The application period for the 2021 Postbac Cohort is now closed
The Diversity and Outreach Committee of the NIDA Intramural Research Program (IRP) will fund outstanding postbaccalaureate candidates, in both clinical and basic sciences, who are interested in studying topics aligned with the mission of NIDA and a strong desire for interactions and collaboration with the labs in the IRP. Applications are open for incoming fellows able to join an IRP lab in Summer 2021.
The Scientific Director’s Fellowship for Diversity in Research (SDFDR) for Postbaccalaureate Fellows is a research fellowship experience that seeks to prepare a diverse group of junior scholars for the demands of research so that they excel in graduate or professional (medical, dental, pharmacy) school and are highly competitive for future opportunities in the field of addiction science. This program is designed for recent college graduates or those who are receiving their undergraduate degree in the Spring of 2021.
Students with disabilities; students who come from an economically disadvantaged background (e.g., Pell Grant-eligible, from environments that inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and ability required to enroll in, and graduate from, a health professional school, or from a family with an annual income below low-income thresholds); students who are or have been enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); students who are the first in their family to attend college; students who identify as LGBTQ; and individuals disadvantaged by circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities, including recent natural disasters, are encouraged to apply to the SDFDR Fellows program.
SDFDR activities will include:
- Full-time, mentored research
- A professional development program
- Completion of an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
- NIDA IRP Poster Day
- Weekly seminars
- Group community impact project
SDFDR applicants must meet all eligibility requirements for the NIH Postbac IRTA Program. As such, they must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents AND meet any ONE of the following criteria:
- college graduates who received their bachelor’s degrees less than THREE years prior to the date they begin the program, OR
- individuals who are more than 3 years past the receipt of their bachelor’s degree but received a master’s degree less than SIX MONTHS before they begin the program, OR
- students who have been accepted into graduate, other doctoral, or medical school programs and who have written permission from their school to delay entrance for up to one year to pursue a research project at the NIH.
In addition, SDFDR applicants must:
- Intend to apply to graduate or professional school during their tenure at the NIH
- Be available to begin the SDFDR program at a to be determined date (likely mid-July) and complete at least one year of the SDFDR program
The stipends for trainees are adjusted yearly; the level depends on prior experience acquired AFTER completion of the bachelor’s degree. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page: https://www.training.nih.gov/postbac_irta_stipend_levels
The SDFDR program is an enhancement to the main NIH Postbac IRTA program and you must apply to the main NIH Postbac IRTA program to participate.
There are TWO main components of the application process:
- the NIH Postbac IRTA application:
- the SDFDR Postbac program Application
SDFDR Postbac Application requirements:
- Personal statement* (Typically 2-3 pages, but there is no specific length requirement)
- Official college transcripts
- 3 letters of recommendation that include information about how the SDFDR program could benefit the candidate and how the candidate would enrich the SDFDR program.
*Applicants should discuss the following important elements in their personal statement:
- Commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community within the addiction research field and the scientific community as a whole
- The most important experiences in your personal life that have led to your interest in the addiction research or behavioral/biomedical research as a whole.
- Specific information about what led you to your interest in working at the intramural program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and your interest in conducting research. Include potential NIH investigators with whom to work during the program and why.
- Educational and career goals
- How participation in the SDFDR program will increase your enthusiasm and advance progress towards your stated goals
- If applicable: leadership experiences in school and in the community and any prior research experience. Note: if you have not had these opportunities, don’t worry, you can still be an excellent match for the program.
As an SDFDR Postbac, you will do your research with a mentor (an investigator at the NIDA IRP). You and a mentor can apply for the SDFDR together, or you can apply without a mentor, and we will do our best to match you to an investigator here. We encourage you to learn about the work being done at the NIDA IRP so your personal statement can reflect your specific interests in available opportunities.
- If you have an interest in working in a specific lab or with a specific PI, we encourage you to reach out directly to the PI. If the PI agrees, you can apply as a pair.
- If you do not have a mentor chosen, you may still apply to the SDFDR Postbac program. Current NIDA IRP investigators who want to be matched with a mentee will submit applications of their own, and we will try to match you with one of these investigators.
The application deadline for the 2021 SDFDR Postbac Cohort is Friday April 16, 2021. The full application package, including reference letters, must be submitted via email to Dr. Michelle Jobes (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 16, 2020 at 11:59 pm to be considered for the program.
How the Program Works
The selection committee will review applications to the SDFDR Postbac program as soon as the application period closes. Applicants may be asked to schedule an interview via video.
Applicants will be informed of the committee’s decisions in early May. Applicants offered an SDFDR fellowship must accept the offer within a weeks time (details to be provided with the offer letter).
Note: Applicants who are not selected for this program may still be able work at the NIH through the NIH Postbac IRTA program.
All SDFDR Postbac Fellows participating in this program must be at the NIDA IRP in Baltimore from in early July for orientation. Fellows will join their research group at the conclusion of their orientation.
For more on the mission of the DOC, visit our page at https://irp.drugabuse.gov/organization/diversity/. For more on the mission of NIDA, visit the main NIDA webpage at https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida. For more on the Intramural Research Program in Baltimore, our research, and our staff, visit the IRP page at https://irp.drugabuse.gov/