KEY DETAILS This award supports students in advanced stages of training and thesis research.
Application deadline: September 1, 2019 @ 11:59 PM EDT
Eligibility: This program supports full-time students (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) 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. Due to the high demand for this fellowship, the PhRMA Foundation will accept only two applications per academic institution.
Funding: $25,000 per year, up to two years.
Important: Please click on topics in blue, above, to learn the full details about this award.
**** For applications to be considered, proposals MUST contain innovative informatics developments and NOT solely apply bioinformatics methodologies to experimental data analysis.
The goal of the Informatics Pre Doctoral Fellowships program is to promote development and use of novel informatics in an integrative approach toward understanding normal processes of human biology and disease processes. Informatics awards support career development of scientists engaged in research that significantly integrates state-of-the-art information technology with advanced biological, chemical, and pharmacological sciences in the relevant areas, for example:
- Genetics / Genomes
- Proteomics / Metabolomics
- Molecular Systems Biology
- Medical (human) Pathways and Networks
- Genomics Molecular Epidemiology
- Pharmaco- Integrative Biology / Pharmaco-genomics
- Population Modeling and Simulation
- Novel approaches to the analysis of biomedical Big Data
- The goal of this program is to support students in advanced stages of training and thesis research.
- To encourage the entry of well-trained investigators into the informatics field.
Eligibility & Requirements
- Applications (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) must attend an accredited U.S. college or university.
- Due to the high demand for this fellowship, the PhRMA Foundation will accept only two applications per academic institution.
- This program supports full-time 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.
- For applications to be considered, proposals must contain innovative informatics components and not solely apply bioinformatics methodologies to experimental data analysis.
- The use of any non-human model systems must be described in terms of its relationship to human biology and disease.
- Emphasis will be placed on the development of new informatics technologies that facilitate translation of data into an elucidation and understanding of human biological and disease processes. This includes the applicant’s identification of unmet clinical needs and a proposed solution.
 Exceptions may be considered for institutions with multiple campuses.
 Students just beginning graduate school should not apply. A candidate enrolled in an MD/PhD program should not be taking required clinical coursework or clerkships while the fellowship is active. An individual may not simultaneously hold or interrupt any other fellowship providing stipend support while the PhRMA Foundation fellowship is active.
 Preference will be given to individuals whose research combines novel computational methods with experimental validation.
- This award provides $25,000 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 Informatics 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 goals. 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 Arial font, 1 inch borders on all sides). The letter should be written by the applicant and submission of this document will serve as verification that it has been written by the student.
4. Thesis Project Description (*)
The student’s detailed description of the thesis project, including objectives, rationale, methods, details of approach, preliminary results (if any exist), and a bibliography. 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 Arial font). Please use a proposal structure format similar to the format specified for grants submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 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 September 15th. Without these transcripts, the application will be considered incomplete. Do not upload secure PDFs.
7. GRE or MCAT Results
Unofficial copies should be scanned and uploaded with the application. Arrange for official copies to be sent to the PhRMA Foundation by September 15th. 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. Reference Information
Applicant should upload contact information for each reference (address, email and telephone). The system will auto generate an email asking him/her to provide a letter of recommendation.
All departments in which the candidate will train should be committed to this training and documented via letters from thesis advisor and/or department chair in these departments, or from appropriate personnel if the proposal includes an experimental rotation in an industrial research laboratory.
- The thesis advisor should provide contact information and an NIH style biosketch (of no more than 3 pages.).
- The reference letter should include an assessment of the applicant, the proposed research, and the training program.
- They should include their history of training/mentoring, a description of the facilities, and any additional financial support that will be available to the candidate.
- They should 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 enable further perspective on the evaluation of 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 training at your institution.
- The head of the administrative unit in which the applicant reports, e.g. department chair, program director, center director, institute director, etc. should provide contact information.
- Besides their contact information, their reference letter should include an assessment of the applicant and, if possible, of the proposed research as well as confirming the department is responsible for training in this discipline.
- They should certify that the applicant is a full-time, PhD candidate, and provide an estimate of when the candidate will complete the requirements for his or her PhD.
- They should describe specifically the support the department will provide to the student. Include any 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 on which the grant focuses. Indicate how many graduate students are in the department and how many are supported by the training grant.
A reference letter from an individual other than the applicant’s thesis advisor, who can attest to 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. These references will receive a request from the system with instructions for uploading their document(s), which will be appended to the application. The deadline date for letters and third-party materials is September 15th.
(*) Submission of this plan is considered assurance that the proposal has been written primarily by the applicant.
Based on our policy, we do not provide written reviews.
Note: 2020 Applications will be accepted July 1 – September 1, 2019 @ 11:59 PM EDT.