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Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research
Predoctoral Fellowship

2023 predoctoral awardee Helen Omuya meets with her adviser.

$30,000 a year for up to 2 years

The PhRMA Foundation’s Predoctoral Fellowship in Value Assessment-Health Outcomes Research (VA-HOR) is designed to support promising students (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) during advanced stages of training and thesis research in value assessment and health outcomes research.

The deadline for 2024 awards has passed. Applications for 2025 awards will open in September 2024.

The PhRMA Foundation seeks research proposals that investigate challenges and potential solutions related to evaluating the delivery, safe use, effectiveness, and value (clinical, patient-centered, and economic) of medicines and other health care interventions. Proposals could be empirical analyses or studies addressing methodological aspects of the following areas:

  • Clinical and economic outcomes using real-world data and analytic tools
  • Clinical outcomes assessments
  • Patient-reported and/or patient-centered outcomes, especially for diverse or underserved populations
  • Patient health preferences research
  • Evaluation and outcomes assessments focused on health equity or unmet need
  • Innovative methods for measuring and reporting novel value elements (e.g., clinical, cost, health preference) from different stakeholder perspectives
  • Development of innovative decision and communication tools
  • Patient- and equity-centered value assessment frameworks
  • Health policy research

Proposals should incorporate patient engagement at an appropriate level to be responsive. 

  • 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 July 1, 2024, or as late as December 1, 2024.
  • Applicants who expect to complete their PhD requirements before July 1, 2024, should not apply.
  • Applicants should expect to complete their PhD requirements in two years or less from the time funding begins. The thesis adviser’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.
  • 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 all four categories of our VA-HOR programs (predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, and faculty starter grants).
  • This award 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 adviser, 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 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. 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 July 1, 2024, or on the first day of any month thereafter, up to and including December 1, 2024.
  • If you are offered a PhRMA Foundation award, the Foundation will reconfirm your external grant support. Should you receive additional funding in excess of $250,000 in annual direct costs, the PhRMA Foundation award will be withdrawn.
  • 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.
  • These funds are non-transferable.

The deadline for 2024 awards has passed. Applications for 2025 awards will open in September 2024.

To start an application, go to the ProposalCentral website at 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 Predoctoral Fellowship in Value Assessment-Health Outcomes Research.

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).

3. Research Plan

Applicants must prepare a comprehensive yet concise research plan. This should be written by the applicant and not copied from another’s project. Applicants should use a format similar to that for National Institutes of Health grants.

The research plan should include a specific aims page (one-page limit), followed by your research strategy (not to exceed six pages) that describes the rationale, significance, research design and methodology, and preliminary results (if any exist). A bibliography of major references should also be included (bibliographies are not included in the page limit).

Required type specifications: U.S. letter size 8.5” x 11” / .5” margin / 11-point font (figures may be provided in a smaller font). The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full name or description. Submissions that do not meet the specified guidelines for proposal preparation will not be considered.

4. Research Impact Questions

Please answer the following four questions using the template provided in the application portal titled Research Impact Questions.

  • How will this project advance the methods used in the fields of value assessment and/or health outcomes research?
  • How does your proposal address barriers to progress in this space?
  • How will the completion of your project bring value to society?
  • Are appropriate measures in place to assure compliance with patient privacy and security? Please explain.

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 (optional)

You can upload up to three relevant publications in PDF format.

8. References

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 February 1 so you can submit your application before 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET. 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.
  • 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 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.

The PhRMA Foundation award allows me to create a Deprescribing Intervention Quality Improvement Instrument, using a mixed methods approach to prioritize the patient’s goals, improve patient-reported health quality of life, reduce adverse effects of polypharmacy, and lower cost.

Helen Omuya 2023 Predoctoral Fellow in Value Assessment-Health Outcomes Research