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How to Apply

Applications are currently being accepted from eligible predoctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and clinical residents. Appointments of successful trainees must begin during the current grant year (June 1, 2024 - May 31, 2025).


Download the full RFA



The Chicago KUH FORWARD training program is designed to address key challenges related to recruitment, advancement, and retention of predoctoral and postdoctoral level scientists in kidney, urology, and hematology research. Through activities of the Administrative, Network, Professional Development, and Training Cores of that comprise Chicago KUH FORWARD, we offer multidimensional evidence-based interventions to prepare the next generation of KUH scientists.

Chicago KUH FORWARD trainees are appointed for 12-month continuous periods up to a maximum of 24-months continuous training support. Trainees receive a Kirschstein-NRSA stipend and allowances for travel and training related expenses. Chicago KUH FORWARD trainees have access to many unique resources and opportunities including cross-disciplinary mentorship, facilitated peer mentoring, interdisciplinary seminars, workshops, and journal clubs focused on cross-cutting tools, and opportunities to interact professionally and socially with other trainees, alumni, and mentors from across all six partner institutions in Chicago.

Chicago KUH FORWARD is committed to identifying and implementing ways to create and support a diverse and inclusive campus community. Scholars from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. We strongly encourage individuals belonging to groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences (e.g., certain racial, ethnic and gender minorities and individuals with disabilities) to apply to our KUH training program.


Applications will be accepted from predoctoral and postdoctoral level trainees who meet the following criteria:

  • US citizen or permanent residents
  • Candidate wishes to pursue a career in benign or non-cancerous KUH research and engage in basic, translational, or clinical research in a NIDDK KUH priority research area.
  • Predoctoral applicant requirements:
    • Possess a baccalaureate degree
    • Be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. or an equivalent research doctoral degree program at one of the six Chicago KUH FORWARD partner institutions
    • Completed degree-required coursework
    • Passed qualifying exam
    • Have not received more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support
  • Postdoctoral applicants requirements:
    • Possess a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Comparable doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.C., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr.PH., D.N.Sc., D.P.T., Pharm.D., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), D.S.W., Psy.D., as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research
    • Have an appointment as a postdoctoral researcher or equivalent at one of the six Chicago KUH FORWARD partner institutions
    • Have not received more than 3 years of aggregate NRSA support

 Application Process

Please refer to the full RFA for application instructions.

The application process includes three stages.

  1. Pre-application Meeting. Declare your interest in applying by sending an email to requesting a pre-application meeting. Meetings provide an opportunity for applicants and mentors to receive guidance on the application process and program expectations. Pre-application meetings are brief and held over Zoom.
  2. Submit Online Application. All applicants must complete the online Application Form in its entirety which includes uploading the supporting materials listed below. Applicants may save the Application Form to return later to complete before submitting. No changes can be made to the Application Form after it is submitted.
    • The Application Form is located online at
    • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all training slots are filled.
    • Supporting Materials: All applicants (both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees) are required to submit the following supporting materials. Please see the full RFA for formatting requirements.
      • NIH Fellowship Biosketch
      • Personal Statement addressing reasons for applying, prior research experience, long-term career objectives
      • Research Proposal that outlines the applicant’s specific scientific objectives and description of cross-disciplinary mentorship team
      • Mentor statement of commitment from primary mentor and co-mentor(s)
      • Reference letters (for postdoctoral-level applications only): Applicants applying for a postdoctoral-level trainee position are required to submit two reference letters from individuals not directly involved in the application.
  3. Proposal presentation and Interview. Each applicant will be scheduled for a virtual 30-minute session on Zoom where they will present their proposed research and be interviewed by the review committee.
Questions regarding the application process should be directed to

 Evaluation Criteria

Applications are reviewed based on several criteria:

  • Record of academic achievement
  • Research training plan
  • Clarity of written communication
  • Clarity of oral communication
  • Motivation for pursuit of an academic research career
  • Alignment of trainee interests with KUH research priority areas
  • Commitment of mentoring team to the candidate
  • Referees’ assessments of candidate’s academic & research accomplishments (postdoc only)
  • Impact of lived experiences on the candidate’s career choices and academic trajectory
  • Likelihood that TL1 research training will enhance the candidate’s progression to a productive independent scientific research career in a KUH research field

 Additional Information & Questions

For further information, determination of eligibility or assistance in identifying mentors, please contact

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