Training in Biomedical Informatics and Data Science (NLM)

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Training Program in
Biomedical Informatics and Data Science

Cross-training researchers since 1992 at the interface between the computational /mathematical sciences and biological sciences/biomedicine to face the biggest challenges in biomedical informatics and data science today.

We are pleased to announce that our training program has received its sixth consecutive renewal of 5 years, beginning July 1, 2017. We are grateful for the support we have received over many years from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), on grant T15LM007093.

Program Director:
Dr. Lydia Kavraki, Rice University
Program Co-Director:
Dr. Elmer Bernstam, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Program Administrator:
Melissa Glueck, Gulf Coast Consortia

Digital information streaming from innumerable sensors, instruments and simulations is outrunning our capacity to accumulate, organize and analyze it for making healthcare decisions. We need fundamental progress in biomedical informatics to exploit the full wealth of knowledge embedded in genomic, proteomic, genetic, epidemiological, and clinical data and gain a full return on our substantial investments in health information technology.

Herein lie challenges to biomedical informatics – and opportunities for training as well. This program provides research training in Healthcare Informatics, Translational Bioinformatics, Clinical Research Informatics, and Public Health Informatics to PhD students and postdoctoral trainees across the GCC’s member institutions. This is one of only 16 institutionally-based NLM training programs in the United States.

This program serves the needs of trainees such as a young physician who wishes to expand her/his analytical and computational knowledge of computer-assisted analysis, simulation and multi-dimensional imaging; a biologist who wants to develop expertise in functional genomics; or a computer scientist who wants to prepare her/himself for a research career in translational bioinformatics.

The next Call for Pre- and Postdoctoral Applications will be in early 2018, with interviews for selected applicants anticipated for late March. Please see the sections below for information about mentor and trainee eligibility, application requirements, and fellowship requirements and benefits.

What the NLM fellowship provides

What the NLM fellowship provides:


  • 12 month fellowship
  • the opportunity to compete for reappointment (for up to a total of three years) if progress is satisfactory
  • Stipend of $23,376 per year in NIH's FY16
  • Partial support for tuition, fees and health insurance (not fringe) and travel
  • Primary mentor/department is responsible for the fringe, and the remainder of the stipend, tuition and health insurance.


  • 12 month fellowship
  • the opportunity to compete for reappointment (for a total of two years) if progress is satisfactory
  • NIH-level stipend of $47,484 per year and above in NIH's FY16 (depending on the years of science-related experience since receipt of the doctoral degree)
  • Partial support for health insurance (not fringe) and travel
  • Primary mentor/department is responsible for the fringe, and the remainder of the stipend and health insurance.

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NLM Steering Committee

NLM Steering Committee

Lydia Kavraki, Program Director
Rice University

Elmer Bernstam, Program Co-Director
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Rui Chen
Baylor College of Medicine

Trevor Cohen
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Chris Tsz-Kwong Man
Baylor College of Medicine

Gordon Mills
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Alanna Morrison
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Luay Nakhleh
Rice University

Nicholas Navin
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

B. Montgomery Pettitt
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Badri Roysam
University of Houston

Marina Vannucci
Rice University

Last updated 8/15/2017

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NLM Curriculum Plan for Predoctoral Trainees

NLM Curriculum Plan for Predoctoral Trainees

You curriculum plan must include all elements of training listed here, as well as a clear timeline for fulfilling them (e.g. first year Fall semester courses X and Y). The timeline should reflect the actual semesters when the courses offered; see the separate attachment “Courses offered at” each institution for links to course catalogs and schedules.

Together, these courses should define a coherent curriculum (not just a series of random courses) that reflects both the NLM domain in which an applicant's project falls, and our training grant's central emphasis of training in data-driven discovery and machine learning. 

Applicants who have already taken some of the foundational and elective courses included in the list below should list these courses in their curriculum plan (course name, number, institution, date taken). However, the curriculum is not just a matter of "check this off the list."

