Monday, February 12, 2018

Fewer F31 grants for chemistry graduate students

Also from this week's C&EN, an article by Andrea Widener: 
The U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announced last month that it will no longer fund a predoctoral fellowship program that supported select chemistry students. NIGMS decided instead to put all of its predoctoral funding toward training grants, which support departments to provide funding and mentorship to large groups of students. The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship, or F31, was one of few grants that chemistry students could apply for once they had already started their graduate research. 
Most other grants, including NSF predoctoral fellowships, go to students before they enter graduate school. Marilyn Mackiewicz, now a research assistant professor at Portland State University, says she hadn’t known about the NSF fellowships when she applied to graduate school at Texas A&M University. “It’s kind of sad they are deciding to stop funding the grant,” she says. NIGMS started supporting F31 fellowships in 2015. It awarded around 85 fellowships each year; less than 20% went to chemists.
Actually not that consequential to the total number of Ph.D. chemists (~2600 a year.) Still... 


  1. It's certainly nice to apply for the NSF Fellowship before entering grad school (because it seems like the bar for getting it is a bit lower), but you can definitely get them as a first or second year graduate student....

    1. it's also worth noting that the NSF recently changed their rules, so now people can apply either their first or second year, but not both. They can still apply as undergrads and then once as a grad student.