NIH funding for non-MSTP institutions

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by rocketman, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. rocketman

    rocketman Member
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    One of the schools I have applied to is not an MSTP institution but still offers an MD/PhD program that has limited funding.

    I was wondering if anyone has applied for or has information on the extramural NIH funding opportunities (such as the F30 fellowship) for MD/PhD programs. Specifically I was wondering if any offer funding for the medical school years as opposed to the graduate school years.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Napoleon4000

    Napoleon4000 Senior Member
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    There is a special program for MSTP funding. You can find the F30 awards at the first website:

    http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm

    The second website, from NIGMS, also provides some info on awards provided by NIGMS:

    http://archive.nigms.nih.gov/funding/trngmech.html

    Predoc awards, specifically F30 or others handed out by different institutes, allow you to apply for funding for MD/PhD programs. And they will fund both only if you are pursuing a PhD. You can also call them with specific questions. I hope this helps.
     
  3. 1Path

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    Be careful with the NIH finding. Some (if not all of the grants) will only pay 60% of your tuition after the first 2000$ or so, so if you matriculate at a school like Hopkins, you'll have to borrow money to cover your tuition.

    Also, I thought the NIGMS money (non MSTP) was only for URM's but I could be wrong about that.
     
  4. Napoleon4000

    Napoleon4000 Senior Member
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    I wish people who are not enrolled would refrain from dispensing advice. All people like you do is scare off people who are applying. Once you pick a program, and find a lab, your mentor is required to supplement any award received from extramural funding once you matriculate and choose a lab. And typically, most md/phd program will supply fuding for you during your first and maybe your second year. Additionally, the university would also supplement your award. Getting a predoc is very prestrigious, and quite difficult. Once you matriculate in a school, and find a good lab, you and your mentor will (hopefully) get together and discuss and write down the proposal, which will take you between 3-6monthds. The application cycles are:
    F31 Minonrity applicants: Nov. 15 and May 15
    F31 Predoc Awards in general: Dec. 5 and April 15.

    You cannot apply for a predoc until you are matriculated and enrolled in either a phd or md/phd program. You will need to provide proof of both during your application along with various signatures from department heads and the dean of the graduate school. I'm not sure of any other awards that will fund and md in the context of and md/phd program. And yes, even though the award only covers 60% of your award it is a lot when you consider $40000/year tuition, and the fact that you will get a stipend to go with that. Please, once you decide on a school call both the NIH and speak with your graduate division about funding sources and the rules and deadlines. Don't rely on this forum as your only source of information.
     
  5. rocketman

    rocketman Member
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    Thanks for the responses. I have gathered information from a variety of sources, but sometimes it is hard to get a clear answer.

    My main question is whether an F30 (or any NIH fellowship) would provide any type of funding for the first two years of medical school. The information I have read and received indicates that you cannot even apply for an F30 until you are actually attending medical school. This seems to imply that it does NOT fund the first two years, but I don't want to jump to conclusions.

    Some schools that offer MD/PhD programs do not supply stipends or tuition remission for the first two years of medical school. I'm wondering if any NIH fellowships do supply funds for this time period. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks.
     
  6. LM02

    LM02 Senior Member
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    I'm a PhD (not an MD) and had F31 funding when I was in graduate school. I recognize that the F30, by design, is different. However, there are are certain aspects of navigating the NIH system that are pretty universal.

    Primarily, the logistics of applying for, getting, and actually physically receiving the funding are fairly complicated. You should anticipate at a minimum 8-9 months between the grant submission and the receipt of the funding. Basically, your grant goes in, is assigned a study section, and then several months pass before it is peer-reviewed. At that point, you'll get your priority score, and will then have to wait to get your summary statement (the actual reviews). Assuming that you have a score in the fundable range, you will then have to wait a couple of months for your grant to go through "council" which is an internal review by the institute officials. Following that,it has to pass across several desks for rubber stamping. Finally, the money is sent to your institution.

    So, with all else being equal (which it may not be), even if you were to submit in December of your first year, you shouldn't expect to receive any funding until the summer before your 2nd year. And if you need to revise and resubmit (which is becoming increasingly common given the governmental budget problems), I would add at least another 8 months to the process.

    I'm not saying this to discourage you, but I think it's important to be realistic about the NIH system. I'm a full-time researcher now, and believe that the F31 experience was extremely informative in terms of learning how to navigate through NIH at an early stage in my career, and in understanding what a soft money research career will actually be like. This kind of inefficient system has a lot more implications when you're waiting (and waiting) to hear back about an R01 that essentially determines whether you will have a job or not. So if you invest time in grantsmanship development now, you will only be better prepared down the road.

    Good luck in your endeavors!
     
  7. rocketman

    rocketman Member
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    Thanks for the response. I did read that the F30 is on some sort of fasttrack from the time of submission to the receipt of funding (4-5 months?). However, the institution I am interested in offers a maximum of 3 awards per year. I wish I could get a better idea about the competitiveness for this type of fellowship, so I know if I should even spend the time. I will admit that the experience would be very helpful in the future, regardless of what happens.
     

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