The overall goal of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In order to accomplish this goal, NRSA training programs are designed to train individuals to conduct research and to prepare for research careers. More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website. The NRSA program has been the primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training programs since enactment of the NRSA legislation in 1974. NRSA programs have since expanded to include Research training activities can be in basic biomedical or clinical sciences, in behavioral or social sciences, in health services research, or in any other discipline relevant to the NIH mission.
Institutional NRSA programs allow the Training Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) to select the trainees and develop a program of coursework, research experiences, and technical and/or professional skills development appropriate for the selected trainees. Each program should provide high-quality research training and offer opportunities in addition to conducting mentored research. The grant offsets the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NRSA support levels.
Applying for a Training Grant?
Submitting a new or competitive renewal training grant application requires thoughtful planning. In advance of writing and collecting data for the application, be sure to review the relevant funding opportunity announcement.
All applicants (PIs) are strongly encouraged to contact the relevant NIH Program Officer for advice on submitting a proposal. For new applications, prospective PIs should confirm the proposed program fits within the mission of the respective NIH institute and discuss any unique policies or requirements the NIH Institute has relating to training grants when they meet with the Program Officer.
Sample Timeline for Training Grant Development (new application)
Sample Timeline for Training Grant Development (renewal application)
Training Grant Resources
The information below provides important details on how to apply for an institutional research training grant as well as associated resources to address required components of the application.
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- T Kiosk-Information on NIH Institutional Training Grant Funding Opportunities
- SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (go to “Training Instructions”)
- Standard Due Dates (see “T Series”)
- NIH Data Tables (Information in the Data Tables must be summarized in the Research Training Program Plan)
- Table of Institute- and Center-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts (Parent T32)
- Institutional Research Training Grants FAQs
- NIH’s Interest in Diversity
- NIH Notice of Clarification Regarding Harassment and Discrimination Protections in NIH Training Applications
- NRSA Stipend, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels (FY2020)
- To view the guidelines reviewers follow for each type of training grant, go to the “T awards (Training)” section of NIH’s Review Guidelines.
- Find success rates for T32s and T35s at Success Rates on NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) website.
Requesting an Institutional Letter of Support
The institutional letter of support is provided by the Graduate School/Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE). All requests for an institutional support letter must be received 30 days prior to the submission deadline and sent to email@example.com.
Diversity and Inclusion Efforts and Resources (Trainers and Trainees)
- UW–Madison Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA)
- UW–Madison Graduate School-Diversity
- UW–Madison McBurney Disability Resource Center
- UW–Madison Faculty Diversity Initiative
- UW–Madison SMPH Centennial Scholars Program
- UW–Madison Bioscience Initiative for Recruiting Network (BIRN)
- UW–Madison Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars (SciMed GRS) Program
- NIH Diversity in Extramural Programs-Recruitment & Retention
- Enhancing Diversity in Training Programs (Recruitment and Retention strategies and resources on NIGMS website)
- Evaluating the Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity on T32 Applications
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Resources
- RCR at UW–Madison (includes list of RCR courses that meet NIH research ethics training requirements)
- HHS Office of Research Integrity Resources: Training in RCR
- NIH on Responsible Conduct of Research Training
- NIGMS Guidance on Best Practices for Training in RCR
- National Postdoctoral Association RCR Project
Resources for Rigor and Reproducibility Training
Resources for Trainees
Graduate Students (predocs):
Graduate Students and Postdocs:
- Virtual NIH Activities for Trainees Outside the NIH from the NIH OITE
- Training and Career Development Resources for Postdocs and Early Career Scientists on NIGMS website
- NIGMS Webinar Series: Expert Advice on Starting a Lab
In this webinar series, nine NIGMS early career investigators share their advice on starting a lab.
Resources for Mentors
Located on campus, CIMER provides resources for organizations and institutions to improve research mentoring relationships. They provide consultations, trainings and curricula.
- UW–Madison WISCIENCE-Entering Research Curriculum
- UW–Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research-Mentoring
- National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)
UW-Madison is one of 5 collaborating institutions and leads one of the 5 core initiatives, specifically the Mentor Training Core (MTC) as part of NRMN. MTC serves as a national hub to prepare mentors and mentees in biomedical research through training, both in-person and online.