Goal of NIAMS Institutional Training Awards

NIAMS funds the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32) (PA-23-048) to enable institutions to support pre-doctoral and postdoctoral research training for individuals in the fields of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. 

The NIAMS T32 program's primary goal is to prepare individuals to pursue research careers focused on improving health for people with arthritis, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases. The most desired outcome is that these individuals pursue further career development, such as through K- or F-series awards, and develop into funded researchers in an academic setting, either as independent investigators or as critical contributors to basic or clinical research teams. However, the career outcomes of individuals supported by NRSA training programs are intended to include both research-intensive careers in academia and industry, and research-related careers in various sectors, e.g., academic institutions, government agencies, for-profit businesses, and private foundations. Regardless of career path, the subsequent outcomes for trainees in their respective fields must be documented.


Follow the Training (T) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement (PA-23-048) to do otherwise. 

All NIAMS T32 applications must include the tables requested in the parent funding opportunity announcement, or the application may be deemed incomplete and not reviewed. An application for a competing renewal (Type 2) must include the following, as per instructions: 

  • Table 5. Publications of Those in Training:
    • Include publications from all individuals appointed to the training grant in the previous 10 years. 
    • Include publications only from individuals who would have been eligible for the training grant (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) in the previous 10 years.
  • Table 8. Program Outcomes:
    • Include current and former trainees supported by this training grant in the previous 15 years in Part I. Trainees clearly associated with the training grant but supported by other HHS or NIH funds in the previous 15 years are reported in Part II. Part III is required only if an expansion of slots is requested.  Please include only those who completed the program in the previous 5 years and who would have been eligible for an NIH training grant.
    • NIAMS recognizes that tracking academic positions, publications, and grant support of prior trainees for 15 years after completion of T32 support is difficult. However, accepting T32 support implies an agreement to track and report this information. Reviewers need this information to adequately evaluate the success of a particular T32 program in a competitive renewal application.
    • For new competing applications (Type 1), only Part III is required. Please include only those who completed the training in the previous 5 years and who would have been eligible for an NIH training grant.

Access new forms and instructions and information for the data tables


NIAMS supports both Pre- and Post-Doctoral Training slots on T32 awards.

Trainees supported by a T32 award should participate in a well-defined research program that emphasizes NIAMS-relevant research. The program should also include mentoring and educational efforts that foster continued development of the trainee in research. 

NIAMS recognizes that directors of T32 training programs have the prerogative to appoint trainees considered to be the most qualified for T32 support. However, NIAMS wishes to focus T32 support on trainees with the greatest commitment to research in the NIAMS’ mission areas. Applications are encouraged to describe a rigorous selection process.

As with all NRSA awards, the research training commitment must be full-time.

Pre-Doctoral Trainees

Clinical Trainees

Providing research opportunities for medical or other health-professional students can be important in stimulating their interest in science as the development of physician-scientists is a widely recognized unmet need, particularly in NIAMS. Therefore, NIAMS T32 awards may be used to support students in a combined M.D./Ph.D. program during the period of research for their doctoral degree. Awards may also support short-term pre-doctoral research opportunities for medical or other health-professional students. 

Non-clinical Trainees

NIAMS encourages applications for T32 programs that provide cross-disciplinary training. For example: 

  • Training of a student enrolled in a graduate program in one school in an institution (e.g., School of Engineering) but participating in research in the lab of a mentor whose primary appointment is in a different school (e.g., School of Medicine), whether in the same or a different academic institution, would be considered a cross-disciplinary program. 
  • Training with a co-mentor from a different school than the mentor. 
  • Training may be provided by co-mentors with primary appointments in the same school, if the two mentors received their training in different disciplines, such as one with a medical degree and one with an engineering degree. The role of a co-mentor must be significant and well-defined. 

Post-Doctoral Trainees

Clinical Trainees

NIAMS’ goal is to provide clinical trainees with the opportunity to pursue additional research training, beyond training required for clinical specialty certification. NIAMS encourages research training that goes beyond required training for all post-doctoral clinical trainees. Additional training should prepare the trainee to apply for an individual fellowship or other support that furthers research participation. A program can include a period of research training after completion of initial clinical training, with subsequent further clinical training after the period of T32 support, if the research training is beyond that needed to complete the clinical residency/fellowship program and there is a genuine opportunity to continue significant involvement in research after the T32 support period. 

Non-clinical Trainees

NIAMS fully recognizes the critical contributions of dedicated scientists with graduate degrees working in basic or clinical research. Furthermore, for applications that include post-doctoral Ph.D. trainees, NIAMS will give preference to T32 programs in which candidates complete one year of post-doctoral training in the lab of the proposed mentor before becoming eligible for T32 support.

NIAMS Specific Information

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Rebecca Lenzi, Ph.D.

Health Science Administrator
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Building: Democracy I, Suite 884
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