The goal of this grant is to provide training, not to just fund a trainee's research. Therefore, if an applicant has already taken courses in that area, or has previous knowledge at a level higher than the foundation courses listed, they are to choose more advanced courses that will increase and deepen their knowledge. Choose the same number of 2 foundation and 3 elective courses as required below; depending on your background, you may be required to take fewer than that.  

Trainees are expected to complete at least one course per semester. Courses in the Responsible Conduct of Research and introductory classes in biomedical informatics (e.g. UTH's HI 5310) must be taken in the first semester possible, and definitely completed during the trainee's first year of appointment.

Timely progress towards completion of curriculum requirements is part of the evaluation process during a trainee's annual progress review.

Each trainee will receive advising and specific recommendations about coursework appropriate to their background and research interests during their initial interview and subsequent annual progress reviews with the Program Director and NLM Steering Committee. Changes made to the trainee's curriculum are binding.

1. Two approved Foundation Courses, one from Group 1 COMP, one from Group 2 STAT.

Trainees wishing to have previous-taken graduate-level coursework counted towards Foundations or electives should clearly state this in their curriculum plan in their application. Include course name, number, institution, and term and year taken, and the name and number of the Foundation or elective course for which you would like credit. Any previous coursework proposed at a later time will not be considered for "credit."

An adequate number of approved courses must still be listed in the curriculum plan, in case the proposed retroactive "credit" is not approved.  

2. Three electives (advanced courses) related to one of the three domains of biomedical informatics into which your project fits: healthcare/clinical informatics, translational bioinformatics, and clinical research informatics.

If a trainee wishes to have a course considered for adding to the list of approved electives, the trainee should provide a course description and syllabus to the NLM program administrator well in advance of the application deadline.

An adequate number of approved courses must still be listed in the curriculum plan, in case the proposed course is not approved.

3. plans for a 6-credit research practicum during the first year of appointment.

4. plan for taking an approved Responsible Conduct of Research course during your first year of appointment or the course name/number/institution/semester/year of an approved course completed within the past four years as a PhD student, and submission of a transcript showing completion as part of your application. BCM students must be completing their Ethics Years 1-4 in a timely manner.

Online-only courses such as CITI are of themselves insufficient to fulfill the NIH requirements. See the list of approved courses in a separate attachment.

5. Attendance of the Professional Development for Biomedical Informatics Professionals seminar, Rice University's COMP 573. Dr. Kavraki’s permission as instructor is required to enroll. This course will next be offered in Spring 2018. All graduate students from all institutions must enroll for credit for this course. Non-Rice students enroll using the inter-institutional course registration form (see separate attachment); trainees are responsible for finding the course registration deadlines and for gathering signatures from both institutions.

6. attendance at the weekly Keck Seminars Fridays during the academic year at 4:00 pm, officially Rice University course BIOS 592 "Topics in Quantitative Biology and Biomedical Informatics." Enrollment for course credit is required for Rice trainees, optional for trainees at other institutions (using the inter-institutional course registration form).

7. attendance and self-organization of monthly NLM trainee meetings, held the 2nd Friday of the month (Sept. - May) at 3:00 pm in the BRC.

8. attendance and poster presentation on your fellowship project at the Keck Annual Research Conference (held Oct. or Nov. in the BRC).

9. attendance and, if selected, presentation of your fellowship project at the annual NLM Informatics Training Conference held in June at various locations. Travel funds are provided by this fellowship.

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Trainee and mentor responsibilities

Trainee and mentor responsibilities

Both trainees and their mentors have responsibilities to fulfill in return for receiving support from a Keck Center training program.

By applying for a training fellowship, applicants and their mentors are agreeing to fulfill these responsibilities, as well as any additional responsibilities detailed in the application and curriculum pages.

For those responsibilities that fall to the trainee (i.e. curriculum, seminar attendance), the primary mentor agrees to support the trainee’s participation in all required didactic courses and NLM activities (seminars, conferences).

