The next workshop for NIH fellowships will take place in the spring of 2022. Registration information will be shared via Research News when it becomes available. If you are applying for a fellowship prior to the next workshop, this page provides valuable tutorials, guidance, examples, and tips for writing a successful application.

Be aware of the upcoming NIH due dates for your award application type. All applications are due at 5 p.m. local WashU time (Central Time Zone).

Award TypeDue Dates
F Series – Fellowship AwardsApril 8
August 8
December 8
K Series – Career Development Awards – NEWFebruary 12
June 12
October 12
K Series – Career Development Awards – Renewal/Resubmission/RevisionMarch 12
July 12
November 12


3+ Months Before Application Due Date

Become better acquainted the NIH guidelines and your research interests. The NIH mission is public health-related, and therefore it is crucial that F and K fellowships emphasize this mission.

Gather as much information as possible about the NIH awards.

  • Review the NIH’s Application Guide for instructions on how to apply, write the application, and submit.
  • For those interested in F (Fellowship) award, visit the Individual Fellowships page; for information on the K (Career Develop) awards visit the Research Career Development Awards page.
  • Explore other helpful information by browsing through resources (WUSTL Key required). Here you will find tips from past fellowship award winners, sample proposals, and recordings of past workshops presented by WashU faculty members.

Reach out to potential advisors.

If you are a graduate student, meet with your current advisor to discuss prospective topics for your proposal.

Begin to read literature for any “knowledge gaps.”

Within your area of interest, comb through discussion and conclusion sections for any knowledge gaps that you believe you can “fill in.” Reading through the literature will ensure that you choose a primary field of study that best suits your interests.

  • Make sure that you keep track of all your sources and begin to construct an outline. You will use these sources later on when you draft your writing statements.

Watch the Grant Writing Videos by ICTS and DBBS (2019).

This video series covers a wealth of information on how to write a grant. You can choose to watch the entire 4-hour series, or review their table of contents and watch only the sections of the series that are most pertinent to you.

Watch the STEM Fellowship Writing Workshop (2018).

This 1 hour and 45 minute video is presented by John Russell, PhD, Philip Bayly, PhD, and Adam Eggebrecht, PhD.


2 Months Before Application Due Date

If you have not already done so, you will now start writing the components of your fellowship application. While your application my be due a couple of months from now, good writing takes time (and, very often, a lot of editing and rewriting). Use the NIH’s “Write Your Application” guidance for important instructions and helpful tips.

Required Application Materials

The NIH F and K award applications require that you submit the following materials:

  • Specific Aims
  • Project Summary/Abstract
  • Project Narrative
  • Biosketch
  • Personal Statement
  • Contributions to Science
  • Goals for Training/Career
  • 3 Reference Letters
  • Academic Transcripts

Need help?

The Writing Center provides free, one-one-one tutorials to all Washington University students. The Writing Center can help with any writing project, including NIH fellowship applications, and at any stage of the writing process (from brainstorming to draft to final versions). They can help you to generate ideas and to strengthen and clarify your writing. To make an appointment, please visit The Writing Center website, and follow the “Schedule an Appointment” link.

Watch the Writing Center’s Lecture on Grant Writing.

This one-hour lecture is provided by Steven Pijut, Associate Director of the Writing Center. This lecture provides insight on the writing process, and reflection on your research, your personal and intellectual interest, and your career.


1 Month Before Application Due Date

By now you should have a draft of each section of your application. Over the next few weeks you will need to fill in any gaps, finalize your draft, and submit your application to the NIH.

Register to Apply

If you have not done so previously, make sure you have registered for accounts with eRA Commons and It will take 1 or more business days to process this request, so it MUST be done prior to your application deadline.

Review How to Apply

The NIH provides guidance on How to Submit, Track and View Your Application, which you should review in advance of the due date. This page provides an overview of the process, and a helpful checklist to make sure you are prepared to apply.

Have Others Review Your Application

It is important to have your peers and mentor(s) review your application prior to submission. Make sure you ask them in advance of the deadline so they have time to read your writing and provide feedback. Consider having peers from outside your field of study read you application, because they can sometimes provide valuable feedback on readability and clarity.


Make sure you apply at least TWO DAYS before the deadline in case you have technical difficulties, need to fix application errors, or to manage other unforeseen problems in applying.