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The fellowship positions are limited to individuals who have either earned their doctorate degree (Ph.D., Sc.D., M.D., D.V.M., or D.D.S.) or completed a primary residency within three years of their proposed start date (e.g., individuals who propose to start in fall 2014 must have completed their doctoral degree between summer 2011 and 2014.) Consideration will be given to individuals with more experience if there are compelling reasons for doing so, such as postgraduate subspecialty training or national service.

All qualified applicants are eligible to apply. Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, sex, or national origin. Diversity among fellows is encouraged. In the past, approximately 12% of the fellowships were awarded to under-represented minorities in the biological sciences, and 25% were awarded to foreign nationals.

Non-U.S. nationals whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of the English language through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). These applicants may also be subject to an oral interview. Non-U.S. nationals who are offered awards must have valid visas throughout their tenure. Fellows will be responsible for managing all their own visa matters.