000 characters -entered directly into ProposalCENTRAL)
Besides entering your project summary/abstract, please answer the following three questions (maximum of five sentences per answer):
- What is the innovative component of your project?
- How will this proposal advance the field?
- What are the challenges in the field you are you actually solving?
5. Research Project / Proposal
The applicant must prepare a comprehensive statement, not to exceed eight single-spaced pages (12-point font; one-half inch margin), of the plans for research, education, and training in drug discovery. Applicants should use a format similar to the format specified for grants submitted to the National Institutes of Health, including a description of the objective(s), the rationale, methods of approach, and a bibliography of major references (bibliographies are not included in the page limit). The proposal should not be copied directly from a sponsor’s past NIH proposal, but instead should be written in original text by the postdoctoral candidate.
Preliminary results, if any, should also be included. A project timeline is suggested. The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full name or description or included in a footnote. Each application will be reviewed closely to assess the quality of the proposed research, as well as the proposed education and training that will be obtained. Therefore, it is essential that documentation be included, demonstrating that proper guidance and departmental support will be made available during the project to ensure training in the techniques and principles of drug discovery.
The proposal must document the approval of all departments in which the candidate will train via letters from chairs or mentors in these departments, or from appropriate personnel if the proposal includes an experiential rotation in an industrial research laboratory.
Applicants are required to upload graduate transcripts.
Please provide a budget and list any other funding this project receives. If further justification is needed, please upload a budget justification.
8. Career Publications
Up to three publications should be uploaded.
Please note that the system will not accept your application unless the letters of support from your references have been successfully uploaded.
You are required to submit contact information for the following personnel:
- Department Chair (a.k.a. program director, center director, institute director, etc.)
- Sponsor (the person who mentors and authorizes your work in the lab)
- General Reference(s) (1-3) who are familiar with you and your scientific career
Once you add their name and contact information to your application, an auto-generated email will be forwarded to them. The email will include instructions as to what they should address in their letter of support and it will provide a personalized hyperlink where they should upload their letter. Letters of support should be uploaded before September 1, 2020.
We suggest you inform your references in advance of what items should be addressed in their letter of support. See below:
Department Chair (a.k.a. program director, center director, institute director, etc.) should provide:
- The department’s mission in relation to drug discovery
- Information as to the mechanisms by which the department supports drug discovery
- Assessment of the applicant and proposed project
If the department chair is also your sponsor, only enter their information once. Be sure to ask her/him to address the requested information from both perspectives as listed below.)
Sponsor should provide:
- Brief biographical sketch
- Assessment of the applicant and proposed project
- Information describing how the department will support the applicant (e.g. funding, space, etc.)
- Information to describe the education of the applicant in drug discovery
- Information on the training program in drug discovery research
- If the applicant does not have a formal background in drug discovery, the Sponsor must describe how the applicant will obtain such training as a postdoctoral student (e.g. a class, part of a project, etc.) The mechanism and assessment to establish successful training of the applicant must be made clear.
- The Sponsor should confirm the applicant’s current source of financial support for the proposed project and any pending applications for stipend support should be provided. If none are pending, this should be stated.
General Reference(s) should provide:
- Contact information
- Assessment of the applicant
- General references who are connected to an applicant’s project should explain their roles and responsibilities regarding the project.
REMEMBER to begin your application early so your references have ample time to meet the September 1 deadline.
It is your responsibility that these letters are uploaded. The application portal will permit you to review your application and the status of your letters of support before your final submission. Be sure to check it frequently and do not wait until the last minute.
The application portal will not permit the application to be submitted until the letters of support have been uploaded.
Application deadline is September 1, 2020 @ 11:59 EDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Please note the PhRMA Foundation does not provide written reviews.
Award notification is December 15, 2020.
Letters of intent are due May 15, 2020.