Awards and Funding

Applying for grants and awards is an integral part of academic research. All students in the PhD program are EXPECTED to apply for competitive fellowships, scholarships, and merit awards. Examples of recent awards as well as links to information about specific funding opportunities is provided below.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Excellence Award

A student currently enrolled in the PhD program in Pharmaceutical Sciences receives this award in recognition of outstanding achievements in the areas of academic performance and research.

The award includes a certificate and a $2,000 educational allowance. Nominations for the award are solicited in early February.

Minimum criteria for the award:

  • QPA of 3.0 or better, with no grade below a ‘B’ in any graduate level course
  • Advancement to candidacy
  • Presentation of research at one national meeting
  • Two papers published or accepted for publication
  • Continuation in the graduate program for a minimum of two additional terms so the awarded money can be appropriately used for educational expenses

All of the above requirements met as of April 30.

In the event more than one student meets the minimum criteria, these additional factors will be considered:

  • Achievement in areas of research: (e.g., publication of high-quality research paper(s) in peer-reviewed journal(s)
  • Selection of the student’s research work for oral presentation at a scientific meeting
  • Outstanding seminar presentation of student’s research work in the school (judged by the attending faculty and students)
  • Submissions and/or success at competing for research awards, scholarships, fellowships, and grants
  • Achievements in the areas of academic performance and/or teaching
  • Participation in School of Pharmacy Sponsored Events
  • Achievements in Leadership: (e.g., active participation/leadership in national or international organizations such as the student chapter of AAPS)
  • Leadership in other School or Campus wide organizations

Norman R. and Priscilla A. Farnsworth Student Award:
This award provides assistance to a full-time PhD student or students in Pharmaceutical Sciences for meritorious achievement in the School of Pharmacy. Determinations of the awardee(s) shall be at the discretion of the Dean or the Dean’s designee. Award Amount $1000.

Award Criteria:

  • Preference given to graduate students engaged in natural products research
  • Completion of 1st year with GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Preliminary evaluation by advisor documenting excellent progress in laboratory research
  • Nomination letter by research advisor and one additional faculty member in the School of Pharmacy
  • Candidate must also provide:
    • Description of research focus
    • CV
    • Copy of graduate transcript
    • Copy/copies of research publication(s)
  • All of the above requirements met as of April 30

Randy and Renée Juhl Graduate Scholar Award
The purpose of this endowment shall be to support graduate students enrolled in the School of Pharmacy who are pursuing the PhD degree in areas related to clinical research according to the following specifications:

  • The recipient(s) shall be selected annually, as per below, by the Dean of the School of Pharmacy, or her/his designate.
  • First preference will be given to students who received the Doctor of Pharmacy of Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Second preference will be given to students who received the Doctor of Pharmacy of Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from another ACPE accredited school or college of pharmacy.
  • A recipient shall be in good academic standing.

A recipient who is in good academic standing may, at the discretion of the Dean or her/his designate, receive the award for four years of graduate program study in the School of Pharmacy

Teaching Assistant Excellence Award

This award provides a cash supplement to awardees.  Requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Attendance – Consistently attends classes, practicums, exams, as required or requested.
  • Punctuality – Is never late and normally arrives early.
    Reliability – Completes assignments/duties in a timely and effective fashion, requiring minimal reminding and supervision. When necessary, arranges ahead of time for substitute to handle duties and communicates changes to the course coordinator and to other appropriate parties.
  • Preparation – Is prepared to assist as expected (e.g., knows what is expected, knows the course material as expected, is familiar with processes and responsibilities assigned by the instructor)
  • Initiative – Proactively seeks guidance/clarification when needed. Contributes ideas and suggestions for improving the course. Demonstrates willingness to do more than the minimum required.
  • Effective communication – Communicates effectively in both oral and written form with course coordinator, with other TAs, and with students. Communicates issues such as changes in schedule or questions and/or concerns about specific assignments to the course coordinator and to other appropriate parties in manner that is timely and clear. Is available to meet with course coordinator as needed. Responds to communications from course coordinator, other TAs, and students in a timely and helpful way.Submission of nominations for any of the awards must include:
    • A letter of letter of nomination
    • The student’s curriculum vitae
    • The student’s transcript

Additional materials that help detail the student’s achievements may be included (e.g., additional letters of support, copies of papers published or in press, information about other awards, etc…).

GPC Travel Awards

The Graduate Program Council (GPC) has established a process by which students in the PhD Program can apply for travel awards to attend scientific meetings and conferences. Any student enrolled in the PhD program may apply. A limited number of awards are available. For specific details consult the Guidelines for GPC Travel Award’. To apply for an award, download the Travel Award Application and follow the instructions on the Form.

