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Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards
(NRSA) for Individual Senior Fellows (F33)

Purpose of the Award

  • Provide senior fellowship support to experienced scientists who wish to make major changes in the direction of their research careers or who wish to broaden their scientific background by acquiring new research capabilities as independent research investigators in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers
  • Enable individuals with at leasts even years of research experience beyond the doctorate, and who have progressed to the stage of independent investigator, to take time from regular professional responsibilities for the purpose of receiving training to increase their scientific capabilities
  • Supports sabbatical experiences for established independent scientists seeking support for retraining or additional career development
  • Not designed to support postdoctoral level investigators seeking to enhance their research experience prior to independence


  • Must include a research training proposal that offers an opportunity for individuals to broaden their scientific background or to extend their potential for research in health- related areas as independent researchers
  • The application should not be a reiteration of the sponsor’s research program but rather should demonstrate the candidate’s contribution to the originality of the project idea, approach and/or hypotheses, as appropriate for their career stage
  • There are no specific requirements for who should serve as an applicant’s referees. The absence of a letter from a predoctoral thesis advisor or another previous mentor should not affect the score.


  • Must have received a PhD, MD, DO, DC, DDS, DVM, OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, DrPH, DNSc, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), PharmD, DSW, PsyD, or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution
  • Must not be engaging in studies leading to the MD, DO, DDS, DVM, DNP, or other similar health-professional degrees, or the clinical years of residency training
  • May request support for a period of up to 2 years
  • Each full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA fellow is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs provided by a licensed childcare provider. Childcare costs are permitted for dependent children living in the eligible fellow’s home ages 12 and below, or children who are disabled and under age 18.  Please see NOT-OD-21-074 for additional information.

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