Why should you apply?

Funding is necessary for the completion of your PhD: you need to have funds to support yourself and your research. Funding capabilities vary from year to year (depending on budgets for the funding bodies like the NIH and various societies) and from lab to lab (some labs are just starting, some labs are established, some labs have lots of post docs, some have mostly undergrads)- the lab of your dreams may or may not be able to support you in part or entirely, now or later. Bottom line: there are a lot of variables that contribute to the funding status in a lab, those variables are quite dynamic and it pays off (literally and figuratively) to plan ahead, apply whenever an opportunity for funding presents itself, and take big risks for high rewards. Even if you don’t get the award, you will have gained time management skills, improved your writing, and spent time becoming more familiar with the literature in your field.

Who can apply

Citizenship status:
Applicants must be United States citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States by the application deadline (early November).

Hours of secondary education:
Applicants must have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent as of August 1st the year of application. In this case, it is not a matter of credits or credit hours, it is a matter of months. Applicants who have completed part-time graduate study (or a combination of part-time and full-time graduate study) must have completed no more than 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours or their equivalent as of August 1st the year of application. All graduate, post-baccalaureate, and professional study is counted toward the allowed 12 months of completed graduate study. This includes all masters, doctoral and professional degree programs.

Eligible areas of study:
Nothing disease-related. Period.

Seriously? I can't apply if I did a Masters/Professional Degree/Post-bac?
There is one exception: If you had a break of two consecutive years between the end of your Masters/Professional Degree/Post-bac and the beginning of your time in the IPN, you can write a one page essay explaining these extenuating circumstances and why you should still be able to apply.

Can MD/PhD students apply?
Unfortunately, no.
From the NSF GRFP website: “Practice-oriented professional degree programs, medical, dental, law, and public health programs are not eligible. Examples of typically ineligible degree programs include MBA, MPH, MSW, JD, MD, and DDS. Joint or combined professional degree-science programs (e.g., MD/PhD or JD/PhD) and dual professional degree-science programs are also not eligible.”

FOR MORE COMPLETE INFO on eligibility, click here.