Funding Sources

There is no centralized database of potential funding sources for the research phase of MSTP training, so it is difficult to maintain a complete and accurate list. If you uncover any omissions or errors in the information below, please notify the MSTP office.

Here we list internal (Rackham) and external funding sources that support Ph.D. training and that do not exclude M.D./Ph.D. trainees. This list includes very important potential sources of funding from the NIH, the F30 and F31 National Research Service Awards (NRSAs). Please visit the websites for deadlines, qualifications, and funding applications.

List A (Internal Rackham funding)

Rackham offers several different funding and fellowship opportunities. Of note are the Rackham Conference Travel Grants, Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Fund, Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant, and the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship.

However, all Rackham funding is worth looking at and can be found on the Rackham website.

The M-Train Training Grant Database lists essentially all NIH training grants within the Medical School, many of which have predoctoral positions.

List B (Federal sources: F30, F31, F31-Diversity)

Please read this entire section carefully!

The training plan is as important as the specific research plan, and the training plan should be individualized and not simply be identical to the generic plan for all MSTP fellows or all graduate students in your department. It is advantageous to read at least two recently funded NRSAs from your peers to get a sense of what is expected.

Recently funded F30/F31's can be found in this dropbox folder to which you have access: MSTP Information for Fellows>F30 F31 Funding Information.  Each F30/F31 is named according to Year funding began_NIH Institute_Fellow's name.

Please note that Rackham will provide "cost sharing" on these grants, which helps cover the differential between the student's tuition, Gradcare and dental costs and the amount funded by the NIH. You should apply for cost sharing, and the process is explained on this webpage. F30/F31’s are part of Group 2, and there is also a link to the appropriate process for including cost sharing language for the PAF.

F30, F31, and F31-Diversity applications require an attachment called Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training. This requires specific information that can be provided by the MSTP Director and your PhD Program. See the document ‘_Institutional Environment And Commitment To Training Section.docx’ in this dropbox folder.

Please note that you are only allowed 6 (F30, 72 months) or 5 (F31, 60 months) total years of NIH training grant support and you may have been on our MSTP grant for up to 36 months (the MSTP office knows exactly how many). You should ask for the most number of months allowed, and I would recommend not asking for less than two years of research funding.

The MSTP Director also will be pleased to provide a letter of recommendation, if you would like one. You need to provide the Director with your eRA Commons name, the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) # (PA-xx-xxx, see below), and a draft of your specific aims. Please provide this to the Director at least 3 weeks prior to the due date.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellows (F30). The F30 individual NRSA Program Announcement (PA-21-049) supports both the PhD phase as well as (at the discretion of the institute and review panel) the final years of medical school. Please see the Program Announcement link for detailed information including the list of participating NIH institutes. The institute you apply to will most likely be the same as the one your mentor applies to. Institutes that do not support the F30 mechanism expect MSTP students to apply for F31’s. You must have matriculated into the MSTP no more than 48 months prior to the submission due date of your initial F30 application (this rule does not apply if you are resubmitting an application and does not apply to F31’s). It may be possible to get an extension by contacting the program official listed for the institute to which you are applying.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31).  Although confusing, the NIH has two distinct F31 individual NRSA mechanisms. This particular F31 (PA-21-051) is available to both PhD students and MD/PhD students, and for the latter it supports the PhD phase only. 

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31-Diversity). All NIH institutes currently participate in this F31, the Individual NRSA Diversity Award program (PA-21-052). This F31 supports the PhD phase and may also support the final years of medical school. Diversity is considered to encompass individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities. The NIH considers the following racial and ethnic groups to be underrepresented: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. The F31-diversity application requires an additional institutional letter called “Contribution to Program Goals”, which is most likely supplied by Mary O’Riordan in OGPS. This letter explains how the candidate's participation will further the goals of the program to promote diversity in health-related research.

List C (Private, non-federal funds)