Eligibility Guidelines

The research scholar position is a junior faculty appointment, not a fellowship. At the time of the award, candidates must: (1) have a PhD degree or clinical doctorate or its equivalent; (2) have completed any postgraduate training normally expected for a faculty appointment in their field (including clinical or postdoctoral fellowship training or residency if they have chosen not to subspecialize). Doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the PhD, ScD, MD, DO, DDS, DVM, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), and the clinical PhD (e.g. psychologist), as well as nurses with doctoral degrees. In addition, other clinicians holding doctoral degrees may be eligible.

Completion of clinical subspecialty training is not required of candidates in general practice in their specialty; however, those who choose to subspecialize must have completed their fellowships. At the time of their application, scholars cannot have more than six years of research training experience beyond their last doctoral degree. In order to accommodate the needs of those interested in participating in this program who may have had a career hiatus because of family responsibilities, uniformed service, etc., there is no limit on time elapsed since completion of training. The candidate must also be able to (3) identify a mentor with extensive research experience, and (4) be able to spend at least 75 percent of full-time professional effort conducting research and research career development


Candidates must be US citizens, non-citizen nationals, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and posses an Alien Registration Receipt Card (1-151 or 1-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident. 

Prior Research Experience

Candidates who were former Principal Investigators on NIH Small Grants (i.e., R03s) or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (i.e., R21s) are eligible. However, Principal Investigators who have current or prior support on NIH research project grants (R01), FIRST Awards (R29), project leaders of a program project (P01) or center grants (P50) or the equivalent, are not eligible for appointment under this program. Candidates who have been previously supported on non-NIH or NIH independent (K series) career development awards dedicated to training patient-oriented researchers are not eligible. However, candidates whose prior training did not focus on patient-oriented research but wish to shift focus to this area are eligible. Candidates may not concurrently hold any other PHS award that duplicates the provisions of this award. Scholars on this award are encouraged to apply for independent research grant support during the period of support under this award.

Please contact Karen Hagan at karen.hagan@vumc.org with questions.