How to Apply

How to apply? 

With the provisional approval of his or her departmental or divisional leadership, a potential applicant should notify the BIRWCH Program Manager, Adrienne Babcock at to let her know your intent to submit. After receipt of your intent, she will arrange inclusion in an information session with Dr. Amy Major, PhD (Co-PI); Dr. Digna Velez Edwards (Co-PI); and/or Dr. Katherine Hartmann (Co-PI).  Please contact Adrienne with all preliminary questions or concerns in considering eligibility of a potential applicant or for more details. 


Please provide the following in your application packet:

  • A cover letter in which the applicant concisely describes his/her specific research interests. The letter should note past research experience; prior exposure (if any) to cross-disciplinary curricula (biostatistics, informatics, epidemiology, economics, translational research training, clinical evaluative sciences, etc.); long-term career goals; and how the BIRCWH will help advance those goals.
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae and NIH biosketch for the applicant.
  • A letter of support from the proposed Lead Mentor indicating his/her commitment to the scholar and intent to participate as a lead mentor in the program.
  • The mentor’s Curriculum Vitae and NIH biosketch with indication of active extramural funding.
  • A three-page research proposal that describes the background, hypothesis/specific aims, methods, preliminary studies, and significance of the proposed work.
  • A letter from the applicant’s department chair which defines the institutional commitment to the applicant and his/her specific faculty position; guarantees the minimum of 75% protected time for research and training; and provides specific details regarding anticipated non-research activities of the Scholar, such as teaching and clinics. (An anticipated weekly/monthly schedule may be used to illustrate these time commitments.)
  • Two additional letters of reference that address scientific readiness and/or merits of the proposed line of research. These should ideally be from faculty members with whom the applicant has worked or had research experience.
  • An educational/career development plan, not more than two pages, to describe activities and/or courses that will enhance continued research career development.


Applicants determined to meet eligibility requirements may also be invited to additional interviews with a member of the Program Advisory Committee, other program leaders, or potential co-mentors.  Initial placements will be in winter and spring.  Applicants must be eligible to begin their award immediately. 


One email receipt of electronic versions for each item above should be submitted to:

Adrienne Babcock BIRCWH 

Associate Program Manager 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

(please indicate Subject: “BIRCWH APPLICATION”)

Phone for queries: 615-936-6768


Successful candidates are appointed by NIH to the program for a 12-month period and must submit a progress report and new budget for reappointment as part of the site annual report.  We anticipate that each Scholar should be able to obtain individual support (K series, foundation career development and/or R01) by the end of the third year of K12 support and except in unusual circumstances will limit total K12 support to 3 years to help the Scholar retain eligibility for an individual award and to maximize number of faculty who can be supported via this mechanism. 


Participating units of the NIH in co-funding the BIRCWH are:

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), (

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (

Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) (