Because I’m the training officer within the Division of Extramural Research at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), people often contact me to find out what options are available to fund their research training. Institutional training programs are one option that predoctoral or postdoctoral researchers can consider.
What Are Institutional Training Programs?
Institutional training programs are funded by the National Institutes of Health at various universities and institutions to prepare qualified predoctoral and/or postdoctoral trainees for careers across a broad range of biomedical research. These programs recruit individuals to fill training slots and provide a program of coursework, research experiences, and technical and/or professional skills development. Appointed trainees receive a stipend, tuition and fees, and a travel budget to attend scientific meetings. To be eligible, an individual must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Trainees are typically supported for 2 to 3 years, depending on the program.
What Institutional Training Programs Does NCCIH Support?
NCCIH currently supports seven T32 programs for pre- and postdoctoral researchers, and one T90/R90 program that provides cross-training for individuals with doctoral clinical complementary health degrees and conventionally trained researchers. You can find descriptions and links to all our currently active training programs on the NCCIH website. Our programs are located at universities across the country, and each provides a different research focus. Appointed trainees pursue additional coursework and/or degree programs, participate in research projects, publish manuscripts, and write grant applications for additional training and career development (e.g., individual F31 or F32 fellowships, career development K-awards).
How Do I Apply?
Individuals interested in applying for a training slot are encouraged to explore the institutional training program websites to learn more about the focus of specific programs, as well as application requirements. Applicants apply directly to the institutional program, not to NCCIH. Application materials and due dates vary from program to program, and appointment decisions are made by the institutional training program directors; thus, it is important to contact them before applying.
Institutional training programs offer an excellent opportunity to join a cohort of trainees, gain research and career development mentorship, and obtain additional training and research experiences. For more information, contact the NCCIH-funded training programs directly, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.