Post-doctoral Research Training:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is the program open for new applicants?
A. No. we are not accepting applications at this time.
Q. What is the deadline for submission?
A. A deadline will be announced when there is an opening.
Q. Can I have my letters of recommendation sent in separately from the rest of my application?
Q. Do I have to belong to the same underrepresented population that I study?
A. No. Candidates need to demonstrate that they have the necessary background, experience, and skills to do the work they propose to do.
Q. What is the pay?
A. Since this is a federally funded training, we follow government guidelines in determining the stipend. The 2008 stipend levels for training programs at different levels can be found in the NIH website at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-057.html. For those within 0 to 2 years of completing the doctorate, Wellesley Centers for Women has set the minimum stipend to $40,000. This NIH website provides more information. Before you apply, we encourage you to read the sections that pertain to applicant- and trainee-related issues of this NRSA award, specifically:
- Section II. Allowable Costs: A. Stipend, B: Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance, C: Trainee Travel, and F: Stipend Supplementation, Compensation, and Other Income;
- Section III.3. Other–Special Eligibility Criteria;
- Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions: Taxability of Stipends, and Service Payback; and
- Section IV.6. Other Submission Requirements: Special Requirments: Trainee Appointments.
Q. Can I do this as a part-time position?
A. No. The position is full-time, 40 hours per week.
Q. I have a degree from a foreign institution. Is that acceptable?
A. Yes. Ph.D.s, M.D.s, or comparable doctoral degrees from accredited foreign institutions are acceptable. However, candidates need to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
Q. Do recipients live on campus?
A. No. Trainees need to find their own accommodations and transportation.
Q. I am finishing up an NRSA supported position. Can I still apply?
A. This depends on your total years of aggregate support. No individual trainee may receive more than five (5) years of aggregate NRSA support at the pre-doctoral level and three (3) years of aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of NRSA support from institutional and individual awards.
Q. Does an applicant have to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident at the time of application?
A. Yes. Candidates need to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Please review other federal requirements at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-06-468.html.
Q. What should I do if I do not have peer-reviewed publications?
A. Having peer-reviewed publications is an important selection criterion because the selection committee assesses applicants' potential to become researchers who can develop a career in externally funded research. We want to know applicants' promise as researchers who can lead teams of multicultural researchers. If you do not have publications, it would be helpful to submit copies of any peer-reviewed presentations you have made.
Q. The training has been described as focusing on childhood and adolescence. If my dissertation and/or previous research have not been on childhood and/or adolescence, does this disqualify me?
A. No. It is possible to use the postdoctoral training to enter the fields of childhood and adolescence research. We are looking primarily for potential to become researchers who can develop a career in externally funded research and can lead teams of multicultural researchers. It is more important to demonstrate a vision or plans for becoming a successful researcher than to have done research on childhood and adolescence. On the other hand, candidates should keep in mind that past success as a researcher is often the precursor of future success as a researcher.
Q. Can I supplement the stipend?
A. These are the NIH guidelines for stipend supplementation:
- may be provided by the grantee institution;
- cannot require any additional effort from the trainee;
- federal funds may not be used unless specifically authorized under the terms of both the program from which such supplemental funds are to be received and the program whose funds are to be supplemented;
- under no circumstances may DHHS funds be used;
- supplementation policies must be consistently applied to all individuals in a similar status regardless of the source of funds.
Q. What are my benefits in terms of vacation, sick days, and leaves of absence?
A. Trainees may receive stipends during periods of vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training positions at the grantee institution. The period between spring and fall semesters is considered to be an active time of research and research training and is not considered to be a vacation or holiday. Postdoctoral trainees may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year, and up to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year. A period of terminal leave is not permitted, and payment may not be made from grant funds for leaves not taken.
Q. Who pays for my tuition, fees, and health insurance?
A. Funds for tuition, fees, and health insurance are awarded based on the following formula: NIH will pay 100% of the first $3,000, and 60% of any amount above $3,000 per trainee.
Q. Does the Centers or Wellesley College provide research facilities, access to samples and research sites?
A. WCW provides trainees with a desk, a networked computer, telephone service in an office shared with the other trainees. Trainees are expected to make arrangements for conducting their own research (with assistance from their preceptor). The training grant has a very modest sum available for research expenses.