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How to Apply

How to Apply


1. Candidates should hold a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree, and have completed at least three years of postdoctoral research at the Duncan NRI.

2. Fellows who hold an NIH K99/R00, K08 awards, or other similar grant award that supports the transition to independence are not eligible.

3. Women, international, and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.


Candidates should submit the following PDF documents by email with the subject “NRI Zoghbi Scholar Award” to Barbara Cochran ( by 5:00 PM CST on July 31, 2019.

1. A research proposal (0.5-inch margin and 11-point font, 2 pages) describing the significance, aims, and approaches of the project. The scope of the proposal should be appropriate for the funding period. Preliminary data are not required, but one additional page of figures and legends can be included. References can be added following the figures and legends page (no page limit for the references). Note the proposal will be reviewed blindly and therefore should be a separate PDF file from the rest of the application without any explicit reference to the name of the candidate anywhere in the file.

2. A full CV.

3. A career development plan (1 page) describing the candidate's overall plan to establish a successful career as an independent investigator. The plan should explain how the proposed research differs from his/her postdoctoral mentor's research and state how the results from this project will be used for future job applications. The plan should also include steps to develop skills in mentorship, collaboration, and networking. The career development plan should be mutually agreed upon and signed by both the candidate and candidate's mentor.

4. A reference letter from the postdoctoral mentor addressing the candidate’s potential to become a leader in the field. The letter should be sent directly by email to Barbara Cochran.

5. A budget (1 page) describing how the funds will be used (e.g., supplies, equipment).


All applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee (Drs. Mirjana Maletic-Savatic, Marco Sardiello, Meng Wang, and Mingshan Xue). The selected scholar will be announced by late August or early September 2019. The selection committee will provide a brief feedback to all applications.


1. The scholar must be a full-time researcher or physician-scientist with at least 75% protected research time at the Duncan NRI.

2. The $50,000 fund must be used for research-associated expenses and cannot be used for the scholar’s salary and fringe benefits.

3. The start date of the award will be decided between the scholar and the program. The fund can be used over a period of 1-2 years while the scholar conducts postdoctoral research at the Duncan NRI.

4. At the end of the funding period, the scholar will present his or her research and career development activities supported by this award to a Duncan NRI-wide audience.

5. If the scholar receives an NIH K99/R00, K08 awards, or other similar grant award that supports the transition to independence, the scholar will remain a Duncan NRI Zoghbi Scholar, but the unused funds will be returned to the program.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Mingshan Xue at