2014 Awards
Pre Doctoral Fellowships

Pharmaceutics > Pre Doctoral Fellowships


Pharmaceutics is that area of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences that deals with drug delivery systems, in particular, the design and evaluation of contemporary pharmaceutical dosage forms or systems so that they are safe, effective, and reliable. It is a multidisciplinary area, with significant underpinnings from such basic scientific disciplines as physical chemistry, physical organic chemistry, and biophysics.
Pharmaceutics places a strong emphasis on a quantitative understanding and exploiting the principles underlying drug delivery and drug transport, whether a drug is a small organic molecule, a higher molecular weight protein, or a peptide derived through biotechnology.

As advances in genomics—the study of genes and their functions — result in the identification and production of functional genes, a quantitative understanding of factors influencing gene therapy delivery will become an increasingly important component of pharmaceutics.

Pharmaceutics is also concerned with understanding the impact of formulation composition and manufacturing / engineering factors on the quality of a dosage form and its physical and chemical stability.

Progress in pharmaceutics research requires the constant entry of well-trained investigators into the field. The PhRMA Foundation recognizes the critical need for such scientists and appreciates that the training of such individuals is both long and expensive, requiring four to five years of study and research. To encourage the entry of more qualified individuals into this area, the PhRMA Foundation program aims at supporting promising students during their thesis research by providing assistance in the form of stipend and funds to cover costs incidental to the training. Applications will be accepted for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years.

The program is designed for applicants who expect to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. in pharmaceutics in two years or less from the time the fellowship begins. For the purposes of this program, pharmaceutics includes basic pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics and pharmaceutical technology. The fundamental aspects of pharmacokinetics are not included since these are covered by PhRMA Foundation awards in pharmacology and toxicology. Students in this area are encouraged to submit an application to that program.

The program assumes that the fellows will devote full-time (including summers) to their research. The PhRMA Foundation fellowship may not be used as a supplement to funds from other fellowships or assistantships. However, this does not preclude institutions supplementing a fellowship with their own funds in order to bring the stipend within the normal range of the institution. The focus of the program is to assist in the pre doctoral training of the applicant. It should not be viewed as a program to fund a research project. It should be stressed that the quality of the research proposed will be a major factor in the selection of fellows. The student's success in carrying out a rigorous academic [i.e., course work] program will be another major selection factor. Research projects which extend or develop the proprietary value of specific drug products are not acceptable in this program. This exclusion does not preclude research in which specific drug products are used to test hypotheses which have a general applicability. 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 pharmaceutics who are enrolled in a school of pharmacy accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education or the mentor of the applicant must be in an accredited school of pharmacy. The program seeks to support advanced students who will have completed the bulk of their pre-thesis requirements (generally two years of study) and are starting their thesis research by the time the award is activated. Students just starting in graduate school should not apply.

To be eligible, applicants must hold a B.S., M.S., or Pharm.D. degree in pharmacy or a related area such as chemistry or biology from an accredited school. A candidate enrolled in a PharmD./Ph.D. program should not be taking required clinical course work or clinical clerkships during the tenure of the fellowship. Also, before an individual is eligible to apply for a PhRMA Foundation award, the applicant must first have a firm commitment from a U.S. university, and must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Applications are to be submitted via the Foundation 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 Pharmaceutics 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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