Furthermore, both mentors agree to attend the Keck Annual Research Conference each fall during the trainee’s fellowship (and serve as a poster judge at least one year), attend the original fellowship interview and subsequent annual progress reviews, and regularly interact and communicate to ensure effective supervision and coordination of the trainee’s project.

Finally, the trainee and both mentors agree to the following requirements:


  • completion of required foundational and elective courses of trainee’s individual curriculum
  • completion within trainee’s first appointment year of an approved course in the Responsible Conduct of Research.


  • full time work on trainee’s NLM project, defined by the NIH as a minimum of 40 hours per week
  • attendance at the weekly Keck Seminars
  • attendance at the monthly NLM fellows meetings
  • attendance / poster presentation at the Keck Annual Research Conference
  • attendance and, if chosen, presentation at the NLM Annual Training Conference.

Communication / dissemination:

  • advance notification to the Program Director and program administrator of any major changes to the trainee’s project or mentors
  • trainee’s submission of an annual written progress report, and course transcripts (if applicable)
  • trainee’s presentation to the Steering Committee and in the presence of both mentors at an in-person annual progress review
  • submission of final copy of any publications resulting from research conducted while the trainee holds this fellowship & acquiring an NIH PMCID number in a timely manner for these publications
  • acknowledgement of Gulf Coast Consortia and NLM support in posters and publications
  • trainee’s coordination of his/her project between the two mentors
  • trainee’s updating the Gulf Coast Consortia on publications, awards, and current position for 15 years after the fellowship ends (an NIH requirement for progress reports and grant renewals).

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Sample Instructions for Interviews

Sample Instructions for Interviews

Selected applicants and both of their mentors will be invited for an interview before the NLM Program Director and Steering Committee. All interviews will take place on one day.

Please note that these are sample instructions - should there be any deviation from what is written below, follow any instructions you receive by email.

The interview will last a total of 20 minutes, including your 8-minute oral presentation, then questions from the reviewers. Should the committee interrupt your presentation with a question, the time clock will be paused, so you can be assured of the full 8 minutes' presentation time.

Prepare a brief oral presentation: 8 minutes maximum, maximum 6 PPT slides + title slide.

Please practice so that you do not exceed this 8-minute time limit (hint: do not get bogged down in the details of the experiments). Do not imbed movies in your slides.  

Aim to keep your presentation simple; you will be assessed on how well you can explain things concisely to a broad audience, as the NLM Steering Committee consists of faculty from various disciplines related to biomedical informatics.

Your presentation should provide an overview of your proposed research project and should address the following:

1. the interdisciplinary nature of the project and approaches you propose to use, emphasizing the biomedical informatics and/or computational aspects. Highlight the parts of your project that are novel.

2. The NLM domain to which your research relates, and the importance of your project to this domain. This need not be lengthy or highly detailed but it should be explicit. Oftentimes this may be obvious to you and others in your specific area, but it may not be clear to a diverse, interdisciplinary review group.

3. the roles that both your primary mentor and co-mentor will play in the proposed research / mentoring plan, especially how the two mentors together will enable you to conduct research that could not be accomplished with either alone. Also mention how your research practicum would be implemented in the first year.

4. your timeline for Foundation and Elective coursework – this should be detailed in your slides.

Please note that curriculum requirements are for predocs and postdoc applicants. If you request adding a new elective, you must list the approved elective you will take of if you request is not approved

Be sure you include all required parts, e.g. Responsible Conduct of Research, COMP 573 Professional Development for Biomedical Informatics Professionals, etc.

