Postdoctoral Program

Eligibility

The Interdisciplinary Training in Cardiovascular Research (CVR) is a T32 Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Health. Appointees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in a research or clinical doctoral or postdoctoral program. Anyone on a temporary or student visa is not eligible. To be eligible for postdoctoral training, individuals must hold a doctoral degree (PhD, MD/PhD) and have no more than five years of relevant research experience since receipt of their most recent doctoral degree.

Appointees must work in the laboratory of a CVR Training Faculty and research must be in the broad fields of: Molecular Basis of Cardiac Function, Signaling in Vascular Disease, and/or Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease. Trainees involved in projects including Precision Medicine are encouraged to apply.

Postdoctoral Trainee Expectations

Appointed trainees are expected to:

  • Devote full-time effort during the trainee appointment period.
  • Prepare and maintain an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that reflects interests and goals.
  • Submit and annual mentor evaluation and a short progress report six months after the start of the award.
  • Trainees and Mentors must participate (when possible) in all T32 events.
  • Present research at a scientific meeting/symposiums including the annual AZ Physiological Sciences Conference.
  • Write and submit a manuscript during training period.
  • Write and submit an external funding application (NIH, AHA, etc.) within the first 12 months.
  • Appoint and Advisory Committee and meet every six months to discuss research and the external funding application.
  • Provide the CVR administration annual updates regarding career moves and publications to for a total of 15 years from date of initial appointment in order to fulfill Kirschstein-NRSA renewal requirements.

Training Overview 

The goal of our postdoctoral training program is to establish a path to independence so that our trainees will join the next generation of investigators who will mechanistically investigate heart, vascular and lung function in human disease.

In addition to the pursuit of cardiovascular research in the laboratory, the CVR program overall goal, our training plan includes components that address the six core competencies developed by the National Postdoctoral Association:

  1. Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge
  2. Research skill development
  3. Communication skills
  4. Professionalism
  5. Leadership and management skills
  6. Responsible conduct of research

Postdoctoral Training Program 

CVR Program Oversight

  Advisory Committee Meetings
  Steering Committee Meetings
  Individual Development Plan

Career Development

 Research           Experimental Design
  Laboratory Skills and Development
  Data Analysis and Interpretation
Writing Manuscript Writing Development
  Grant Writing Development
  Grant Submission (e.g., AHA, ALA, NIH, NSF)
Presentations   Seminars (PSIO, CMM, Grand Rounds)
  Poster (Conferences)
  Journal Club (fellow, trainee, general)
Networking Local, Nat’l, Internat’l Conference (AHA, AzPS, EMC)
  Meet the Speaker Program
  Organize Meetings (AzPS, AMC)

Translational/Clinical Integration

  Clinical Fellow Conferences
  AZiCATS
  PMI CP

Formal Coursework or Workshops

  Responsible Conduct in Research
  Professional Skills Development Series
  American Physiological Society Writing Workshop
  Eureka Translational Medicine Certificate Course

Biotechnology/Industry

  Internship
  Tech Launch Arizona Workshops
  Drug Discovery

Individual Development Plan

Each trainee will select an advisory committee and develop a Personal Training Plan (IDP) in their first month of appointment. The advisory committee serves as a resource for the trainee to achieve research and career goals; the committee will include at least one member of the Steering Committee (other than the research mentor) and at least two additional faculty members with research interests complementary to those of the trainee but from different viewpoints or disciplines. Whether or not the trainee is a PhD, MD/PHD or MD, one member of the advisory committee must be a physician-scientist.

Each trainee will develop, assisted by Mentor and Advisory Committee, an IDP that includes:

  • a description of the research project and justification for how it advances their career plan
  • laboratory and career skills they plan to acquire during their training period
  • a timeline for progress
  • career objectives

To assist in career planning, all trainees must also sign up at MyIDP (http://myidp.sciencecareers.org) and perform the exercises to identify personal strengths, weaknesses and aptitudes, and utilize the online resources to develop a more comprehensive view of their career options. Their IDP will be revisited by the trainee and advisory committee every six months and modified as needed to reflect changes in the project, timelines, career objectives and options.

Integration of Translational Medicine

Postdoctoral trainees are encouraged to design advanced research projects with strong translational potential. To integrate CVR Program, cardiology and/or pulmonary training, post-doctoral trainees are highly encouraged to attend weekly cardiology or pulmonary research fellow conferences and present their work at these conferences. The goal of these conferences is to discuss an array of clinical topics.

For example, the multi-specialty cardiology clinical conference covers electrophysiology, imaging, interventional procedures, etc. There is also a journal club embedded in the conferences and research content. CT-Surgery conferences are also available.

As part of this exposure to clinical medicine, trainees will be asked to identify critical therapautic gaps in knowledge as they relate to their individual research projects and encouraged to develop research proposals in collaboration with the clinical faculty. Through this integration, trainees will become an integral part of a growing research community that encompasses disease-oriented biomedical science, translational research, drug and biotechnology development, pharmacogenetics and biomedical informatics, and patient-oriented and population- based clinical research focusing on CVR Program disease topics. More importantly, trainees will be educated with a “real-world” understanding of how basic, clinical and translational science of cardiovascular disease is integrated with health care delivery.

Postdoctoral Application Instructions

1. Applicant submits the application as ONE PDF file. Include:

  • application form
  • Statement of Career Goals and Summary of Research Project
    • Within this statement, please describe how your work would contribute to the NIH commitment of fostering highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds to further their mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.  Please click on this link to read the NIH statement on diversity in full.

  • CV with the length (in months) of previous research and relevant experience

2. Mentor submits a letter of recommendation and current NIH biosketch. All junior mentors (rank at assistant professor) must include a statement from a senior T32 mentor (at the associate or full professor rank) who will serve as a co-­mentor.

Please carefully read the NIH Payback Agreement (PDF) that will be required for appointment to the grant. Postdoctoral appointees are classified as Designated Campus Colleagues which impacts UA benefits and changes payroll disbursements, please talk with your mentor and department's business manager to understand how this may affect you before applying. Length of the award will be for one year, with the expectation that trainees will remain on the grant for a total of two to three years. The awardees will be chosen by the T32 internal advisory committee.

Submission deadline: Open until all slots are filled. Awards effective starting June 1, or on renewal date for reapplicants.