Individual Fellowship and Career Development Programs Supported by NIGMS


As graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, you may find yourself searching for opportunities to support the current or next stage of your research training. NIGMS has a long history of fostering research training and developing a strong biomedical research workforce through a variety of programs at all education levels. Many of our research training grants are made to organizations, which in turn select the students or postdoctoral researchers who’ll receive support. This post focuses on programs individual graduate students and postdoctoral scientists can directly apply to, regardless of your institutional or organizational affiliation.  

Our programs for individuals use both NIGMS-published notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) and what we refer to as “parent” announcements published by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Office of Extramural Research. As a first step, you should check each funding announcement for eligibility. For example, most of the individual programs supported through NIGMS NOFOs require that individuals are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or noncitizen nationals; however, some parent awards are open to international scientists. Most programs have three receipt dates a year, but you should always check the NOFO for specific deadlines.

Graduate Level Support

At the graduate level, NIGMS offers two fellowship opportunities:

Postdoctoral Level Support

At the postdoctoral level, NIGMS offers several programs aimed at supporting advanced training in the biomedical sciences:

  • Individual Postdoctoral National Research Service Awards (NRSA/F32) provide support for postdoctoral fellows to receive advanced, specialized training in basic or clinical research through an intensive, mentored research experience that helps develop independence, innovation, and creativity.
  • Pathway to Independence Awards (Parent K99/R00) support postdoctoral scientists to receive both mentored and independent research funding from the same award. The award provides up to 5 years of support consisting of two phases:
    • K99: 1-2 years of mentored support to postdoctoral fellows
    • R00: up to 3 years of independent support contingent on the scientist securing an independent research position
  • Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Independent Careers (MOSAIC K99/R00) program promotes broad participation in the biomedical research workforce by supporting the transition of postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds into independent, tenure-track or equivalent research-intensive faculty positions using the K99/R00 funding structure. Scholars are assigned to MOSAIC-supported organizations that provide them with mentoring and a variety of career development and networking activities.

NIGMS also participates in the NIH-wide loan repayment program (LRP) to help retain individuals in the biomedical research workforce. Through the LRP-REACH program, NIGMS supports postdoctoral or faculty scientists who were supported at earlier training stages by many of our institutional and individual awards.

At all career stages, NIGMS offers diversity supplements to principal investigators (PIs) with an active NIGMS grant to support individuals from the high school to faculty level to conduct research as part of the PI’s team. We also support supplements to promote re-entry of postdoctoral fellows and faculty into the biomedical research workforce after taking time off for reasons such as to care for children or parents or to attend to other family responsibilities.​

Learn more about any of the programs listed above—or find out about institutional training programs that may be offered at your institution—on our research training webpage. If you have any questions about a specific program, reach out to the NIGMS staff member listed in the funding announcement associated with the program.

Best of luck in your search!

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