Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowships

Important: JDRF will not issue an RFA for new training awards in FY21. We regret these unfortunate circumstances and will resume our usual process in FY22.

Summary

Institutional Eligibility
Designed to attract qualified, promising scientists to receive full time research training and to assist these promising individuals in transitioning from a fellowship to an independent (faculty-level) position

Institutional Eligibility
Domestic & foreign non-profit organizations; public & private universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories; units of state & local governments; eligible agencies of the federal government

Applicant Eligibility
Required: MD, DMD, DVM, PhD, or equivalent. Must not be simultaneously serving an internship or residency.

Proposal
Access and submit full applications (including research plans) via RMS360.

Terms
Total dollar amount varies based on years of relevant experience.

Human Subjects Research
For a project proposing Human Subject Research, please review the Scientific Guidelines.

Upcoming Deadlines
See Grant Opportunities and Deadlines

Description

The Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship program is designed to attract qualified and promising health scientists, to provide an opportunity to receive full time research training, and to assist these promising individuals in transitioning from a fellowship to an independent (faculty-level) position. JDRF envisions the 3-year award term as a period in which fellows will receive critical research training that will position them to work at the leading edge of their chosen field. An additional, optional 1-year transition award will further assist fellows to proceed to independent faculty or research appointments and will serve as a bridge between the fellowship and independent competitive research funding. During the fellowship phase, the applicant is required to work with a sponsor who can provide a training environment conducive to beginning a career in diabetes-relevant research. At the time of activating the award, the applicant must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DMD, DVM, or equivalent) from an accredited institution and must not be simultaneously serving an internship or residency.

Eligibility

Applicant
This fellowship is intended for applicants who have completed some postdoctoral training, show extraordinary promise and are preparing for a transition to an independent research position. . Generally, the most recent doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DMD, DVM, or equivalent) will have been received no more than 6 years before the application is submitted.

JDRF is sensitive to personal-related matters that impact career trajectories.  Applicants who have taken leave from their career (e.g. parenting of a child, childbirth, long-term care of a parent/spouse/child/dependent, personal health issues) that puts them outside of the eligibility time frame for the award mechanism should feel free to reach out to JDRF staff ahead of their application submission. JDRF aims to be flexible and adjust these time frames if necessary and appropriate.

There are no citizenship requirements for this program. To assure continued excellence and diversity among applicants and awardees, JDRF welcomes proposals from all qualified individuals and encourages proposals from persons with disabilities women and members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences.

Sponsor
The applicant must be sponsored by an investigator who is affiliated full-time with an accredited institution and who agrees to supervise the applicant’s training. The sponsor does not necessarily need to have a background in diabetes, but the research project must be in a diabetes-related.

Location
Fellowship research may be conducted at foreign and domestic, for-profit and nonprofit, and public and private organizations, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local governments, and eligible agencies of the federal government.

Proposal

Access and submit full applications (including research plans) via RMS360.

Research Plan

The advanced postdoctoral fellowship research plan may not exceed 7 pages, including figures and tables. Please note that the 7-page limit includes narrative items a through f, as described below. Proposals with research plans exceeding the page limit will not be considered.

The research plan must be organized as follows: a) Specific Aims, b) Background and Significance of this work to Type 1 diabetes (provide a brief historical background of your proposed research, including major findings by you and/or others in the relevant field. Explain why you have chosen this problem), c) Preliminary Results (if available), d) Research Designs and Methods (describe, in detail, plans for solving problems, hypothesis, methodology, expected results, experimental subjects, controls, potential pitfalls and the rationale for the chosen approach), e) Other aspects (formal and informal) of the program that will continue to the total training environment (examples include, but are not limited to, clinical experience with diabetic patients, interaction with senior professional with expertise in diabetes, participation in staff conferences, teaching, consultation, etc.), f) List any planned coursework, g) List pertinent literature references (no page limit).

Note: For a project proposing Human Subject Research, please review the Scientific Guidelines.

At the end of the Research Plan section, the applicant must include a Future Career Plans statement and a Training Plan statement (see below).

