NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate Program—Please Spread the Word

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture



Tuesday, 3 October 2017


The NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate Program is a competitive postdoctoral fellowship program to pursue research in one of the laboratories of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The program was initiated in 1965 to address a national need for well-trained pharmacologists, and as the field of pharmacology has matured and broadened, the program has followed suit. To reflect this shift, in 2012 the P in the program's acronym changed from "Pharmacology" to "Postdoctoral." The PRAT acronym remains the same.


PRAT is a 3 year program providing outstanding laboratory experiences, access to NIH's extensive resources, mentorship, career development activities and networking. The program places special emphasis on training fellows in all areas supported by NIGMS, including cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, computational biology, immunology, neuroscience, technology development and bioinformatics. Studies employing model organisms are encouraged. The PRAT fellowship includes professional development activities tailored to the PRAT fellows, such as a monthly seminar series featuring presentations by current PRAT fellows and outside speakers whom the fellows have invited.  Additional training sessions focus on grant-writing, career planning, oral presentations, and leadership skills.


Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States who have or will have a doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D.) and no more than 5 years of postdoctoral research experience by the time the PRAT fellowship would begin. Individuals currently in Ph.D. or other doctoral degree-granting programs may apply as long as they anticipate completing the degree requirements before starting the fellowship program. Applicants must apply via the NIGMS PRAT Fi2 mechanism and all applications must be submitted via Please see links below and PRAT webinar for more information.


Applicants select a preceptor in advance. Preceptors are scientists at the NIH who have an interest in training fellows through this program, and who will indicate their commitment through working with the fellow to develop the research plan and providing a letter of support. Eligible preceptors and descriptions of their research can be found at the NIH Intramural Research Program website. Preceptors also can be found by searching the NIH Intramural Database either by keywords or by name of a specific investigator.

Suggested Timeline for Application to the PRAT Program

Specific Dates for Next Application Cycle

September 3, 2017 PRAT application submission period begins
October 3, 2017 Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m.
February-March 2018 Scientific review of applications
April-May 2018 Finalist interviews; summary statements available
Late summer/early fall 2018 Earliest start date for new PRAT fellows

For more information about PRAT, including eligibility requirements, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 11, 2016 (PAR-16-130), or contact Dr. Jessica Faupel-Badger at 301-594-3900.

PRAT Program Overview and Application Process Webinar and Slides [PDF, 2.20MB], March 28, 2017

PRAT Answers to Frequently Asked Questions ​​



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