Skip to main content

On this page:


The BCB curriculum is supported by a combination of internal institutional funds and by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32). The T32 grant is a competitive, 5-year award, that provides 12 months of funding for a selected set of 5 students.

How to apply

Applications are due in the summer (details below) and eligibility for T32 is restricted to students who:

  • are rising 2nd or 3rd year PhD or MD/PhD candidates enrolled in the BCB program (note: students must have participated in BCB coursework, exams, and/or service by the time they apply — so for example, MD/PhD students who have joined a lab but not yet taken any BCB courses will not typically be eligible);
  • are US citizens or permanent residents;
  • are in good academic standing with both UNC Chapel Hill and the BCB;
  • have passed the BCB written exam;
  • have not previously received funding from BCB or the BCB T32;
  • will not be funded by another federal training grant during the same funding period.
The assignment of funding to students is made through a competitive application process that typically takes place in June or July. The exact date varies; details of the application requirements will be sent out by email to students usually around 2 weeks before the deadline. The applications must be made by the student’s advisor, and the application packet is typically required to include the following [note: this may vary slightly from year to year; please read the request of applications email in a given year]:
  1. A brief letter of support for the student by the advisor (or in the case of multiple advisors, this should be a single letter signed by all advisors), including
    • an explanation of why the student is a good candidate for the fellowship;
    • the advisor’s recent service activities for the BCB curriculum (greatest weight is given to service in the last 5 years) and any related outreach activities;
    • the advisor’s training as a mentor, including:
      • whether they have completed the Faculty Mentoring Workshop provided by the Office of Graduate Education, and if not then commit to undergoing that training should their student be funded. [Note: If the faculty mentor 1) received BCB T32 funding for a student a previous year; 2) at that time committed to undergo mentoring training; but 3) has still not undergone mentoring training, then this will strongly count against the application];
      • any other formal training in mentorship they have received (eg, Safe Zone, Culturally Aware Mentoring, etc).
  2. The student must also provide the following:
    • their own letter of intent stating why they would like to apply for a T32 fellowship slot and why the training program would be beneficial to them;
    • a brief summary of their current research project (s) — 1 page max;
    • a brief statement of eligibility per requirements;
    • a cv;
    • a copy of their unofficial UNC transcripts highlighting previous BCB coursework;
    • details of any other federal training grant or federal fellowship that they are in receipt of, including dates. (Note that the BCB training grant cannot fund time that is already funded through other federal training grants or fellowships).
Weight in participant selection is given to:
  • the student’s research statement;
  • the student’s academic performance;
  • the student’s participation in the program and related outreach activities;
  • the student’s receipt of any other overlapping or non-overlapping fellowship funding for their PhD;
  • the PI’s recent service in the BCB training program and commitment to mentoring training;
  • the PI’s recent history of having students funded by the BCB T32.
Funding decisions are made by the BCB Executive Committee following the receipt of all applications that arrive before the specified deadline.

Citing T32 funding in your papers

If you received support from the BCB training grant at any point in your PhD studies, then in the funding or acknowledgments of publications arising from your PhD work this support should be acknowledged. For example, “[Your name or initials] received support from NIGMS predoctoral training grant [Grant Code]”, where [Grant Code] is:

  • T32-GM067553 for students who received support starting 2020 or earlier;
  • T32-GM135123 for students who received support starting 2021 or later.