NLM application instructions

Application Instructions

Preparing 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 few sentences about the mentoring plan–describing the skills and knowledge the trainee will receive from each mentor. If you choose, the mentoring plan can also be the longer one you intend to submit with the application, but it is not required.

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:

From others:

1. Mentor Recommendation form from both of the mentors (link to this form). Mentors are to email their completed forms directly to

2.  Two (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.

From trainee applicant: email all following items in one email to
(transcripts may come separately):

1. Fellowship Application form (link to this form).
Components besides educational background and published papers include:
Project description (750 words) – Describe the proposed research and explicitly connect it to one of the three domains of biomedical informatics that are supported by the NLMTP.
Laymen’s description of project (250 words)
Mentoring and Training Plan (400 words): special emphasis should be placed on this section:
   1. Clearly describe how the two mentors will collaborate to train the applicant in both of their disciplines, and what the trainee will learn from each mentor (skills, knowledge, etc.).
   2. For predoctoral applications only, the plan should describe how the 6-credit Research Practicum will be implemented during the first year of appointment.
   3. The plan should briefly refer to the applicants’ proposed 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).  UPDATE 2/6/18: please follow the application form and mention your curriculum under the Curriculum section.
   4. Include professional development training that the trainee will attend, and and national conferences at which s/he will present.
   5. Include specific milestones and an estimated timeline for completion of the graduate degree or postdoctoral training.
Career Goals (250 words): Describe your overall career goals and how they relate to this training program. Describe the education, training and other career development experiences you will need to achieve your career goals, and how this training program will help you achieve them better.

2. 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.
3. Statement of Relevance: A brief statement (maximum one page long, double spaced, 11 pt Arial) that:
–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 your statement with the sentence: “This project falls into the domain of translational (etc.) bioinformatics.”
–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 an overview 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.  
4. Transcripts are required from predoctoral AND postdoctoral applicants: official copies are preferred, but unofficial copies will be accepted. Email the following as PDFs (not be photos):
o Undergraduate transcripts from all institutions you attended 
o Master’s degree transcript (if applicable) 
o Predocs: current transcript, including all courses since you entered graduate school through the current semester
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 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. 

5. 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). 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.


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.

Both mentors are expected to participate in the interview in support of their the trainee.