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Faculty Eligibility

Faculty eligibility to mentor an NLM applicant:

  • Primary and secondary mentors must be tenure-track faculty, and members of the NLM Training Program faculty.
  • Please note membership in the Gulf Coast Consortia, or in the training faculty of another GCC grant does not automatically confer membership in the NLM Training Program. Faculty must request to join each training faculty, as decisions are made by individual Program Directors.
  • Requests to join the training faculty will be considered only when they are sponsoring a candidate in response to the current call for applications. Requests must be submitted no later than the due date of the LOI, preferably earlier.
  • A faculty member may be the primary mentor for only one NLM trainee at a time; they may sponsor another applicant in a call for applications shortly before the current trainee will end his/her fellowship.
  • Primary mentors are usually expected to have prior training experience, for example by having previously been a primary or secondary mentor in a training program.
  • However, if a young faculty member does not have previous training experience, a member of the NLM Steering Committee will be assigned to "mentor the mentor," to counsel only on matters relating to trainee guidance and evaluation (i.e. "best practices"), and not on the research in question.
  • A faculty member may be the secondary mentor for more than one trainee.

How to request joining the NLM training faculty:
Email the following to Melissa Glueck at this information by the date specified in the Call for Applications:

  • a 5-page NIH Biosketch (in Word format) including peer-reviewed funding; faculty are expected to be PI on an NIH R01 grant or equivalent peer-reviewed federal funding, and to have a training history;
  • a few sentences about how the faculty's research interests relate to which domain of the NLM Training Program (see list in NLM Overview section);
  • whether the faculty wishes to sponsor a predoctoral/postdoctoral candidate as primary/secondary mentor; and
  • the name and institution of the proposed co-mentor.

This will be forwarded to the PI for consideration. The faculty member will be reviewed and notified of eligibility to join prior to the application.

Should his/her applicant be appointed to an NLM fellowship, then the faculty member will be added to the NLM training faculty. If his/her applicant is not appointed, then the faculty member will not be added to the training faculty at that time. This is to ensure an active training faculty.

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NLM Current and Former Trainees
Outcomes of previous NLM trainees

Outcomes of previous NLM trainees:

Recent trainees:
During the period 2012 to August 2016, 18 predoctoral and 18 postdoctoral trainees have been supported on this training grant (not including those currently appointed).

Of the 18 predoctoral trainees (39% female, 17% URM) who have completed their NLM support during these past four years, 11 have earned doctorates, 2 have earned MD/PhDs, and an additional 5 anticipate earning their PhDs by the end of 2016.

Of those 13 who have already received their doctoral degrees:

  • 3 hold academic positions at such research-intensive institutions such as UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and University of Chicago; these include:
  • 1 assistant professor
  • 2 postdocs
  • 3 are data scientists: two at research hospitals and 1 in Silicon Valley
  • 2 have returned to complete medical school
  • 1 is a teacher at a charter public school
  • 1 is a software engineer
  • 2 are medical residents at the Cleveland Clinic and Baylor College of Medicine
  • 1 is a biotech entrepreneur who creates medical 3-D printed organs and tissue for surgeons.
  • Of the 18 postdoctoral trainees (18% female, 6% URM) who have completed their NLM support during these past four years:
  • 10 hold academic positions at such research-intensive institutions such as Rutgers, Michigan State University, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and UT Health Science Center at Houston; these include:
  • 3 assistant professors
  • 1 research bioanalyst
  • 1 academic oncology fellow
  • 1 oncologist and adjunct assistant professor
  • 1 clinical genetics fellow
  • 3 postdocs
  • 4 are in biotech, e.g. Phillips Healthcare
  • 3 are in industry, e.g. Google
  • 1 is a science writer and editor.

Previous trainees:
Between 2002-2012, 49 predoctoral and 35 postdoctoral trainees were supported by this training grant, including those on the NLM ARRA two-year supplement.

Of the 42 predoctoral trainees (54% female, 10% URM) supported during those 10 years, 30 earned doctorates, 7 earned MD/PhDs, 2 earned Master's degrees, 1 earned a certificate in Health Informatics, and 2 withdrew from the university after leaves of absence for personal/medical reasons.

