$60,000 a year for up to 2 years
The PhRMA Foundation’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine supports individuals (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) engaged in a multidisciplinary, collaborative research training program at an accredited U.S. university that will extend their credentials in translational medicine.
Application Deadline: February 1, 2024 @ 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time (ET)
Application submission and reference letters of support are due by the deadline.
Application Portal Opens
Translational medicine is a scientific discipline focused on turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into medicines, diagnostics, or other interventions that improve human health.
Translational medicine fosters a patient-focused research cycle that stretches from the lab bench to the patient bedside and back to the lab again. This includes adapting basic research discoveries in cells, tissues, and animals for application in humans and then taking the knowledge of what did and didn’t work in the clinic back to the bench.
Given the breadth of the discipline, the PhRMA Foundation’s Translational Medicine Program focuses specifically on novel research that uses the “bedside to bench” approach to address unmet needs in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. The Foundation seeks research proposals that focus on identifying unmet clinical needs and developing new diagnostic, experimental, and computational approaches and technologies to improve patient care and management.
Applicants should work with clinical collaborators to identify unmet clinical needs. Proposals should integrate innovative technologies, with advanced biological, chemical, diagnostic, and pharmacological sciences and engineering methodologies in areas that include but not are limited to:
- Genetics (Molecular, Pharmaco-, Population, Medical)
- Genomics (Functional, Structural, Toxico-, Pharmaco-, Comparative)
- Systems (Biology and Pharmacology)
- Pathways and Networks
- Integrative Biology
- Modeling and Simulation
- Target Identification and Validation
- Biomarker Identification and Validation
- Molecular Epidemiology
- Disease Modeling
Note: Studies that do not involve human specimens, human data, or patients will not be considered. The results of any model system study are required to involve clinical testing in humans in support of the model and be documented in the proposal. For basic research projects, please apply to our Drug Discovery Program. For research on health outcomes and health technology assessment, please apply to our Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research Program.
- Applicants (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) must currently be in a PhD and/or MS degree-granting accredited U.S. university.
- Applicants must have a firm commitment from a research supervisor or sponsor at their university.
- Applicants must hold a PhD, PharmD, MD or appropriate terminal research doctorate. If you do not hold one at the time of application submission, please state in your extended letter when you expect to receive it, as it must be received before funding can begin. Funding can begin as early as July 1, 2024, or as late as December 1, 2024.
- Applicants must be within their first five years of postdoctoral study at the time of award activation.
- Applicants who are applying for funds to support postdoctoral work in the laboratory where their graduate work was performed will be given lower preference. One of the objectives of this fellowship is to gain new skills and therefore an ideal candidate will be conducting their research in a new laboratory and not where their graduate work was performed.
- The Foundation will not consider multiple applications for the same or similar efforts on the same project. If multiple applicants are submitting proposed efforts on the same project, the efforts must be separate activities and not duplicative. This pertains to applications in both categories of our translational medicine program (postdoctoral fellowships and faculty starter grants).
- The PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine provides $60,000 in stipend support per year for 12, 18, or 24 months.
- To receive funding beyond the first 12 months, awardees must provide the PhRMA Foundation with a satisfactory progress report upon completion of the first 10 months of funding.
- Funding is conditional upon the awardee’s continued employment with the university in the postdoctoral program, which will be assessed on a quarterly basis prior to payment. Payments will be made directly to the university on behalf of the awardee, with the understanding the university will administer the funds.
- This award is intended solely as a stipend and may not be used otherwise. PhRMA Foundation funds may not be used for tuition, fringe benefits, or indirect costs to the university.
- An individual may not simultaneously hold another funding mechanism providing stipend support while the PhRMA Foundation postdoctoral fellowship is active, unless it helps to supplement the award to a level that is consistent with other postdoctoral fellowships the university offers. If necessary, the university may supplement the award to a level that is consistent with other postdoctoral fellowships it currently offers.
- Funding may begin as early as July 1, 2024, or on the first day of any month thereafter, up to and including December 1, 2024.
- A financial report (separate from the 10-month progress report) will be required upon completion of the first 12 months of funding.
- A final progress report and financial report will be required within 60 days of the fellowship’s conclusion.
- Unspent funds are to be returned to the PhRMA Foundation.
- Any changes to the proposed project must be approved by the PhRMA Foundation.
- These funds are non-transferable.
The application portal for 2024 awards will open in November 2023.
