NIGMS trains the next generation of biomedical scientists in three ways: through institutional grants to colleges and universities for Ph.D. training programs, through individual predoctoral fellowships to graduate students, and through supplements to research grants. This document provides an overview of the programs available to institutions and individuals. For more information, see the Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity section of the NIGMS Web site.
1. Institutional Grants
Predoctoral Training Grants
Research Training Areas
Research Training Opportunities Designed to Foster Diversity
2. Individual Predoctoral Fellowships Designed to Foster Diversity
3. Supplements to Research Grants to Promote Diversity
Institutional Predoctoral Training Grants
NIGMS gives grants to more than 250 training programs that support approximately 3,000 Ph.D. and M.D.-PhD. students at institutions across the U.S. These graduate programs support training in 11 distinct interdisciplinary areas of science plus training for a combined M.D.-Ph.D. degree, and are among some of the best in the nation. We give grants to the institutions, which then select the students to be supported. Students apply directly to these programs at the institution and are appointed by the training grant program directors. Trainees receive a base stipend (currently $22,032) that usually is further supplemented by the school. In addition, each student receives an allowance for tuition and fees, health insurance, travel and training-related expenses.
Requests for general information about institutional predoctoral training grants should be directed to:
Dr. Shiva Singh
Behavioral-Biomedical Sciences Interface
Contact: Dr. Juliana Blome -- 301-594-2762
The goal of this program is to develop basic behavioral scientists with rigorous broad-based training in biology and biomedical science. Students will be groomed to assume leadership roles related to the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. These programs provide an interdisciplinary research training experience and curriculum for trainees that integrates both behavioral and biomedical perspectives, approaches and methodologies.
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Contact: Dr. Scott Somers -- 301-594-3827
Students will learn about the background theory and biological application of information sciences (including computer science, statistics and mathematics) to problems that are relevant to biomedical research. Particular emphasis is placed on multi-scale and large-scale problems in biology. Training includes the use of theory and computer application to the full spectrum of basic research in the biomedical sciences, including the analysis of molecular sequence and structure, molecular function, cellular function, physiology, genomics and genetics.
Contact: Dr. Paula Flicker -- 301-594-0828
This program integrates biostatistical theory and evolving methodologies with basic biomedical research. The program includes, but is not limited to, bioinformatics, genetics, molecular biology, cellular processes and physiology, as well as epidemiological, clinical and behavioral studies. The goal is to provide students with a deep understanding of statistical theory and new methodologies that will enable them to assume leadership roles related to biomedical, clinical and behavioral research.
Contact: Dr. Barbara Gerratana -- 301-594-3827
This program provides students substantial technical and intellectual skills in areas such as microbiology, molecular genetics, biochemistry, biochemical engineering, plant and animal cell culture technologies, metabolic engineering, biomaterials, macromolecular structure analysis, hybridoma technology, tissue engineering and separation technologies. Students will be required to complete in-depth dissertation research and coursework of a Ph.D. program and acquire significant exposure to the concepts and experimental approaches of some related research areas.
Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences
Contact: Dr. Joe Gindhart -- 301-594-0828
This program is cross-disciplinary and involves in-depth study of biological problems at the level of the cellular and molecular sciences. The training program encompasses related disciplines, such as biochemistry, bioinformatics, biophysics, chemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, neurobiology and pathology.
Contact: Dr. Miles Fabian -- 301-594-3827
This program provides significant biological training to students receiving in-depth training in synthetic/mechanistic chemistry and provides significant training in synthetic/mechanistic chemistry to students being trained in depth in the biological sciences. Students trained at the chemistry-biology interface will be educated in a core discipline and sufficiently well-trained in complementary fields in order to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team.
Contact: Anthony Carter -- 301-594-0943
Students will be trained in all aspects of modern genetics. Trainees will be exposed to closely related fields such as cell and developmental biology and biochemistry. The goal of the program is to produce scientists who will have a thorough understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of inheritance, at both the molecular and organismal levels, and who will be able to apply genetic approaches to problems in other areas of biology.
