2014 Awards
Pre Doctoral Fellowships

Pharmacology/Toxicology > Pre Doctoral Fellowship

Pharmacology/toxicology awards support career-development activities of scientists prepared to engage in research that integrates information on molecular or cellular mechanisms of action with information on the effects of an agent observed in an intact organism, either in experimental animal or clinical studies or both.

This program provides up to two years of stipend funding to support the research activities of the doctoral program and only after course work has been completed.  An applicant must be a full-time student and the Department Chair or graduate officer is expected to verify the applicant's doctoral candidacy.
Progress in pharmacological research requires the constant entry of well-trained investigators into the field. The PhRMA Foundation recognizes that the training of such individuals is long and expensive, requiring four to five years of post baccalaureate study and research. To provide assistance in the advanced stages of this training, the PhRMA Foundation program aims to support promising students during their thesis research. The program provides a stipend and funds to cover costs incidental to the student's academic training. Applications will be accepted to support a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years.
The program is designed for candidates who expect to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. in fields of Pharmacology/Toxicology in two years or less from the time the fellowship begins.
The program expects the fellows to devote full-time (including summers) to their research. The PhRMA Foundation fellowship may not be used to supplement funds from other fellowships, traineeships or assistantships, unless necessary to make stipend levels compliant with institutional policy. The focus of the program is to assist in the pre doctoral training of the candidate. It should not be viewed as a program to fund a research project. Applications, however good, which do not meet the aims of the program will be disapproved.


The fellowship program of pre doctoral support is designed to assist full-time, in-residence Ph.D. candidates in the fields of pharmacology or toxicology who are enrolled in USA schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry or veterinary medicine. The program supports full-time advanced students who will have completed the bulk of their pre-thesis requirements (at least two years of study) and are engaged in thesis research as Ph.D. Candidates by the time the award is activated. Students just starting in graduate school should not apply.

In the field of pharmacology or toxicology, highest priority will be given to applications for research that attempts to integrate information on the mechanism of action of a drug or chemical at a molecular or cellular level with the drug's effects in the intact laboratory animal or human, encompassing the potential influences of biochemical, physiological or behavioral systems. The pharmacology/toxicology research and teaching mission of the unit awarding the degree must be apparent as a core mission component on their web site.

A candidate enrolled in an M.D./Ph.D. program should not be taking required clinical course work or clerkships during the tenure of the fellowship.

Applications must be submitted by an accredited U.S. school, and all applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Due to the high demand for this fellowship, the PhRMA Foundation will accept only one application per academic institution. The university is responsible for selecting their proposed candidate. Exceptions may be considered for institutions with multiple campuses. Applications should be submitted through the website and received by September 1, 2013. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline date.


The award is made to the university on behalf of the fellow. The fellowship provides a stipend of $20,000 a year payable quarterly for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. Of the $20,000 awarded annually, up to $1,000 a year may be used for incidentals directly associated with the thesis research preparation (e.g., secretarial help, artwork, books, travel, etc.). Awards may be activated beginning January 1, 2014 or on the first day of any month thereafter, up to and including August 1, 2014. The second year of funding, if applicable, will be contingent upon a satisfactory review of the award recipient's progress during the first ten months of funding. A progress report will be due to the Foundation prior to the beginning of the second year of funding. The progress will be assessed by the Basic Pharmacology Advisory Committee. The decision will be based on adherence to the goals of the announcement of the overall program, and also in keeping with the originally proposed research on which the award was based. In addition to the progress report, the Foundation must receive certification from the thesis advisor that satisfactory progress is being achieved

The program, therefore, is designed to provide students stipend support during thesis research. An individual may not simultaneously hold or interrupt any other fellowship providing stipend support during the PhRMA Foundation fellowship. During the tenure of the fellowship, the fellow must be a full-time in-residence student. These funds are not transferable.

The stipend may be continued for up to three months after completion of the requirements for the doctorate, provided that the student remains in the department during this period and has obtained no other stipend or salary support. This provision applies only if there is sufficient time remaining within the agreed upon period of the fellowship and upon specific request to the Foundation, detailing how the time would be used.

Indirect costs are not provided to the institution and PhRMA Foundation grant funds may not be used for this purpose.

Pre Doctoral Fellowship Application Component Checklist

1. General Registration Information
2. Applicant CV or bio sketch
3. Extended Letter
This letter is an opportunity to tell us who you are and to detail your plans for your future. Include a synopsis of your career, tell us your interests and describe your desired future career path. Your letter should not exceed 2 pages of size 12 font.
4. Thesis Project Description
Submit a detailed description of the thesis project, written by the student, including objectives, rationale, methods of approach and preliminary results, if any, and a bibliography of major references. For clarity, if abbreviations or acronyms are used, the first use of the abbreviation or acronym should be followed by the full name or explanation. This statement (not including the bibliography) should not exceed 6 single-spaced pages of size 12 font.  Applicants are requested to use a format similar to that specified for the submission of grants to the National Institutes of Health.
5. Research Abstract
An abstract of approximately 200 words concerning proposed research plan.
6. Transcripts
Unofficial copies should be scanned and uploaded on the application. The applicant should arrange to have official copies sent to the PhRMA Foundation by the deadline date. Without these transcripts the application will be considered incomplete.
The institutional code for the PhRMA Foundation is #5967.
7. GRE Results
Unofficial copies should be scanned and uploaded on the application. The applicant should arrange to have official copies sent to the PhRMA Foundation by the deadline date.
The institutional code for the PhRMA Foundation is #5967.
8. Thesis Advisor Information and Letter of Reference
The thesis advisor should provide contact information and a bio sketch. The reference letter should include an appraisal of the applicant, the proposed research, and the training program. The thesis advisor should provide their history for training/mentoring of others. Provide 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 period of time.
(Since the fellowship provides no research funds, this information is necessary to provide a further perspective of the resources available for the conduct of the thesis research.)
Please demonstrate the department’s focus on the discipline, 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 bio sketch. The reference letter should include an appraisal of the applicant and the proposed research. Provide an estimate of when the candidate will complete the requirements for the Ph.D. and certification that the candidate is a full-time in residence candidate for the degree of Ph.D.  Information on the candidate’s current source of support and any pending applications for stipend support. If none are pending, please state this.
Provide information on whether or not the department has a training grant, noting if it is limited to a specific area and what this area is. Include information on the number of graduate students in the department and how many of these are supported by the training grant.
10. Additional Letter
A letter of reference from an individual other than the thesis advisor, who is knowledgeable about the candidate’s scientific skills, commenting on the candidate’s potential for a career in research.


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