Future Career Plans Statement

The Future Career Plans Statement is limited to 2 pages. The applicant must include a statement of career goals and indicate the relevance of these goals to type 1 diabetes-related research. The future career plans statement should detail the applicant’s plan for career development as an independent investigator. Topics to be discussed by the applicant may include: how much of the applicant’s time will be protected for research; how the proposed research will contribute to the applicant’s independent career; an expected timeline for obtaining an independent position, if the applicant is not already at that stage; how the JDRF award will contribute to the applicant’s future career plans; and any other planned formal or informal activities that will aid the applicant in establishing an independent research career. If the research proposed in the proposal is part of a larger research program or trial, the applicant should clearly define his/her role in the project and explain how their efforts on the project will lead to independence.

Training Plan Statement (must be written by sponsor)

The sponsor must provide a biographical sketch, list of previous trainees, and a statement of the plan for training the applicant. The Training Plan is limited to 2 pages. This statement must outline a detailed training program for the applicant as well as confirm the availability of facilities to conduct the research project. The sponsor’s statement should address plans for supervision, guidance, counseling, or other formal or informal training of the applicant. The sponsor must also include accurate and complete information regarding all other sources of grant support (current and pending), including title, abstract, annual and total amount of grant, inclusive funding period, and percent effort.

Recommendation References

Three (3) recommendation references assessing the scientific abilities and potential of the applicant must be submitted. Please note that the recommendation references are confidential and will not be released to the applicant. The recommendation references must be submitted directly through RMS360 by the referee. Please note proposals cannot be successfully validated until all references are submitted. Sponsors cannot be references, but should complete the Training Plan Statement listed above.

Evaluation
Fellowships will be awarded on the basis of the applicant’s previous experience, academic record, the caliber of the proposed research, the quality of the mentor, training program, and environment, and the applicant’s potential to obtain an independent research position in the future. The relevance of the proposal to the cause, cure, treatment, and/or prevention of diabetes and its complications will also be considered. Applicants are encouraged to submit projects aligned with JDRF Research Priority Areas. While not a requirement, a proposal that is aligned with JDRF Priority areas will be given priority consideration in the review process.

The applicant’s professional ability and promise for a research career in type 1 diabetes will hold the highest priority in selection and will be assessed on the basis of the letters of recommendation, career plans, prior clinical and research training, academic transcripts, and the mentor’s endorsement. Location in a department that will provide a stimulating research environment is an additional factor that will be considered in evaluating applicants.

Terms of Award & Stipend

Awards will be made for a duration of up to 3 years, assuming satisfactory progress. The fellowship term is 12 months for each fellowship year. For fellowships awarded prior to 2017, fellows must devote 100% of their effort to the project outlined in the fellowship proposal. For new awards beginning in 2017 and after, fellows must devote at least 75% of their effort to the project outlined in the fellowship proposal.

Budgets up to USD 95,000 per year for up to 3 years may be requested. The stipend request is based on years of relevant postdoctoral experience. Salary support for additional staff is not allowable.

There are no indirect costs allowed for fellowships and JDRF will make no deductions for income tax, Social Security, etc. Funds in excess of the stipend, up to a total budget of USD 95,000 per year, can be used for travel to scientific meetings (up to USD 2,000/year), journal subscriptions, books, training courses, laboratory supplies, or equipment (in Year 1 only). The purchase of a personal computer is allowed (up to USD 2,000) only during Year 1 of the award. Health insurance costs are permissible. The award is renewable for up to two additional years pending submission and approval of a renewal proposal. Please see JDRF’s Administrative Resources for awarded grants for more details about budget guidelines.

Transition Award

To assist the awardee’s advancement to a faculty position, the advanced postdoctoral fellowship carries an optional transition year in which the awardee may request funding support in their first year as a faculty member of an academic institution. To apply for the transition year, awardees must provide a letter of institutional commitment and faculty appointment along with a satisfactory progress report and abbreviated research plan for the transitional year. The Transition Award can be requested in an amount up to USD 110,000 total costs for 1 year. Indirect costs (excluding equipment) cannot exceed 10 percent. The Transition Award can be requested at any time during the 3-year fellowship period after a faculty appointment has been obtained.

Proposal

Transition award applicants should contact the relevant JDRF Grant Staff to submit the required Transition Award materials.