NIH F-series Proposals

Reference for: NIH Fellowship applications


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Policies and available FOAs

Human Subjects: Fellowship applicants are permitted to conduct research involving human subjects; however, they are NOT permitted to lead an independent clinical trial. Fellowship applicants who are proposing to gain clinical trial research experience under a sponsor’s supervision (i.e., the fellow will not be leading an independent clinical trial) must generally follow the standard instructions to complete the Human Subjects Study Record (when applicable), but follow relevant Fellowship instructions where they are given. Make sure the FOA does NOT allow independent clinical trials but does encourage a clinical trial research experience led by a sponsor/co-sponsor (or another member of the mentoring team).

Proposal notes and tips 

The requested period of support must be within specified limits for the type of F award requested.

The proposed fellow is listed as the Principal Investigator on the Key Person tab. A Commons Username affiliated with UMB is required. A PI eligibility waiver is not required.

For the Sponsor and any co-sponsors, select Key Person and enter Sponsor or Co-Sponsor as the role. A Commons Username must be entered for each Sponsor/Co-Sponsor. The Sponsor MUST be listed immediately below the PI (fellow) on the Key Person tab.


Budget: Stipend + tuition/fees + institutional allowance

On the KR Budget Non-Personnel Costs section, enter amounts as follows:

  • Participant Support: Trainee Participant Costs - Other (enter description, Stipend) — Stipend for pre- and post-docs does not print to PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form
  • SENIOR FELLOWSHIPS only, use Participant Support: Trainee Stipends — Prints to PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form, Budget Section, Senior Fellowship Applicants Only
  • Other Direct/Other Operating Expenses: Tuition/Fees — If requested, prints to PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form, Budget Section, Tuition and Fees
  • Other Direct/Other Operating Expenses: Other Operating Expenses — Institutional allowance does not print to PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form

As shown in these examples, for stipends, select Category Type = Participant Support and then the subcategory and object code name.  For other costs, select Category Type = Other Direct, Category = Other Operating Expenses, and then the Object Code.

Screenshots to illustrate selection of object codes related to NIH fellowship proposals

Required attachments 

Upload in Attachments section on Personnel tab

Biosketch for PI (proposed fellow) — blank form, instructions and samples

Biosketches for primary Sponsor and any co-sponsors, consultants and contributors


Upload in Attachments section on Proposal tab

Cover LetterRRSF424_Cover_Letter — application title, program announcement, and list of Referees (name, department affiliation, institution)

Project Summary/AbstractProject_Summary

Project NarrativeNarrative

Bibliography & References CitedBibliography — required unless otherwise specified in the FOA.

Facilities & Other Resources — Facilities — required unless otherwise specified in the FOA. Detailed description of institutional facilities and resources that will be available to the applicant and establish feasibility of the training plan

Equipment — Equipment

Applicant’s Background and Goals for Fellowship Training — PHS_Fellow_BackgroundAndGoalsForTraining — includes doctoral dissertation and research experience; training goals and objectives; activities planned under this award

Specific Aims — PHS_Fellow_SpecificAims — required unless otherwise specified in the FOA.

Research Strategy — PHS_Fellow_ResearchStrategy

Respective Contributions — PHS_Fellow_RespectiveContributions

Selection of Sponsor and Institution — PHS_Fellow_SelectionSponsorInstitution

Training in Responsible Conduct of Research — PHS_Fellow_ResponsibleConductResearch

Sponsor and Co-Sponsor StatementsPHS_Fellow_Sponsor_CoSponsor_Info

Description of Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training — PHS_Fellow_InstitutionEnviron-Commitment

Required (if applicable) attachments 

Human Subjects forms - upload in Compliance section as part of a compliance entry

Important:  Do not check the box "Clinical Trial" on the Compliance entry. Fellowship FOAs do not allow independent clinical trials. Follow the NIH Fellowship Application Instructions carefully.

Upload under Proposal Attachments

Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research — Other — only for this FOA, a Certification Letter from the institution certifying eligibility of the fellowship applicant for the program is required

Applications for Concurrent Support — PHS_Fellow_ConcurrentSupport — In the Questionnaire, if the response is “yes,” the fellowship applicant has applied or will be applying for other support that would run concurrently with the period covered by this application, include the type, dates, source(s), and amount in the attached document.

Human Specimens and/or Data — PHS_HumanSubjectsAndCT_InvolveHumanSpecimensExp — required if there are NO human subjects, but you respond YES on the Questionnaire to the question: "Does the proposed research involve human specimens and/or data?

Vertebrate Animals — PHS_Fellow_VertebrateAnimals — required if vertebrate animals are involved

Select Agent Research — PHS_Fellow_SelectAgentResearch — required if applicable

Resource Sharing Plan(s) — PHS_Fellow_ResourceSharingPlan — required if applicable, for sharing model organisms or research tools

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources — DO NOT SUBMIT unless the FOA specifically requires this document.

Introduction to Application — PHS_Fellow_IntroductionToApplication — required for RESUBMISSIONS only (an A1 application submitted within 37 months after the original submission)

Progress Report Publication List — PHS_Fellow_ProgressReport_PubList — required for RENEWAL applications only. “Renewal” applications are accepted only for a few F programs and should only be submitted if a specific FOA states that Renewals are accepted.

Optional attachments 

When appropriate, upload this optional attachment in the Attachments section, Proposal tab:

Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors, and ConsultantsPHS_Fellow_Letter_Collab-Contrib-Consult

Appendix — PHS_Fellow_Appendix — maximum of 10 PDF attachments; follow NIH and FOA instructions on what may and may not be included

NOT-OD-17-098: Updated Appendix Policy Eliminates Clinical Trial-Related Materials for NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Applications Submitted to Due Dates on or After Jan. 25, 2018

NOTE: Applications will be withdrawn and not reviewed if they do not follow the appendix requirements in these instructions or in your FOA.

When needed, upload this optional attachment as a User attached form (Basics > S2S Opportunity Search > User Attached Forms tab):

PHS Assignment Request Form — may be used to communicate specific application assignment and review requests and is not provided to program staff or reviewers