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
Contact: Dr. Peter Preusch -- 301-594-0828
The MSTP provides students with medical and graduate research training that is required for investigating human diseases. The program gives trainees a choice of a wide range of pertinent graduate programs in the biological, chemical and physical sciences which, when combined with training in medicine, lead to the M.D.-Ph.D. degree. In addition to those disciplines, students may be trained in other areas such as computer sciences, social and behavioral sciences, economics, epidemiology, public health, bioengineering, biostatistics and bioethics. The programs give students background training in medical sciences while enabling them to function independently in both basic research and clinical investigation.
Contact: Dr. Paula Flicker -- 301-594-0828
This program targets training at the intersection of physics, chemistry and engineering on the one hand and cell and molecular biology on the other. The goal is to train scientists who can apply the techniques commonly associated with modern biophysics to solve fundamental problems in cell and molecular biology.
Contact: Dr. Alison Cole -- 301-594-3827
This program combines rigorous training in the basic biomedical sciences with exposure to concepts and knowledge underlying the molecular basis of disease. The goal is to train a cadre of scientists prepared to work at the interface of basic biomedical science and clinical research, an area sometimes referred to as translational research. This training program is primarily designed for Ph.D. candidates.
Contact: Dr. Richard Okita -- 301-594-3827
Students will receive training that will enable them to conduct research on the biological phenomena and related chemical and molecular processes involved in the actions of therapeutic drugs and their metabolites. Trainees will have research opportunities in a variety of disciplines, such as biochemistry, physiology, molecular biology, cell biology, chemistry, medicinal chemistry and toxicology as well as pharmacology. Students trained in this program should be able to contribute to the design and evaluation of therapeutic strategies based upon the competence they have acquired through specialized training in the pharmacological sciences.
Systems and Integrative Biology
Contact: Dr. Stefan Maas -- 301-594-0943
This program focuses on building the broad research competence required to investigate the integrative, regulatory and developmental processes of higher organisms and the functional components of these processes. The training program will bring together varied resources, approaches and thesis research opportunities with faculty mentors of such disciplines/departments as physiology, biomedical engineering, the neurosciences, the behavioral sciences, biochemistry and cell and developmental biology. Graduates of the program should be well versed in quantitative approaches to biology.
Research Training Opportunities Designed to Foster Diversity
Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)
Contact: Dr. Daniel Janes -- 301-594-0943
IMSD is a student development program for institutions with research-intensive environments. The goal of this program is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who complete Ph.D. degrees in biomedical and behavioral research fields. This program prepares students for competitive research careers and leadership positions in the biomedical or behavioral sciences.
Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
Contact: Dr. Michael Bender -- 301-594-0943
This program is designed to encourage students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and who have recently obtained their baccalaureate degrees to earn Ph.D. degrees in biomedically-relevant sciences. Students work as apprentice scientists in a preceptor's laboratory and participate in student development and education activities to prepare them for Ph.D. programs.
Bridges to the Doctorate
Contact: Dr. Michelle Hamlet -- 301-594-3900
This program helps students make the transition from master's degree programs to Ph.D. programs. The program is geared toward students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and/or populations disproportionately affected by health disparities (targeted groups).
Individual Predoctoral Fellowships Designed to Foster Diversity
Individual Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
Contact: Dr. Shawn Drew Gaillard -- 301-594-3900
The intent of this fellowship program is to encourage predoctoral students from groups who are underrepresented in the nation’s biomedical and behavioral research workforce to seek the research doctorate.
The program gives students up to 5 years of support for research training leading to the Ph.D. or equivalent research degree; the combined M.D.-Ph.D. or other combined professional degree and research doctorate degree in the biomedical and/or behavioral sciences. The fellowship provides an annual stipend of $22,032; tuition and fee allowance; and an annual institutional allowance of $4,200 which may be used for travel to scientific meetings, health insurance, and for laboratory and other training expenses.
Supplements to Research Grants to Promote Diversity
Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
Contact: Dr. Marion Zatz -- 301-594-3833
This program provides additional funds to scientists who have NIGMS research grants, allowing them to recruit students from underrepresented minority groups, students with disabilities or students from certain types of disadvantaged backgrounds to work in their labs.