PROGRAM SUMMARY: The PRAT Program is a competitive postdoctoral fellowship program to pursue research in one of the laboratories in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is intended for individuals with backgrounds in the basic or clinical sciences who wish to obtain advanced experience in an area of pharmacology, or for those who are already pharmacologists to gain experience in new fields. Most research facilities are located in Bethesda, Maryland. Other research facilities are located in Baltimore, Maryland; Frederick, Maryland; and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

FIELDS: Research opportunities in pharmacology are broadly defined and can include, for example,

  • Molecular Pharmacology
    Signal Transduction Mechanisms
    Drug Metabolism
    Chemistry and Drug Design
    Cell Biology
    Structural Biology
    Gene Therapy
    Clinical Pharmacology

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must have received a Ph.D. or a professional degree (M.D., D.D.S., D.O., D.V.M., or Pharm.D.) in a basic or clinical science within the last five years, and must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Applicants may apply prior to coming to NIH or FDA, or they may have started postdoctoral research at NIH or FDA within the 12-month period prior to the application receipt deadline.

Applicants select a preceptor in advance. Preceptors are scientists at the NIH or FDA who have an interest in training fellows through this program, and who will indicate their commitment through formal submission of their credentials at the time of application.

SELECTIONS: The application process involves submission of a completed PRAT application form, which includes a brief research plan and a short statement of relevance to pharmacology, a signed preceptor selection form, letters of recommendation, official graduate and undergraduate transcripts, and curricula vitae for both the applicant and the preceptor.

APPOINTMENT: PRAT Fellowships are three-year appointments beginning in the fall of each year; however, earlier start dates through other mechanisms may be negotiated individually by the fellow with the preceptor and the host laboratory.

Appointments are made at competitive salary levels commensurate with other fellowship opportunities at the NIH. In addition, there is a monthly supplies allowance and an annual travel allowance. Fellows may participate in the NIH Loan Repayment Programs. Individuals with professional degrees are eligible to become commissioned officers in the Public Health Service.


January 30 -- Completed applications due
February-April -- Review of applications
May -- Notification of candidates
September-October -- PRAT fellowships begin

For application materials and/or additional information, send e-mail to or contact:

PRAT Program Assistant
Room 2AS.49
45 Center Drive MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

Telephone: (301) 594-3583
Fax: (301) 480-2802