To start an application, go to the ProposalCentral website at proposalcentral.com. If you are a new user of ProposalCentral, follow the link “Create an Account” and complete the registration process. If you are already a registered user, login 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 1-11 or update with your current information. Your name, degrees, position/title, academic rank, department, and address will be pulled from this page in ProposalCentral.
Next, select the “Grant Opportunities” tab and a list of applications will be displayed. Find “PhRMA Foundation” and click the “Apply Now” link next to Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine.
The following components are included in the application:
1. Applicant’s Biosketch (NIH format)
2. Extended Letter (personal statement)
This is an opportunity to tell us who you are. Include a synopsis of your career, your professional interests, and your desired career path. The letter should not exceed two single-spaced pages (U.S. letter size 8.5” x 11” / .5” margin / 11-point font).
Note: In order to receive a PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine, you must hold a PhD, DSc, DEng, or MD degree. If you do not hold one at the time of application submission, please state in your extended letter when you expect to receive it, as it must be received before funding could begin. Funding can begin as early as July 1, 2024 or as late as December 1, 2024.
3. Research Plan
The applicant must prepare a comprehensive statement, not to exceed eight single-spaced pages, of the plans for research, education, and training in translational medicine. A key component of translational medicine involves collaborative programs that span nonclinical and clinical domains, potentially involving multiple laboratories, advisers, and institutions.
Applicants should use a format similar to the format specified for National Institutes of Health grants, including a description of the aims, rationale, significance, research design and methodology, and a bibliography of major references (bibliographies are not included in the page limit). The proposal should be written by the postdoctoral candidate — not copied directly from a sponsor’s past proposal.
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. The proposal must document the approval of all departments in which the candidate will train via letters from chairs or mentors in these departments.
Required type specifications: U.S. letter size 8.5” x 11” / .5” margin / 11-point font (figures may be provided in a smaller font). Submissions that do not meet the specified guidelines for proposal preparation will not be considered for funding.
4. Research Impact Questions
Please answer the following four questions using the template provided in the application portal titled Research Impact Questions.
- What are the challenges or gaps in the field you are solving?
- How is your project innovative?
- How will the completion of your project bring value to society?
- How are human subjects/data/specimens involved in the study as opposed to laboratory models?
5. Stipend Justification
If your institution is supplementing the award to a level that is consistent with other predoctoral fellowships that it currently offers, please upload a “Stipend Justification” explaining why the stipend is being supplemented and at what amount. If not, upload a document stating, “no stipend support.”
6. Other Sources of Funding/Funding Explanation
Upload information about other support this project receives. If no other support, upload a document stating, “No other support has been received or is pending.” Other support includes all financial resources — federal, non-federal, commercial, or institutional — available in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, including but not limited to research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and/or institutional awards. Training awards, prizes, or gifts do not need to be included.
7. Manuscripts/Presentations (if any)
You can upload up to three relevant publications in PDF format.
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.
- Research supervisor or 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 sent to them with instructions on what they should address in their letter of support and a personalized hyperlink where they should upload their letter.
Letters of support should be uploaded before February 1 so you can submit your application by 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Time (ET). We suggest you inform your references in advance of what items should be addressed in their letter of support.
Research supervisor or sponsor should include:
- Their brief biosketch.
- Assessment of the applicant and proposed project.
- Information on how the department will support the applicant (e.g., funding, space, etc.).
- Description of the education/training of the applicant in translational research.
- If the applicant does not have a formal background in translational research, the sponsor must describe how the applicant will obtain such training as a postdoctoral fellow (e.g., a class, part of a project, etc.). The mechanism and assessment to establish successful training of the applicant must be made clear.
- Information on the training program in translational research.
- Information on the applicant’s current source of financial support for the proposed project and any pending applications for stipend support. If none are pending, this should be stated.
General reference(s) should include:
- The period of time they have known the applicant and in what capacity.
- Comment on the applicant’s communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to collaborate with peers on research projects.
- Explanation of how this program will be a productive experience for the applicant and why they should be selected.
- If involved in the applicant’s project, an explanation of their roles and responsibilities regarding the project.
REMEMBER to begin your application early so your references have ample time to meet the February 1st 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.
Award notification is April 15, 2024.
I am extremely grateful to receive the PhRMA Foundation fellowship, which will directly support my translational research in HIV acquisition risk and prevention strategies. This award will help strengthen connections between basic and clinical research, a concept that I believe produces the most beneficial and impactful research outcomes.