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R36 Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Increase Diversity

NIA supports senior graduate students via the R36 Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Increase Diversity (PAR-19-394). These awards provide funding to support underrepresented graduate students in finishing their dissertations. All R36 recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of award. View other NIA fellowships available to graduate students.

Important Dates

The R36 dissertation award is awarded in three cycles every year, as described below.

R36 Aging Research Dissertation Award Cycle
Receipt Cycle Initial Application Due Date Resubmission Due Date Initial Review Date Council Review Date Earliest Possible Award Start Date
1 February 16 March 16 June/July August or October September or December
2 June 16 July 16 October/November January April
3 October 16 November 16 February/March May July

Award Duration

The R36 can support up to two years of dissertation work.

How to Apply

Find information on applying. R36 applicants should follow NIH instructions for research awards (PDF, 4M), not fellowships.

R36 Review

NIA R36 applications are reviewed by NIA Chartered Review Committee AGCD-4.

R36 Stipend and Funding Levels

Yearly award budgets are composed of stipends, tuition and fees, and additional expenses, as described below. Updated information on stipend levels can be found in NOT-OD-22-132.

R36 Stipend and Funding Levels (2023)
Stipend Maximum Tuition Additional Expenses
$27,144 N/A $20,000

Additional expenses include health insurance, travel to scientific meetings, and dissertation research costs. With the exception of costs associated with the dissertation (i.e., dissertation credits), no funds may be used to pay tuition or fees.

Components of a Dissertation Award Application

The R36 Dissertation Award application requires many parts; you should begin preparing your application well before the deadline. Below find the major components of an application and their length limits:

R36 Application Components
Application Component Length Limit
Abstract 30 lines of text
Project Narrative 3 sentences
Applicant Biosketch1 5 pages
Sponsor Biosketch 5 pages
Budget Table
Budget Justification N/A
Specific Aims 1 page
Research Strategy 6 pages
Letters of support (minimum of 2)2 2 pages each
Certification Letter3 N/A
  1. A Biosketch is a document containing a curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, and description of past research experience. R36 Applicant Biosketches should include the Part D. Scholastic Performance section.
  2. The faculty advisor and at least one other member of the dissertation committee must submit letters, each no longer than 2 pages, that assess (a) the doctoral candidate’s progress to date; and (b) the candidate’s commitment to aging-health-related research and her/his prospect of becoming an independent investigator in this area. The applicant may choose to include additional letters of support. All letters of support should be included in the application as a single PDF.
  3. The faculty advisor, dissertation committee chair, or university official directly responsible for supervising the dissertation research must submit a letter certifying that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for the R36. Consult the notice of funding opportunity for more details.

Detailed instructions for each application part can be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. R36 applicants should follow the Research (R) instructions.

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