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Predoctoral Award

Purpose: Conduct mentored training of predoctoral students engaged in hypothesis-driven research that is focused on contributing to the advancement of one or more stated TRDRP research priorities. Highly innovative proposals with clear potential for future impact are key components of this award. The goal is to support the applicant’s own research project to enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive, independent researcher or to establish an alternative career related to tobacco-related disease research.

Award overview:

  • Maximum stipend amount per year:  Up to $60,000  
  • Maximum duration: 3 consecutive years  
  • Allowable direct costs:  
    Stipend: Predoctoral stipend must adhere to NIH experience scale, or the rates set by their institution with institutional documentation of the alternate payment scale. 
    • Tuition and Fees: Predoctoral students may budget for full tuition and fee costs up to $50,000.  Documentation of the institution’s tuition and fees structure should be included in the budget justification.
    • Institution Allowance: The applicant may request an institutional allowance to help defray the cost of expenses such as health insurance, medical liability or other special insurance, research supplies, equipment, courses and educational materials, project related travel, and travel to scientific meetings. These costs will be covered up to$4,400 per year. The institutional allowance is a fixed amount, and the institution is not required to account for these expenses on an actual cost basis.
    • Travel to TRDRP Conference: All applicants should budget a separate one-time $750 expense under year 1 for "Travel - RGPO Meeting" to attend the TRDRP conference.  This $750 expense is not part of the institution allowance. 
  • Indirect Costs: Not allowed 

A Note on Stipends and Employee BenefitsSince TRDRP predoctoral awards are not provided as a condition of employment with either TRDRP or the sponsoring institution, institutions may not seek funds, or charge individual awards, for costs that normally would be associated with employee benefits (e.g., FICA, workman’s compensation, life insurance, union dues, and unemployment insurance). 

Award requirements:

  • The proposal must reflect the applicant’s own research project and is expected to clearly enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist. 
  • Awardees are required to commit at least 75 percent of their effort each year to activities supported by this award. 
  • The candidate must be enrolled in a doctoral program at the time of application submission. 
  • The application must be prepared and submitted by the student. The mentor should participate in the preparation by providing guidance and feedback. The application must describe an original research project. The project should not have identical aims with an application or grant of the mentor, whether funded by TRDRP or another funder.  
  • A letter of support from the mentor and a minimum of two additional references are required. Letters should address the candidate’s training, potential, and the commitment of the mentor and department to the candidate’s career development.
  • The mentor must provide a biosketch and a detailed mentoring plan that is prepared in consultation with the applicant. 
  • U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.