National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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NCCAM-Specific Guidance for PA-11-113

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (F32)

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NCCAM uses the F32 National Research Service Award (NRSA) to help ensure that diverse pools of highly trained scientists will be available in adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to carry out the Nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical research agendas in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Applicants for F32 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 up to 3 years.


NCCAM's Objective

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 postdoctoral research training not directly related to CAM research. For example, a fellow could choose to be trained in pharmacology to provide part of the expertise required to study herbal medicines. Alternatively, postdoctoral research training in bioengineering or orthopedic research could be appropriate preparation for an independent research career in spinal manipulation, as performed by chiropractors, osteopaths, etc. NCCAM's overall objective is to provide individual research training fellowships to promising postdoctoral applicants from a range of career backgrounds 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 the health-related sciences and extend his/her potential for a productive CAM research career. As such, postdoctoral candidates for this award should address in their application all the review criteria described in the F32 funding opportunity announcement to demonstrate that the proposed training will meet the goals of this fellowship program and that it is relevant to NCCAM's mission. NCCAM and NIH recognize the critical importance of training clinicians, including clinicians trained in CAM healing practices, to become researchers, and encourages them to apply for this F32 fellowship. If appropriate, the proposed research training may be used to satisfy a portion of the degree requirements for a master's degree (e.g., M.P.H.), a research doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D.) or any other advanced research degree program.


Research Training Proposal Required

Postdoctoral applicants for this award 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. Individuals from diverse racial and ethnic groups and individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.


Applicant Qualifications

Potential applicants include, but are not necessarily limited to, those trained: in biomedical research; as conventional allopathic medical practitioners; or as CAM practitioners. Regardless of the training background, the applicant must hold a doctoral degree (e.g., D.A.O.M., D.C., D.D.S., D.O., M.D., N.D., Ph.D., or other relevant doctoral degree).


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