Of the 37 who received their doctoral degrees:

  • 23 hold academic positions at such research-intensive institutions as Yale School of Medicine, University of Chicago, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Texas Children's Hospital; these include:
  • 2 professors,
  • 2 associate professors,
  • 7 assistant professors,
  • 12 others who are postdocs, outcomes analysts, research scientists, educators in K-12 or college, and physician scientists.
  • 4 are in biotech, e.g. IBM Watson Health, Moderna Therapeutics;
  • 7 are in industry, e.g. Intel;
  • 1 is a patent agent at a law firm
  • 1 is a science/informatics writer;
  • 1 is in the federal government (security agency).

Of the 35 postdoctoral trainees (26% female, 7% URM) supported during those 10 years:

  • 17 hold academic positions at institutions including Rutgers University, Columbia University, Massachusetts General Hospital, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Houston Methodist Research Institute; these include:
  • 3 associate professors,
  • 8 assistant professors,
  • 1 research assistant professor,
  • 5 others who are postdocs, research scientists, and educators;
  • 4 are in biotech, e.g. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, GE Health Care;
  • 9 are in industry, e.g. Google, DuPont;
  • 3 are consultants;
  • 1 is a law partner and patent attorney,
  • 1 is in government research.

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Inter-institutional Course Registration

Inter-institutional Course Registration

Trainees whose training programs require them to attend courses offered at other institutions may register using an inter-institutional course registration form. The trainee will pay tuition to his/her home institution only; the trainee must pay any required fees/lab fees to the institution s/he is "visiting."

There is a cumulative limit of 12 credit hours that may be taken at another host institution.

There is one form that has been agreed upon by all registrar's offices at GCC institutions, which is available on the Rice registrar web page.

Although this form is located on the Rice web site, it was agreed upon by the registrars of all participating institutions, so it may be used by graduate students from one GCC institution to attend courses at another GCC institution. 

However, please check with your institution's registrar, as some prefer that you use their institution-specific form (e.g. BCM: link to web page with form).

Please note that these forms require several signatures from advisors to instructors to the registrar in a certain order, from both institutions, so allow adequate time for procuring these signatures.

The registration period for students from other institutions and the due date for these registration forms vary by institution. It is the trainee's responsibility to return required form before the registration deadline.  

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NLM Training Faculty

Please note that the NLM Training Program was renewed for another 5 years effective July 1, 2017, with a new training faculty.

Faculty members who were on the previous training faculty, or prospective faculty, will find the instructions on how to request joining the renewal faculty on the Faculty Eligibility page.

Please note that requests to join the NLM training faculty are only considered when faculty are sponsoring a candidate in the current call for applications.

Current NLM Faculty

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Who is eligible to apply

US citizens or Permanent Residents (who already have their "Green Card") who are predoctoral fellows enrolled in a PhD program, or are postdocs affiliated with the following Gulf Coast Consortia member institutions are eligible to apply:

  • Rice University
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Houston
  • Institute of Biosciences & Technology (IBT) - TAMHSC.  

In addition:
Predoctoral applicants:

  • must be currently enrolled at one of the 7 GCC members institutions, in a degree-granting program whose end point is a PhD.
  • MD/PhD students are eligible for support during the PhD-period of their training.
  • Students enrolled in an MS program are not eligible.
  • Students must have been already accepted into the lab of a tenure-track member of the NLM Training Program faculty, and develop a project involving a secondary mentor, also a tenure-track member of the NLM Training Program faculty.
  • Applicants enrolled in a bio-related degree program will be expected to take computational/informatics-oriented coursework, and vice versa. These additional course requirements will be discussed individually at the initial interview (and later in annual progress reviews) with the NLM Training Program Steering Committee to develop a customized curriculum for the trainee. See Curriculum page for more details.  

