Notice of Application Submission Clarification: PAR-07-231 CDC Grants for Public Health Research Dissertation (R36)

Notice Number: NOT-CD-07-232

Key Dates
Release Date: March 4, 2008

Issued by
Office of Public Health Research, CDC, (  


All information contained within this notice supersedes and updates prior notices and information within PAR-07-231.  Therefore, the purpose of this notice is to provide clarification on the following elements within the PAR-07-231:

A.  Criteria utilized by CDC to evaluate applications as complete and responsive:

Criteria utilized by CDC to evaluate applications as complete and responsive: Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and responsiveness by CDC.  In the section entitled, “Other Submission Requirements” the following six materials must be included in the application in order for an application to be deemed COMPLETE and RESPONSIVE: Letter of Certification, Official Transcript, Letter of Recommendation, Letter of Career Goals, Mentor’s Biographical Sketch, and Project Description. Applications that lack any of the aforementioned materials will be judged INCOMPLETE and NONRESPONSIVE and will not be reviewed.

B. In order to provide further clarification for the applicants concerning the Letter of Recommendation, Letter of Certification, and the Letter of Career Goals, the following information is provided below:

Letter of Recommendation: The student must submit one letter of recommendation from the faculty committee or the University official directly responsible for supervising the dissertation research, thereby serving in the capacity of mentor.  This Letter of Recommendation should specifically support the candidate and the proposed dissertation by addressing the following: 1) the potential of the candidate to conduct the study as proposed, both in terms of content and methodological expertise gained from coursework and any relevant laboratory experience; 2) a description of how the student will be mentored, including the frequency of meetings, as well as content and methodological support to be provided; and 3) a description of the collaborative process established between the applicant and advisors in the development and review of this dissertation grant application.

Important: The Letter of Recommendation is a separate requirement from the Letter of Certification.  

Letter of Certification: A letter from the faculty committee or university official directly responsible for supervising the development and progress of the dissertation research must be submitted with the application. The Letter of Certification must: 1) fully identify the members of the dissertation committee and certify their approval of the dissertation proposal; 2) certify that all requirements for the doctoral degree, except the dissertation and, if necessary, the clinical internship, are completed or will be completed by the time the grant award starts; 3) note that the university official or faculty committee expects the doctoral candidate to proceed with the approved project proposal with or without CDC support; and 4) briefly describe the facilities and resources for the project and certify that they are adequate to conduct the proposed research. This should be placed in the Letters of Support attachment.

Letter of Career Goals: Applicants must submit a Letter of Career Goals.  This letter must include the following: 1) a detailed explanation of background and interest in Public Health Service (PHS) research including specific research areas of interest that are designated in this funding opportunity announcement (FOA); 2) a discussion of how dissertation research will contribute to career goals and trajectory; and 3) relevance of the project to CDC’s mission. This information will be used by OPHR program staff to determine how the proposed study addresses program priorities.   

Important: The Letter of Career Goals formally named the “Statement of Career Goals” supersedes the “Statement of Career Goals” within PAR-07-231. 
C. All three letters (i.e., Letter of Recommendation, Letter of Certification, and Letter of Career Goals) should be placed in the “Letters of Support attachment” section of the application.

For a more detailed description of the remaining four materials to include in the application (i.e., Official Transcript, Mentor’s Biographical Sketch, and Project Description), review Section IV. Application and Submission Information (Sub-section 6: Other Submission Requirements) within PAR-07-231.  


For questions or further information regarding this notice, please contact:

Denise Burton, PhD
Office of the Chief Science Officer
Office of Public Health Research
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, N.E., MS D-72
Atlanta, GA 30333
Telephone: (404) 639-4641
FAX: (404) 639-4903

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