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Predoctoral Research Fellowship Award

Support the mentored training of predoctoral level investigators with clear and direct commitment to and potential for contributing to the advancement of one or more stated research priorities

All applications must address one or more of our eight research priorities.

Maximum award amount per year: $30,000 (direct)

Maximum duration: 3 years

Allowable direct costs: Salaries, fringe benefits, supplies, equipment*, travel

Project-related travel: As needed (must be fully justified)

Travel to TRDRP conference: Maximum $750 (mandatory)

Scientific conference travel: $2,000 per year (excluding a mandatory allocation of $750 in one year of the project for travel to the TRDRP Conference)

Indirect costs: Indirect costs are capped at 8 percent for both UC and non-UC institutions

*Any item costing $5,000 or more

Fellowship 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 submission of the application
  • The application must be prepared and submitted exclusively by the student and must outline an original research project (separate from the project of a mentor).
  • A letter of support from the mentor and a minimum of two additional references are required. Letters of support should address the candidate’s training, potential and the commitment of the mentor and the department to the candidate’s career development. In addition, the mentor must provide a detailed mentoring plan that is prepared in consultation with the applicant.
  • U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.

Review criteria:

Criteria-1 (30 percent scoring weight)

Qualifications of the applicant: Does the applicant present a strong academic background and research training? What is the potential for the applicant to become a successful independent researcher? Are the applicant’s academic record and research experience of high quality? Does the applicant have the potential to develop into an independent and productive researcher? Does the applicant demonstrate commitment to a research career in the future? Letters of support are available that strongly support the applicants' career and plan?

Criteria-2 (50 percent scoring weight)

Training plan: Does the proposed mentoring plan include effective ancillary activities that will enhance the training of the applicant as an independent researcher? Are additional experiences planned that will supplement the trainee’s knowledge of their research field? Are there any didactic or interactive activities planned for increasing the trainee’s knowledge base in tobacco research and tobacco control or any of the stated research priorities?

Research plan: Are the conceptual framework, design (including composition of study population and strength of recruitment plan), methods and analyses adequately developed, well-integrated and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative strategies? Will the proposed research training experience significantly contribute to the development of the candidate’s career potential as a researcher in the proposed area?

Criteria-3 (20 percent scoring weight)

Mentor’s qualifications and commitment: Based on the advisor and the department, as demonstrated by the letters of support and training plan, the quality of the training resources and environment.

Environment: Does the institutional environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support and commitment?

Community engagement and communication plan: Does the fellow propose a sound approach to engaging communities affected by tobacco-use in either a collaborative partnership or by proactively informing about the nature and significance of the research and research outcomes? To what extent does the dissemination of relevant results of funded research include channels and tools targeting clinicians, public health practitioners, advocates, policymakers and the general public?

Other considerations:

Protection of human subjects from research risk: If human subjects are involved, protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed.

Inclusion of women, minorities and children in research: If human subjects are involved, the adequacy of plans to include subjects of both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups) and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects also will be evaluated.

Care and use of vertebrate animals in research: If vertebrate animals are involved in the project, plans for their care and use will be assessed.

Relevance of the proposed research to a tobacco-related area: Assess whether the project’s relationship with tobacco-related diseases or tobacco control is high, marginally relevant or not related.