U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Nancy Nossal Fellowship Award

Program Summary and Highlights

Established to honor the memory ofDr. Nancy Nossal (PDF, 18.0 KB) who best exemplified an enduring commitment to excellence in mentoring, the Intramural Research Program at NIDDK is offering a Fellowship Award to all of its Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellows. As many as 25% of the best applications will be awarded in each cycle. The Fellowship is geared toward the top 10% of all Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellows within the Intramural Research Program at NIDDK. Fellows who compete successfully for this award will receive additional compensation as described below. The Application Process utilizes the NRSA format (PHS Form 416-1) and applicants should organize their application as indicated on page 3, "Table of Contents" of PHS 416-1. The Review Panel/Selection Committee will be composed exclusively of principal investigators from the NIDDK Intramural Research Program. All applicants will receive a written Summary Statement of their application containing a critique and a numerical priority score of their application. Thus, this initiative represents a practical, real-world grant writing experience for all candidates. A list ofprevious award recipients (PDF, 110 KB) is available for reference.

Eligibility Criteria

All NIDDK Postdoctoral Fellows, including IRTAs, Research Fellows, Visiting Fellows, Clinical Fellows, Special Volunteers and Contractors are eligible and encouraged to apply for this award.

An advanced graduate degree such as an M.D., Ph.D., or their equivalents is necessary. The program is open to Foreign Scientists and International Fellows from all countries.

Candidates may apply before coming to the NIDDK or within the first three years of starting their work at NIH. The application deadline must come before the third anniversary of the Fellow's entry on duty (EOD) date to be considered eligible.

For Clinical Fellows, the first year which is devoted almost exclusively to patient care and service responsibilities is not counted against the three-year eligibility rule --- only years spent conducting research are used to determine eligibility.

Priority will be granted to (a) Graduate Students planning their first Postdoctoral Training experience at NIDDK and to (b) Postdoctoral Fellows currently doing their first Postdoc at NIDDK.

Nature of Award

Fellows who compete successfully will receive stipend or salary increases as follows:

  • Clinical Fellows will receive a salary increase of $3,500 that becomes effective at their yearly PGY (Post Graduate Year) increase and renewal date. Research Fellows do not receive increases upon renewal so an exceptional pay increase will be requested at the time they are awarded, or the increase will be requested at the time of the Title 42 Spring Increase call. As these fellows are federal employees, the salary increase is subject to federal salary restrictions effective at the time of the competition.
  • Visiting Fellows and IRTA Postdoctoral Fellows will receive an exceptional stipend increase of $3,500.
  • All the above stipend or salary increases occur once and become a permanent addition for the remainder of the fellow's stay at the NIDDK.

Application Form and Instructions

Application Procedures - How to Apply

  1. Download the application and instructions using the links provided above.

  2. Read, understand, and use the accompanying Instructions for general guidance. All applicants should include information outlining in detail the background and significance of their research proposal. The proposal should clearly state the scientific questions asked and describe the approaches that will be followed to answer them. As first approaches often fail, the proposal should describe possible alternate approaches to follow should such failure is to occur. At the same time, the research proposed should be possible to complete during the time the fellow is expected to stay at the NIDDK as a fellow. Applicants should consider that the Review Panel members who will critique and rank their applications may not be experts in the particular field pertaining to the proposal. Therefore, proposals should be written with sufficient clarity so that biomedical research scientists in general can evaluate them. Still, experimental, clinical and computational approaches should be described with appropriate detail so that the feasibility of the proposed research can be ascertained. It is absolutely essential that the proposal be written in clear and grammatically correct English. It is important that the Review Panel can accurately assess the individual contributions of the applicant, therefore when appropriate the pronoun "I" should be used to describe these. This is especially important when describing Preliminary Data to clearly distinguish contributions made by the applicant from those made by others in the laboratory.

  3. SECTION 1 - Applicant 
    Fill out all sections highlighted in yellow (shaded) 

  4. SECTION 2 - Sponsor (Mentor)
    Fill out all sections highlighted in yellow (shaded)

  5. SECTION 3 - References
    Print and use References Pages

    Note: The Mentor writes the Sponsor's Section and cannot serve as one of the three required References. Everything that the Mentor would like to say in a Letter of Recommendation can be said in the Sponsor's Statement.

    At least three (3) Letters of Reference are required though you may submit as many as five (5). It is strongly encouraged that at least two of the Letters come from individuals at universities and/or research organizations outside the NIH. Obtaining a letter from the Thesis Advisor/Graduate Student Mentor is highly recommended since this person is in the best position to provide an overall assessment of the applicant's capabilities.

    ​Letters should be sent directly to the NIDDK Fellowship Office by any of the following methods (although email is preferred):

    Fax: On letterhead from the Institution that the recommending person represents to 301 402-7461


    E-mail: From the Institution's e-mail account that the recommending person represents to Fellowships@intra.niddk.nih.gov or LorraineM@intra.niddk.nih.gov

    Fellowship Contact Numbers:
    Kala Viswanathan (301-435-8901)
    Lorraine Moore (301-496-6685)

  6. SECTION 4 - Appendix
    Reprints sent as PDFs of not more than three (3) publications are required and should be sent directly to the NIDDK Fellowship Office at the email address provided. PDFs of manuscripts in preparation or under review and articles in press are also acceptable.

  7. Submit the completed grant application electronically in PDF format to:

Fellowships@intra.niddk.nih.gov or LorraineM@intra.niddk.nih.gov

Note: It is strongly recommended that Fellows proofread the PDF to ensure that the final submission document has retained the proper formatting and that the figures and diagrams are correct.


Applicants whose initial application was not awarded are allowed for a one resubmission of their proposal, provided they believe that they have addressed meaningfully the critique received from the Review Panel. Resubmissions must occur no later than one year from the original submission. Resubmissions must take into consideration the length of the fellow's expected stay at the NIDDK as the research proposed should be completed during this time. The Review Panel will consider the accumulated preliminary data, if any, in support of the proposal.

A full and complete application package, including all of the above items, should be submitted. In addition, a Cover Letter must be included outlining how the reviewers' comments and suggestions were addressed in the revised application. Letters of Recommendation do not need to be resubmitted unless the applicant prefers to obtain new references.

Application Deadlines

There are two award cycles in each year, and the submission deadlines are : March 1 and September 1. The time lag from the application submission until receipt of funding will be approximately 2-3 months.

Review Panel/Selection Committee

A Review Panel consisting of Principal Investigators from NIDDK´s Intramural Research Program will be convened. The group will evaluate the candidate's credentials, the proposed basic or clinical research plan, and the training/career development plan. The Panel/Committee will forward recommendations to the Scientific Director of NIDDK for approval of the award.

Following the evaluation by the Review Panel, Summary Statements and Priority Scores (on a scale of 1.0 - 3.0) along with written comments will be provided as feedback to applicants.

General inquiries may be addressed to:

Office of Fellow Recruitment and Career Development
NIDDK, NIH, Building 12A, Room 3011, 12A, Room B45, 12 South Drive (MSC 5632),
Bethesda, MD 20892-5632, USA

or to:

Fred Dyda, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Molecular Biology