Funding Doctoral Work in Nutrition and Working Abroad


Taking a Bite out of Funding for Nutrition Research

Traveling Abroad to Study Cancer

Dear GrantDoctor,

Where can we find funding for scholars already in a graduate program who need additional money to supplement their research in nutrition? We are not necessarily looking for large sums of money--although that would of course be welcome--just enough to supplement the actual cost of the samples and laboratory fees.

Best regards,


Dear Sherry,

Good news--your students may be eligible for a number of fellowships in nutrition!

You didn't mention which graduate school you are affiliated with, but if your institution is listed in the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS) Directory of Graduate Programs, your students can apply for ASNS Predoctoral Fellowships in Nutrition Research. These 1-year awards are for $5000 each, and there is plenty of time to get the application materials together--the deadline is not until 1 December 2001. Of course, the downside is that, according to the ASNS, the funds will not be disbursed until next spring at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's 'Experimental Biology meeting.

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) annually offers 25 graduate Student Fellowships for both U.S. and international students. The funding level varies for each fellowship, but most of the awards support nutrition research as one of the "family and consumer" sciences. Applicants have to be AAFCS members, but both the membership and fellowship applications can be submitted simultaneously. The AAFCS Web site currently reports a deadline of 29 December 2000 (last year), so keep checking the site for the next cutoff date. Awards are announced in the spring, but funds are not distributed to fellows until the following academic year.

If cereals and oilseeds are your game, then by all means direct your students to the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) Graduate Fellowship Program. A word of caution, though: Nutrition research is funded only if it relates to cereals and oilseeds. As many as 15 fellowships may be awarded for $2000 to $3000 each. You've just missed the deadline for this year's competition, but officials at AACC confirm that they will run the program again next year, with an April 2002 deadline and a September 2002 payment date.

Finally, I'll alert you to a fellowship that your students might want to keep their eyes on if they plan to continue their training in nutrition after graduate school. The Dannon Institute (yes, the yogurt manufacturer!) has a Postdoctoral Nutrition Fellowship program that accepts proposals in interdisciplinary nutrition research and in children's nutrition research.

Good luck,

--The GrantDoctor

Dear GrantDoctor,

I am a young oncologist from Russia specializing in breast cancer. To improve my skills and knowledge, I would like to study and work for some time in one of the leading institutes abroad. How do I find money for that?

Thank you in advance,

-- Nicholas

Dear Nicholas,

To steal a slogan from Microsoft: "Where do you want to go today?" Because whether you are a postdoc or a principal investigator (PI), your options for working abroad are wide open!

If you have a particular institution in mind, then you should start by contacting someone in the department you'd like to visit. Chances are, you're not the first scientist in your discipline or from your country who has wanted to work there. The institution itself may even offer a fellowship for a visiting scientist. For instance, scientists from outside the United States can conduct research in many disciplines at the National Institutes of Health under the Fogarty International Center Visiting Program for Foreign Scientists. Postdoctoral fellows apply for Visiting Fellow Awards, and PIs apply for Visiting Scientist Appointments. Awards are usually for 2-year periods.

If you'd prefer to keep your horizons broad, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, not only has cancer fellowships for postdocs and PIs to work at their laboratories in France, but also runs a cancer fellowship program for postdocs to visit labs anywhere in the world. Applicants for the 1-year IARC Postdoctoral Fellowships for Cancer Research can be from any country (including Russia) and may propose to visit any other country.

Perhaps you'd like to visit a NATO country, such as the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom? The Russian Federation is a NATO Partner country, and one benefit of this partnership is that its citizens are eligible for Basic (for those pursuing graduate education), Advanced (for those with a Ph.D. already), and Senior Science Fellowships to study and conduct science or engineering research in NATO countries.

If the United States is your target, then in addition to the opportunities mentioned above, you'll want to check out the fellowships offered by the Fulbright Scholar Program, administered for the U.S. Department of State by the Institute of International Education. One important first step is to find at least two or three U.S. institutions where you would like to work before applying. Applicants from foreign countries may be graduate students, postdocs, or PIs. (See a recent GrantsNet article for more information on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.)

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has two cancer fellowships for study in the United States that you might be excited about, depending on your background and research interests. The Audrey Meyer Mars International Fellowships in Clinical Oncology is a 1-year award for physicians and surgeons from outside the United States. Another ACS fellowship--the International Fellowships for Beginning Investigators--provides support for assistant professors early in their careers to come and work for a year at a U.S. institution.

So, decide where you want to go and what you want to do, get your word processor revved up, and start applying!

Good luck,

-- The GrantDoctor

Due to the high volume of questions received, The GrantDoctor cannot answer all queries on an individual basis. Look for an answer to your question published in this column soon! Thank you!

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