Slots for Persons with Disabilities
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) currently provides the opportunity for well qualified individuals from underrepresented minority groups1 to receive research training under an existing NIDDK-funded Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) (T32), even when all the positions awarded for the T32 have been filled. To ensure an appropriate training experience, only predoctoral slots will be awarded to T32s exclusively supporting predoctoral training; only postdoctoral slots to postdoctoral training programs. Mixed programs, i.e. those supporting both pre- and postdoctoral training, may apply for either.
Since 1990, the NIDDK has supported over 50 pre- and postdoctoral fellows via this mechanism.
Beginning in 2001, any NIDDK-funded T32 may also request short-term training slots to support research experiences for minority medical students during the summer between their first and second years of medical school.
Pre- and Postdoctoral slots:
Under this program, the NIDDK administratively awards an extra position, designated specifically for a selected underrepresented minority trainee (either predoctoral or postdoctoral), to an existing T32 award. That position then remains a part of the T32 for as long as the named individual is a member of the training program.2 When the individual no longer receives support from the T32, the funds for his/her position are removed from the grant.
Individuals supported under this program must meet all of the administrative requirements for any trainee supported by a National Research Service Award (e.g., citizenship/permanent residency requirements, payback obligation) and must meet all the requirements for prior training, experience, and commitment to research expected of any other trainee in the particular T32 program wishing to support them.
It is the current policy of the NIDDK that only one minority pre- or postdoctoral slot at a time is awarded to any T32. Once a fellow has completed training and is no longer supported on a supplemental slot, the T32 program director may apply for another slot for a different individual. If a minority individual has been appointed to a regular slot on a T32 grant, he/she may NOT be moved to a supplemental slot merely to increase the number of positions available to the program.
Short-term training for medical students:
The NIDDK will now provide the opportunity for minority medical students, during a 3-month summer research experience, to be supported via a supplement to any existing NIDDK training grant. These short-term slots will be awarded at the predoctoral stipend level and T32 directors may request support for up to three individuals per year. The parent T32 may be a predoctoral program, a postdoctoral program, or one that supports both pre- and postdoctoral training.
Year-off training for medical students:The NIDDK will now provide the opportunity for minority medical students who wish to pursue a longer period of research training to be supported for a full 9-12 month period, while on leave from medical school, via a supplement to any existing NIDDK training grant. These year-off slots will be awarded at the predoctoral stipend level. T32 directors may request support for only one individual per year. The parent T32 may be a predoctoral program, a postdoctoral program, or one that supports both pre-and postdoctoral training. The medical student must be in good standing at the medical school and have permission, in writing, from the Dean’s office to participate in this program with assurance that his/her medical studies will continue after the research year has been completed.
The application consists of a letter of nomination signed by the T32 Program Director and the responsible institutional official, which indicates the length of support being requested, accompanied by the following items:
- The CV of the candidate for pre- and postdoctoral slots; for summer students, CVs are not required;
- A statement of the process by which the candidate (or students) was (were) identified and selected;
- A statement of the training plan for the candidate(s) (prepared by the Program Director);
- A statement of the research plan for the candidate(s) prepared jointly by the research mentor and the candidate; and
- A brief statement from the candidate on his/her career goals and future plans.
(Note to T32 Program Directors: These items are meant to document the suitability of the candidate for a training position; therefore, they should be personalized for the individual being nominated, i.e., general descriptions of the selection process and research plan taken verbatim from the T32 application are not acceptable.)
Send the complete application to the program director assigned to your T32 grant.
Applications for these slots are accepted, reviewed, and awarded throughout the year. All requests for minority slots should be preceded by consultation with NIDDK staff to determine availability of funds and to ascertain the suitability of the candidate. It is the policy of the NIDDK that postdoctoral training appointments on T32s should reflect at least a 2-year commitment on the part of the trainee, and a 3-year commitment is encouraged. Predoctoral slots may provide up to 5 years of support.3 Short-term training slots (for medical students) will be awarded on a yearly basis for up to three positions, each of 2-3 months in duration.
After review by NIDDK program staff, the training grant Director will be notified in writing of the funding decision. A supplemental Notice of Grant Award will be issued as soon as possible thereafter and the position will be administered in a manner identical to all other positions on the training grant.
Progress for fellows and students supported via this mechanism must be reported as for all other trainees in the Type 5 non-competing continuation application each year. Stipends for these minority slots should not be included in the budget pages for the Type 5 application, however, since these funds will be awarded as a supplement each year. Instead, a separate budget page for the minority fellow or for the medical students should be included.
All individuals supported by minority slots must be included in the usual reporting tables required for competing (Type 2) as well as non-competing continuation (Type 5) applications.
Slots for Persons with Disabilities
Since 1997, the same procedure for nominating a trainee belonging to an underrepresented minority group may be used to request a slot for a person with a disability. The definition of "disability" is that used in the Americans with Disabilities Act, which states that a person with a disability is one who "has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or who is regarded as having such an impairment."
1For the purpose of this announcement, underrepresented minority students and fellows are defined as individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that has been determined by the grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research. In making awards under this program, the NIDDK will give priority to African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan native, and Pacific Islander or other ethnic or racial group members who have been found to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research nationally.
2As with any NRSA, total postdoctoral support is limited to 36 months.
3No slot may be awarded for a period of time that exceeds the current approved funding period for the T32 grant, e.g., if only 2 years remain until the T32 is due for its competing continuation, then any supplement may be awarded only for 2 years. In these situations, requests to extend the minority slot once the parent T32 has successfully re-competed for funding are encouraged.