Pre-Doctoral Training in Obesity-Related Research
The Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham announces the availability of pre-doctoral fellowships funded through the NIH T32 grant (HL105349) awarded by the Heart, Lung and Blood Disease Institute (NHLBI). The funds from this grant may be used only for US Citizens or permanent residents. In very rare cases we are able to identify additional funds for the exceptional applicant who is neither a US Citizen nor permanent resident, but this is a rarity.
Positions entail working collaboratively with an interdisciplinary group of scientists. The NORC studies virtually all aspects of obesity ranging from molecular biology to epidemiology. Investigators include molecular biologists, physicians, psychologists, statisticians, physiologists, epidemiologists, and nutritionists. Faculty mentors include:
- Doctoral student in good standing at UAB (All disciplines are invited to apply).
- Be midway through 1st year in a PhD program and prepared to enter 2nd year of training in August.
- US citizens or permanent residents.
- A long-term plan and expectation to work as an independent investigator in obesity-research.
- Commit to meet all obligations of the training program (link )
- Student will either approach a mentor or mentor will ask student about creating a research relationship, or either can seek guidance from Program Directors to be matched with a potentially interested counterpart.
- Student and Mentor together apply for entry into the program, forming the full mentoring team according to the requirement for disciplinary domain diversity (link ). Applications are due Friday, June 7, 2013.
- Applicants will be notified by June 24, 2013.
Send all of these materials to firstname.lastname@example.org  by June 7, 2013.
Women, individuals from traditionally disadvantaged groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Interested individuals may contact one of the Program Directors with questions.
UAB is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer
- Can I, a faculty member at UAB, get a student on this program if I am not listed as a Primary Faculty Mentor?
If your student meets all of the eligibility criteria outlined on the website, you may apply for him or her by partnering with one of the Primary mentors named on the website. Then, the primary mentor would help with the submission. The submitted application will have to make the case that the project is good science and vital to the field of obesity and that the mentoring to be received will be outstanding.
- How can I get added to the list of Primary Faculty Mentors?
First, you will need to be a member of the NORC. If you are not already a member, you are very welcome to apply for membership in the NORC. To do so, please send Jeff Allison  a full CV and a 1-paragraph statement of interest. That being said, being a member of NORC alone does not make one a primary mentor on the T32. Primary mentors must be approved by the NORC and then by NIH. We use the following criteria to select primary mentors:
Primary Faculty/Mentors are scientists that have an active record of independent scholarship in obesity and are considered established investigators. Our criteria for ‘established’ in this program are being at or above the level of associate professor, having a strong record of scholarship and/or having held a major non-mentored NIH or NSF grant as a PI for obesity-related research, and having scientific connectivity with other primary mentors.
- If my student will not be in his or her second year, is he or she still eligible to apply?
He or she may still apply, but all other things being equal, their application will receive a lower rating than that of a student entering his or her second year.
- I know that we are to include a letter in our application packet, could you please tell me what things you would like to see in this letter. Do both myself and my primary mentor need to submit a letter or will one letter from both of us suffice?
You and the primary mentor should each submit a separate letter outlining training goals and research objectives. Obviously, the letters should be concordant (e.g., you should not say you wish to study “A” and have the mentor say you will study “not A”), but your letters should not be identical. Yours should focus more on your interests and career objectives. Your mentor’s should focus more on the training environment and expertise he or she can offer and his/her expectations of you. It is perfectly fine for you and your mentor to work together in coordinating the drafting of your letters.
- Does the mentor have any other commitments they must make towards the training of the selected student?
The primary mentor or a combination of the mentors must agree to pay all applicable tuition and fees not covered by the training grant. Generally this means all tuition and fees not related to health insurance above the 60% funding level of the training program. Health insurance related fees are covered at 100% by the program.
Additionally, each school/college at UAB requires a minimum level of compensation for pre-doctoral trainees. If the selected students particular school requires a level of support greater than the portion supplied by the NIH, the mentor will be required to supplement the stipend to that level with non-grant related funds.