National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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NCCAM-Specific Guidance for PA-11-112

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

On this page:

Introduction

NCCAM utilizes the F31 grant mechanism to support outstanding predoctoral students who are engaged in a rigorous research and study to carry out the Nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical research agendas in complementary and alternative medicine.

Applicants for F31 fellowship awards are strongly encouraged to contact a NCCAM Program Director before they begin to prepare their application, as NCCAM will consider only those applications that are designed to support the training and development of scientists with interests relevant to the mission of NCCAM.

Support will be provided for 2–5 years.

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NCCAM's Objective

NCCAM is fully supportive of the need to promote diversity in the biomedical research cadre among complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) investigators. NCCAM utilizes the F31 grant mechanism to support outstanding predoctoral students, including individuals from diverse racial and ethnic groups and individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are engaged in a rigorous research and study to carry out the Nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical research agendas in CAM. Applicants for F31 fellowship awards are strongly encouraged to contact a NCCAM Program Director before they begin to prepare their application, as NCCAM will consider only those applications that are designed to support the training and development of scientists with interests relevant to the mission of NCCAM.

NCCAM recognizes that there are several potential career pathways leading to a productive, independent CAM research career and that a fellowship candidate could pursue a period of predoctoral research training not directly related to a given CAM intervention. For example, a fellow could choose to be trained in pharmacology to provide part of the expertise required to study herbal medicines. Alternatively, predoctoral research training in bioengineering or orthopedic research could be appropriate preparation for an independent research career in spinal manipulation, as provided by chiropractors, osteopaths, etc. NCCAM's overall objective is to provide individual research training fellowships to promising predoctoral applicants from a range of career backgrounds, including those trained in CAM practices, who have the desire and potential to become productive and successful independent CAM research investigators. The proposed training must offer an opportunity to enhance the fellow's understanding of relevant health-related sciences and extend their potential for a productive CAM research career.

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Research Training Proposal Required

Predoctoral applicants and their sponsors must include a research training proposal that documents the need for the research training, the expected value of the proposed fellowship experience as it relates to the individual's career goals, and how the proposed research training will serve as a solid foundation and prepare them for a productive career in CAM research.

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Applicant Qualifications

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree (such as B.A. or B.S.) and be enrolled in a doctoral training program at the time the application is submitted.

The F31 fellowship award may not be used to support training leading to any clinical doctoral degree (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.C., D.A.O.M, O.M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., or N.D.) and is intended for research training purposes only. However, individuals in a formally combined, accredited research/clinical doctoral program, such as an M.D./Ph.D program, are eligible to apply.

NCCAM recognizes the critical importance of training clinicians, including clinicians trained in CAM healing practices, to become researchers, and encourages them to apply for other appropriate NCCAM carrier development opportunities. Please contact Dr. Alberto Rivera-Rentas to discuss training opportunities.

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NCCAM Contact

For questions about the training program policies and application process:

Alberto Rivera-Rentas, Ph.D.

NCCAM Program Director—Training Portfolio
Division of Extramural Research

E-mail: alberto.rivera-rentas@nih.gov