The National Research Service Award (NRSA) program has been NIEHS’s primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training since 1974.
The program provides training in appropriate methods, technologies, relevant quantitative and computational approaches, rigorous experimental design, and interpretation of data. NRSA also fosters development of communication, management, leadership, and teamwork skills.
NIEHS supports research in fields related to the environmental health sciences, including basic, behavioral, clinical, and epidemiologic sciences. Programs should have a defined impact on the environmental health sciences and align with the mission of the NIH and NIEHS, and specifically NIEHS’s 2018-2023 strategic plan, Advancing Science, Improving Health: A Plan for Environmental Health Sciences Research.
This plan describes priority areas for the field of environmental health sciences. Those areas reflect the mission of NIEHS — to learn how the environment affects people in order to promote healthier lives — and its goal to conduct and translate research that meets individual and community needs.
Institutional T32 NRSA training grants allow university and university-based program directors to select trainees and to develop a course of study and research experiences. The T32 training grant offsets the cost of stipends and tuition support for the appointed trainees.
Trainees must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residency. Individual trainees may receive up to five years of predoctoral NRSA support and three years of postdoctoral support from appointments on training grants and individual fellowships. These appointments do not need to be at the same university, and most trainees receive postdoctoral training from different institutions than their predoctoral training.
- Predoctoral Training:
Predoctoral research training must lead to a Ph.D. or a comparable research doctoral degree. Students enrolled in health professional training programs who wish to postpone their professional studies to engage in full-time research training may also be appointed to an Institutional Research Training Grant.
- Postdoctoral Training:
Postdoctoral research training is for individuals who have received a Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., or a comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Research training grants are also used as a mechanism for the postdoctoral training of physicians and other health professionals who may have extensive clinical training but limited research experience. For such individuals, the training may be part of a research degree program.