Postdoctoral applicants:

  • must be currently employed by a GCC member institution, have a job offer from an eligible mentor (i.e. a tenure-track member of the NLM Training Program faculty), or be in a position to accept an offer from them.
  • must be in possession of their PhD or MD when they apply for a postdoctoral fellowship. Those who have completed the requirements for their PhD but will be awarded it at a later date must supply a letter from their institution verifying this.
  • whose doctorate in informatics or a closely related field such as computer science may be required to take selected courses as determined by the NLM Steering Committee to support the interdisciplinary nature of their research project; see the Curriculum page for more details.
  • whose doctorate is in another subject area (e.g. medicine) must follow a program of approved courses in biomedical informatics methods and applications most relevant to their project (prior graduate work in informatics will be considered); see the Curriculum page for more details.
  • must have as their primary mentor the faculty member in whose lab s/he is employed; trainees must develop a project involving a secondary mentor, also a tenure-track member of the NLM Training Program faculty
  • Please note that the NLM funding agency expects postdocs to commit to staying for two years of fellowship, in order to become truly trained in biomedical informatics.

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NLM application instructions

Application Instructions

How to apply:

  • Choose 2 mentors from 2 different areas: one biomedical, one computational.
  • It is preferable that mentors come from different departments, and different institutions.
  • Both mentors must be tenure-track faculty.
  • Both mentors must be members of the NLM Training Faculty at the time of application.

If they are not yet a member, they must submit a request to join the faculty. See NLM Faculty Eligibility section for details.

Membership in the GCC or another training grant’s faculty does not make you a member of the NLM faculty.

Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted by the date named in the Call for Applications. Please email the LOI Melissa Glueck at and include:

 1. name, title, and institutional affiliation of the applicant, primary mentor, and secondary mentor

 2. brief abstract of proposed project (including naming to which domain of biomedical informatics it belongs - see NLM Overview for the domains), and a brief mentoring plan. If you choose, the mentoring plan can also be the one you intend to submit with the application.

Components of the mentoring plan:
The mentoring plan should clearly describe how the two mentors will collaborate to train the applicant in both of their disciplines. It should describe the proposed research and explicitly connect it to one of the three domains of biomedical informatics that are supported by the NLMTP.

In addition, for predoctoral applications, the plan should describe how the 6-credit Research Practicum will be implemented during the first year of appointment.

Finally, the plan should present the applicants' proposed Foundation and Elective coursework that NLM requires from both predocs and postdocs. Together, these courses should define a coherent curriculum (not just a list of random courses - see the NLM Curriculum sections for details).

Include any professional development training or national conferences that the trainees intends to attend.

Include specific milestones and an estimated timeline for completion of the graduate degree or postdoctoral training.

Contact your NLM Steering Committee member:
Once the mentoring plan and project have been outlined in the LOI, applicants are required to discuss their proposed project with the NLM Steering Committee member at the applicant’s home institution before completing the application, to make sure that their proposed project is appropriate for the NLM Training Program. See NLM Steering Committee section for contact information. 

Components of the application:

• Fellowship Application form - link is on the NLM home page 
• CV or resume: Email to  a current resume or CV outlining your professional work experience and academic history, including the dates you received your degree(s) and dates of anticipated degree completion.   
• Statement of Relevance: Email to a brief statement (maximum one page long, double spaced, 11 pt Arial) that:
o describes in which of the above-named three domains your project will be, with a clear justification of why this is the case. Please start with a sentence such as, "This project falls into the domain of translational (etc.) bioinformatics."
o explains the relationship of your proposed project to possible future applications in translational biomedicine/biomedical informatics, that is, what your contribution to the informatics field will be.

