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Individual Fellowships

Establishing a funding history is critical to become competitive for faculty positions - the NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) and the NIH's Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) and are oftentimes the first steps in this process. 

Here are some resources and tips to increase the competiveness of your applications for these specific mechanisms.​


 NSF GRFP Fellowships

Here are some resources and tips to increase the competiveness of your NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) applications: 

General information
  • The NSF GRFP supports outstanding STEM disciplines with a goal of enhancing diversity in the biomedical workforce.
  • They encourage both intellectual merit and broader impacts as part of your scientific training. 
  • You must apply within your first two years of a Ph.D. program.  
  • Contact program officers with questions. ​​

​​Additional fellowship resources

​W​ant to know the next date for the NSF GRFP workshop? Email us at Kristin Artinger, PhD or Shanelle Felder for information on the next workshop cycle. ​​​

 NIH NRSA Fellowships (F30, F31, & F32)

Here are some resources and tips to increase the competiveness of your NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA) applications: ​
Before you start
  • Speak with your agency Program Director (~4 months ahead)
  • Speak with your Departmental Grants Specialist (~4 months ahead)
  • Talk with your sponsor (i.e., mentor) about your training plan (~4 months ahead)
  • Identify who will write you letters of reference (~2-3 months ahead)
  • Speak with your colleagues who were successful with this mechanism
  • Review funded applications (if possible)
  • Review your agency’s review criteria
  • Strengthen pilot data (should be solid!)
  • Identify what will make the application more competitive
  • Identify research and/or career development opportunities

    ​Additional fellowship resources

    ​NIH Program Contact email example:

    "Dear Dr. Frieden,

    My name is Jason Williams and I am a (graduate student/postdoctoral fellow) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in the lab of Dr. Artinger. I am writing to discuss the submission of an (F30/F31/F32) award to NIDCR (insert your institute). My work investigates the role of a specific protocadherin in neural crest development with the hypothesis that pcdh10a guides neural crest cells to their correct location during migration. Because your institute focuses on basic cell biological mechanisms of formation of the craniofacial complex, in which neural crest cells give rise to these structures, I feel this is the best fit for my work. I would be happy to call and discuss more specifics of my plan if that works better. Please let me know what works best for you.

    Thank you in advance,

    Sincerely, Jason"​

    W​ant to know the next date for the NRSA presenation? Interested in participating in a mock-study section? Email us at​ to learn about the next information and application cycle. ​​​

    Have you been successful? Willing to share your funded application with your peers? You can submit your documents at​

    The CDO and the CU Denver/Anschutz Graduate School provide informational sessions and grant review support for your applications. If you're ready to take the next step building your history of funding, email us at​ to learn more about how we can support your success! 

    Interested in finding other funding opportunities? You can search for them anytime on the Graduate School curated funding database at

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