2014 Awards
Post Doctoral Fellowships
Pharmaceutics > Post 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.

The number of well-trained graduates from Ph.D. programs in pharmaceutics who further develop and refine their research skills through formal postdoctoral training is limited. The reasons for this frequent absence of postdoctoral research experience are several. They include strong employment demand by industry and academia for junior scientists when they graduate from doctoral programs and a shortage of funds available to universities for the ready support of postdoctoral fellows. This situation serves to compromise the ultimate research capabilities of many such graduates. The lack of postdoctoral experience can be particularly telling for Ph.D. graduates seeking academic positions and often renders them less competitive in the successful pursuit of extramural funding - a factor which is so necessary for a productive research program.

The PhRMA Foundation recognizes the critical need for such well-trained scientific investigators. Accordingly, it wishes to encourage more qualified graduates to obtain postdoctoral research training in pharmaceutics. The Foundation seeks to achieve this goal by providing fellowships each year to qualified applicants who have the opportunity to become involved with mentors, facilities and programs that, collectively, can be expected to provide an excellent environment for the fellow. Applications will be accepted for postdoctoral research training extending over a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. Each fellowship carries an annual stipend of $40,000 which can be supplemented by the sponsor and/or his/her institution.


To be eligible, applicants must either (i) hold a Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutics or a related discipline from an accredited U.S. university or (ii) expect to receive such a degree before activating the fellowship. A student with a Ph.D. from a school of pharmacy may use the fellowship to study with a mentor in any science or engineering department. Applicants should indicate a strong determination to continue their research careers in pharmaceutics following completion of the fellowship. An equally important aspect of eligibility is that suitable facilities for the necessary training and research must be available to the applicant. The program with which the applicant is, or will be, associated must provide an environment where the applicant's potential can be developed to the fullest extent possible.

Before an individual is eligible to apply for a PhRMA Foundation award, the applicant must first have a firm commitment from a university in the U.S. Applications must be submitted by an accredited U.S. school and all applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applications are to be submitted via the Foundation website and received by September 1, 2014.  Applications will not be accepted after the deadline date.


For the purposes of this program, pharmaceutics includes basic pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics, pharmaceutical technology and pharmaceutical biotechnology. Ph.D. graduates in chemistry, physics, biology and related areas who wish to develop expertise and careers in pharmaceutics through relevant post-doctoral experience are also encouraged to apply. The fundamental aspects of pharmacokinetics are not included since these are covered by PhRMA Foundation programs in pharmacology and toxicology. The focus of the program is to assist in the postdoctoral research training of the applicant. It should be stressed that the quality of the research proposed will be a major factor in the selection of fellows. Research projects that 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 award, consisting of a $40,000 annual stipend, is made to the institution on behalf of the fellow. Awards may be activated beginning January 1, 2015 or on the first day of any month thereafter, up to and including December 1, 2015.  The award is intended solely as a stipend and may not be used otherwise. If necessary, the institution may supplement the award to a level that is consistent with other postdoctoral fellowships it currently offers. If the stipend is to be supplemented, indicate the amount. If no supplement is intended, so state this. The program provides no other subsidies (travel, tuition, fringe benefit costs, etc.) and indirect costs to the institution are not provided. It is expected that the fellowship will be administered in accordance with the prevailing policies and procedures of the institution.

The second year of this award is contingent upon a progress report approved by the Foundation and submission of a financial report. These funds are not transferable.

Post Doctoral Fellowship Application Components

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 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. Research plan
The applicant must prepare a comprehensive statement not to exceed eight single-spaced typewritten pages of type size 12 point or larger, of the plans for research, education and training in the selected discipline. Applicants are requested to use a format similar to that specified for the submission of grants to the National Institutes of Health that includes a description of the objective(s), rationale, methods of approach and a bibliography of major references.(the bibliography is not included in the 8 page limit). Preliminary results, if any, should also be included. A project time-line is suggested. Acronyms should be put in a footnote on the first page or they should be spelled in full the first time it is used.
The Advisory Committee will review each application for the quality of the research as well as the education and training proposed. Therefore documentation that proper guidance and departmental support will be available to insure training in the techniques and principles of the area is essential. The proposal must document the approval of all departments in which the candidate will train via letters from the chairs or mentors of these departments, or from an appropriate level of responsibility if the proposal includes an experiential rotation in an industrial research laboratory.
Submission of this plan is assurance that the research proposal has been written primarily by the applicant.
5. Research abstract
An abstract of approximately 200 words concerning the proposed research plan.
6. Transcripts
Unofficial copies of graduate transcripts 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. Budget
Provide a budget and list any other funding this project receives.
8. Department Chair Information and Letter of Reference
The Chair should provide contact information and a bio sketch. Please confirm that your department
Is responsible for the training in this discipline.  The reference letter should include an appraisal of the applicant and the proposed research. Information on the applicant’s current source of support and any pending applications for stipend support should be provided.
If none are pending, please state this.
9. Sponsor’s Information and Letter of Reference
The sponsor should provide contact information and a biosketch.  A letter of recommendation.
with an appraisal of the candidate and the proposed research.
10. Information and letters of reference from up to 3 other individuals familiar with your scientific career.
Please note: required references will be contacted via email with instructions on how to upload documents to our system once the application is submitted. These documents are not due by the deadline date but should be received by September 14, 2014.
11. Reprints
Copies of relevant articles published by the applicant.



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