The applicant may consult with the mentors, and solicit their opinion about this statement, but the statement of relevance should be written solely by the trainee. This statement is more of an overview version of your project. It is different from the project description in your application, which should include the specific aims/measurements you will take in your project.  
• 2 Letters of Recommendation from people other than your mentors. The recommenders should email them directly to These recommendations are not required to be on letterhead or signed, as long as the name, title, department and institutional affiliation are included in the text. These recommenders may be former professors, employers, etc., and describe qualities that they observed in the applicant which qualify him/her to be an NLM trainee.  
• Transcripts are required from predoctoral AND postdoctoral applicants: official copies are preferred, but unofficial copies will be accepted. If the transcript is in a foreign language, you must submit an English translation for all degrees; you may use a copy of the transcripts that you provided to your institution. Email the following as PDFs (these may not be photo-type files):
o Undergraduate transcripts from all institutions you attended 
o Master's degree transcript (if you have a Master's) 
o Predocs: current transcript, including all courses since you entered graduate school through the current semester, or
o Postdocs: a transcript from your doctoral degree, which includes a listing of courses attended (not just a diploma); documentation must also include the official receipt date of your doctoral degree (e.g. "conferred May 9, 2014"). 

If you do not have access to a scanner, mail the transcripts to the address below, or make an appointment to bring them to our office for us to scan. 

Melissa Glueck
GCC, MS-141
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas 77005
• Proof of US citizenship (birth certificate or passport; a driver's license is not proof of citizenship) or Permanent Residency ("Green Card"): email a clear PDF scan (not a photo) to  or mail a clear photocopy to the address above. You must already have received your Green Card to be eligible to apply. If a Permanent Resident is appointed to a fellowship, s/he must provide a notarized copy of the card to the GCC to submit to the agency. Inquire in your department about finding a Notary Public to do this.
• Mentor Recommendation form from both of the mentors - link is on the NLM home page.


Applications are reviewed and selected applicants are invited to interview with the Program Director and the NLM Steering Committee. All applicants will be notified via email whether or not they have been selected for an interview. Interviews are generally 20 minutes long, and are held within one month of the application deadline. Interviews include a brief presentation of the research project, planned coursework, and mentoring plan. See Sample Instructions for Interviews section below for details.

Both mentors are expected to participate in the interview with the trainees. 

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NLM Curriculum Plan for Postdoctoral Trainees
NLM Overview

The NLM Training Program addresses challenges facing biomedical informatics, namely how to address the digital information streaming from innumerable sensors, instruments and simulations that is outrunning our capacity to accumulate, organize and analyze it for making healthcare decisions, in order to:

  1. to make sense of datasets that may be massive, heterogeneous, deficient or even contain errors;
  2. to cull from them important insights into fundamental problems of biomedicine and
  3. to convey information in ways readily understood by researchers and clinicians.

To do this, our training program focuses on what is loosely known as “big data” – that is, data-driven discovery and decision-making tools, meaning using computer programs to seek associations in databases whose complexity hides such relations from even expert humans, and to make discovered associations and patterns intelligible to humans. We have designed a curriculum, one that will develop the core competencies for biomedical informaticians as defined in the report by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). The curriculum of foundation courses and electives will be customized to meet each trainee’s research interests, previous coursework, and knowledge gaps.

Our training program supports training and research primarily in three domains of informatics as defined by the NLM:

  1. healthcare/clinical informatics: applications of informatics principles and methods to direct patient care; examples include advanced clinical decision support systems, or multimedia electronic health records.
  2. translational bioinformatics: applications of informatics principles and methods to support “bench to bedside to practice” translational research; examples include genome-phenome relationships, pharmacogenomics, personalized medicine, or genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
  3. clinical research informatics: applications of informatics principles and methods to support basic clinical trials and comparative effectiveness research that use human versus animal models; examples include biostatistics, in-silico trials, or merging and mining large disparate data sets that mix images, text, and data. 

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The Gulf Coast Consortia is committed to providing equal opportunity in training for individuals with disabilities and individuals from racial and ethnic groups who are currently under-represented in STEM fields. We welcome applications from all qualified trainees, regardless of ethnicity, race, or disability status. All GCC member institutions are ADAAA compliant and have offices of disability support services that provide accommodations and support services to trainees, faculty, staff, and visitors.

For any questions not answered by the information on this web page, please contact administrator of the NLM Training Program, Melissa Glueck at