NRSA - Ready to Apply?

Student Status

NRSA fellowships are designed for PhD students who will be working on a research dissertation. Students who are in a clinical practice program (such as the DNP program) and those who are planning program analyses or non-research projects are not eligible for the funding.


All applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Program Progression

  • Dissertation Proposal: It is not necessary to have had your dissertation proposal approved before applying. Indeed that is not likely to be the case if you have not yet had your general exam. However, you should have a clear idea of what your research will be, so that you can write the research plan in sufficient detail.
  • Funding: Most applications are for 1-2 years of funding if you are nearing the dissertation phase. However, you can apply for up to 5 years of funding if you are very early in your program.  It takes about a year to submit an application and have it reviewed. Applicants should be planning on an additional 2-4 years to finish their coursework and dissertation research.
  • Sponsor: You should have identified your sponsor and be working closely with him or her in preparing the application. Although it is not necessary to have your supervisory committee appointed, you should have a good idea who will be on it, and should describe that in the training plan.


Preparing the application is equivalent to taking a 3-5 credit course. In fact, it is appropriate to sign up for an independent study with your advisor and get credit for working on the draft. Make sure that you adjust your course load and other commitments to accommodate this workload. If you are at a point in your schooling where this is not possible, the application should be postponed until a time when it is possible.

NRSA Timeline Sample