The PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship in Drug Delivery provides support for promising students (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) in advanced stages of training and thesis research in drug delivery research, including basic pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics, pharmaceutical technology, pharmaceutical biotechnology, or biomedical engineering.
$30,000 per year for up to two years
The deadline to apply for 2024 awards has passed. 2024 award recipients will be notified by December 15, 2023. The application portal for 2025 awards will open in March 2024.
Successful proposals in Drug Delivery emphasize the quantitative understanding of the principles, pathways, and/or mechanisms underlying improved or optimized:
- formulation composition and delivery modalities/technologies that enable more favorable transport (absorption, targeting, elimination) of drugs; and/or
- drug dosage forms that can be manufactured to achieve higher quality, lower cost, and greater stability or flexibility.
Today’s drugs include biologics, small molecules, and cell and gene therapy. Delivering increasingly complex drugs demands thorough understanding of technologies and formulation approaches.
Research that focuses on findings that can be generalized to other systems will be prioritized. Testing the delivery of a single drug by one approach is less preferred.
- Applicants (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) must attend an accredited U.S. university as full-time, in-residence students. Individuals just beginning graduate school should not apply.
- Applicants will have completed most of their pre-thesis requirements (at least two years of coursework) and be engaged in thesis research as PhD candidates by the time the award is activated. Award activation can begin as early as January 1, 2024, or as late as August 1, 2024.
- Applicants should expect to complete their PhD requirements in two years or less from the time funding begins. The thesis advisor’s letter of support must verify the applicant’s doctoral candidacy.
- Applicants enrolled in MD/PhD programs should not be engaged in required clinical coursework or clerkships while the fellowship is active. Fellows are expected to devote full time (including summers) to their research.
- Predoctoral fellowships should not be seen as a way to fund the principal investigator’s currently funded research project.
- Only one predoctoral applicant per lab may apply for this award. If multiple applicants apply, they will automatically be ineligible. Potential applicants and their thesis advisors and/or lab managers should decide who should apply.
- The Foundation will not consider multiple applications for similar efforts on the same project. For instance, if a predoc, postdoc, and faculty member from the same lab are all submitting applications for proposed efforts on the same project, the efforts must be separate activities and not duplicative.
- The PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship in Drug Delivery provides $30,000 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. In addition, awardees must provide a letter from their thesis advisor, confirming that satisfactory progress is being made.
- Funding is conditional upon the awardee’s continued enrollment with the university, which will be assessed on a quarterly basis prior to payment. The awardee is required to notify the PhRMA Foundation if they leave the university or if they defend early. Payments will be made directly to the university on behalf of the awardee, with the understanding that the university will administer the funds.
- This award is intended solely as a stipend; however, within the yearly award amount of $30,000, up to $1,000 (maximum) per year may be used for incidentals directly associated with thesis research preparation or travel to a scientific conference in the United States.
- 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 predoctoral fellowship is active, unless it helps to supplement the award to a level that is consistent with other predoctoral fellowships the university offers. If necessary, the university may supplement the award to a level that is consistent with other predoctoral fellowships it currently offers.
- Funding may begin as early as January 1, 2024, or on the first day of any month thereafter, up to and including August 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 deadline to submit to apply for 2024 awards has passed. 2024 award recipients will be notified by December 15, 2023. The application portal for 2025 awards will open in March 2024.
To start a letter of intent, 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.
Step 1: Letter of Intent (LOI)
To submit an LOI, select the “Grant Opportunities” tab in ProposalCentral and a list of applications will be displayed. Find “PhRMA Foundation” and click the “Apply Now” link next to the Predoctoral Fellowship in Drug Delivery Program.
Candidates must submit a 600-word LOI describing their research project and its aims. In addition to the LOI, please answer the following questions using the Research Impact Questions template provided:
- Explain how your project fits into the PhRMA Foundation’s Drug Delivery Program (see program goals).
- How will this project advance the field?
- What challenges or gaps in the field are you solving?
- How is your project innovative?
The LOI should be written by the applicant on a U.S. letter-sized 8.5” x 11” page with .5” margin and 11-point font. The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full name or description. Citations and figures do not count toward the 600-word LOI limit.
Those whose submissions are selected will be notified by July 1, 2023, and asked to complete a full application. Full applications are due August 31, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT, including letters of support.
Step 2: Application Process (by invitation)
The following components will be required if you are invited to submit a full application.
1. Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Biosketch
Preference is for the applicant to submit a biosketch. References, where requested, may submit either a CV or NIH-style biosketch.
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).
3. Research Plan
Applicants must prepare a comprehensive yet concise thesis project description, not to exceed six pages. This should be written by the applicant and not cut/pasted from another’s project. Applicants should use a format similar to the format specified for grants submitted to the National Institutes of Health. The description should include aims, rationale, research design and methodology, preliminary results (if any exist), and a bibliography of major references (bibliographies are not included in the page limit). The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full name or description.
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.
4. Research Impact Questions
Please reupload your responses to the Research Impact Questions from the LOI stage using the provided template. You may make adjustments to your responses if you choose.
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 whether 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 (optional)
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.
- Thesis advisor
- 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 August 31 so you can submit your application before 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT.
We suggest you inform your references in advance of what items should be addressed in their letter of support.
Thesis advisor should include:
- Their brief biosketch or CV.
- Assessment of the applicant and proposed research, and confirmation of their doctoral candidacy. If it is pending, please note the anticipated date of doctoral candidacy.
- Information on additional financial support that will be available to the applicant.
- List of research support, including current and pending grants, total amounts, and duration. Because the fellowship grants no research funds, this information is necessary in order to enable further perspective on evaluating the resources available for thesis research.
- Thesis advisor’s history of training/mentoring and a description of the facilities.
- The number of trainees that will be supervised during the candidate’s training period.
- A detailed training plan that should be combined into one PDF with their letter of support.
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 August 31 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.
Application deadline is August 31, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Award notification is December 15, 2023.
I am honored to receive a Predoctoral Fellowship in Drug Delivery from the PhRMA Foundation. This support is instrumental for conducting my current PhD research and gives me confidence and a boost to pursue a career researching protein therapeutics.