American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE)

The AFPE offers a variety of scholarships and fellowships for students enrolled in a doctor of philosophy program in pharmaceutical sciences. The awards are designed to encourage outstanding pre-doctoral students to continue their studies and earn a PhD in the pharmaceutical sciences at a U.S. school or college of pharmacy. The AFPE site ( includes all fellowships and award programs that AFPE currently offers. Please be sure to read the eligibility requirements before submitting an application. All awards and fellowships are cyclical and time-sensitive, therefore it is important to ensure that due dates are adhered to.

Wal-Mart Annual Conference Scholarship Program

AACP and Walmart have demonstrated a commitment to helping colleges and schools of pharmacy ensure there is an adequate number of well-prepared individuals who aspire to join the faculties at our institutions across the country. The goal of the scholarship program is to strengthen the recipient’s skills and commitment to a career in academic pharmacy through their participation at the AACP Annual Meeting. More than 1,200 graduate students, professional (doctoral) students, residents and fellows have been selected to participate in the program with their mentors since 2005. The program, funded by Wal-Mart, will provide scholarships to sixty-five (65) student-faculty pairs from AACP member institutions to attend the AACP Annual Meeting and the AACP Teachers Seminar. The scholarship will cover 100% of the student’s registration costs and 50% of the faculty’s registration costs at the early bird rate to attend the Annual Meeting. The scholarship will also cover registration for both the student and faculty mentor to attend the Teacher’s Seminar. Beyond registration, the recipients can choose to apply the remainder of the scholarship to airfare, lodging, and other meeting expenses for the student.

Click on the link for program details and application materials.

NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowships

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship for Students at Institutions Without NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs (Parent F30) (PA-20-245)

The purpose of the Kirschstein-NRSA, dual-doctoral degree, predoctoral fellowship (F30) is to enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising predoctoral students, who are matriculated in a combined MD/PhD or other dual-doctoral degree training program (e.g. DO/PhD, DDS/PhD, AuD/PhD, DVM/PhD), and who intend careers as physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists. Applicants must propose an integrated research and clinical training plan and a dissertation research project in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The fellowship experience is expected to clearly enhance the individuals’ potential to develop into productive, independent physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists. US Department of Defense.  For further information see links:

NIH Loan Repayment Programs

Health professionals who have doctoral-level degrees and are conducting biomedical or behavioral research funded by domestic nonprofit or government organizations may be eligible for up to $50,000 of NIH loan repayment per year to repay educational debts.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent)
  • Research must be funded by a domestic nonprofit, university or U.S. federal, state, or local government entity
  • Educational loan debt equal to at least 20 percent of your annual salary
  • Conduct research for an average of at least 20 hours/week
  • S. Citizen or permanent resident

Further information:

Department of Defense (DoD) National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program

The DoD, through the Office of the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering and the military services, promotes education in science and engineering disciplines relevant to the Defense mission. One means of promoting science and engineering education is through awarding fellowships to encourage promising U.S. scientists to pursue doctoral degrees in designated research disciplines.

The DoD National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program is a competitive fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. dual citizens who intend to pursue a Doctoral degree aligned to the DoD services Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) in research and development at a U.S. institution of their choice.

Since program inception, over 4,000 DoD NDSEG fellowships have been awarded and over 60,000 applications received. DoD plans to award up to 500 new three-year graduate fellowships each fiscal year (subject to the availability of funds) to individuals who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for advanced training in Science and Engineering.

For further information and opportunities see link:

American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS)

AAPS offers competitive student travel awards for pre-doctoral students to present ongoing research at its national meeting. Applications must be received by October.

For more information about AAPS see

University of Pittsburgh Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Travel Awards

The GPSG Travel Grant program was established to provide financial assistance and recognition to graduate and professional students who have participated in academic conferences. Students may apply for a GPSG Travel Grant during the first ten days of the month following their conference.*

Students are eligible for one GPSG Travel Grant per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), based on the date of their conference. All applications must be submitted to GPSG and are approved by the Finance Committee. Funds for each cycle are distributed based on a demonstrated need for the travel grant and on the merit of the presentation.

Note: Students must have presented at the conference. Applications will not be accepted for students who only attended. Applicants must currently be enrolled as a graduate or professional student at the University of Pittsburgh.

Only travel to conferences for a student organization’s national conference or an academic conference are eligible for grants. No travel grants will be awarded if the trip is required for a course or for professional development.

For more information:

The PhRMA Foundation (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

The PhRMA Foundation provides pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships for students engaged in research and training in pharmaceutical sciences.


The PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship programs provide up to two years of stipend funding to support full-time advanced students who will have completed most of their pre-thesis requirements (at least two years of study) and be engaged in thesis research as PhD candidates by the time the award is activated. Fellowships are $25,000 per year, for up to two years. For more information:


The PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship programs provide two-year stipend support to well-trained graduates from PhD programs who seek to further develop and refine their research skills through formal postdoctoral training. These fellowships are designed for individuals engaged in a multidisciplinary research training program that will create or extend their credentials. Fellowships are two-year awards and provide from $50,000 to $60,000 per year in stipend support.

Eligible applicants must 1) hold a PhD degree or appropriate terminal research doctorate in a field of study logically or functionally related to the proposed postdoctoral activities or 2) expect to receive the PhD before activating the award. For further information:

American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

The purpose of the fellowship is to enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising students who are matriculated in pre-doctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and brain health.

At the time of application, the applicant must be:

  • enrolled in a post-baccalaureate PhD, MD, DO, DVM, PharmD, DDS, DrPH, or PhD in nursing or equivalent clinical health science doctoral degree program, who seeks research training with a sponsor prior to embarking upon a research career.
  • a full-time student working towards his/her degree.

At the time of award activation, the candidate must have completed initial coursework and be at the stage of the program where he/she can devote full-time effort to research or activities related to the development into an independent researcher or a related career aimed at improving global cardiovascular health. Further information:

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Scholar-in-training award.

Since its inception in 1986, the AACR Annual Meeting Scholar-in-Training Award program has provided almost 4,900 grants to young investigators and has received support from 64 cancer research foundations, corporations, individuals, and other organizations dedicated to the fight against cancer.

Scholar-in-Training Awards are highly competitive and recognize outstanding young investigators presenting meritorious proffered papers at the AACR Annual Meeting. Scholar-in-Training Award funds are to support attendance at the Annual Meeting.

Further information can be found here:

Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry Sponsored by Mallinckrodt Baker Inc.

Recognize an outstanding graduate student and his or her preceptor(s), in the field of chemistry. The graduate student will receive $3,000 and a plaque containing the signatures of Nobel Laureates. The student’s preceptor(s) will receive $3,000 and a plaque for permanent display in the institution’s Chemistry Department. Reasonable travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed by the sponsor.

Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research Program

The Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR) program has provided undergraduate and graduate students with valuable educational experiences since 1922. By encouraging close working relationships between students and mentors, the program promotes scientific excellence and achievement through hands-on learning.

The program awards grants of up to $1,000 to students from most areas of the sciences and engineering. Designated funds from the National Academy of Sciences allow for grants of up to $5,000 for astronomy research and $2,500 for vision related research. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.

Sigma Xi strongly encourages applications from women and underrepresented minorities, including Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinx, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, or Native Hawaiians.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory — Advanced Short-Term Research Opportunity (ASTRO)

Funding Agency: Oak Ridge Associated Universities

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Advanced Short-Term Research Opportunity Program is a highly selective program offering challenging short-term research opportunities to current graduate students in Master’s or Doctoral degree programs or those holding recent Master’s degrees. ASTRO participants conduct research in areas that support ORNL missions in the basic and applied sciences, energy, and environment. Appointments are available in all current research and development programs at the Laboratory.

  • Applications are accepted on a year-around basis
  • Appointments are for a minimum of three months or as long as twelve months, with possibility of renewal up to an additional twelve months
  • Participants engage in research or technical projects related to DOE’s ongoing research and development programs under the guidance of Laboratory staff scientists or engineers
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Master’s or a Ph.D. program at an accredited institution, or hold a recent (within the past five years) Master’s degree, or have a Master’s equivalency in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) area.
  • There are no U.S. citizenship or GPA requirements



Sigma Delta Epsilon/Graduate Women in Science

The Graduate Women In Science (GWIS) National Fellowship Program promotes knowledge in the natural and social sciences and encourages women’s academic and professional careers in the sciences. Endowment funds, mostly generated from bequests, provide the annual income that supports scientific research conducted by GWIS fellowship winners. During the 2020-2021 funding cycle, $50,000 in research awards were distributed to seven outstanding women scientists and recognized thirteen honorable mentions. Since 2008, $750,000 in research funding has been awarded.

The fellowships are known as the Sigma Delta Epsilon (SDE), Eloise Gerry, Ethel K. Allen, Vessa Notchev, Jean Langenheim, Monique Braude, Nell I. Mondy, Elizabeth Weisburger, and Hartley Corporation Fellowships. The highest scoring SDE Fellowship designee shall be recognized as the Adele Lewis Grant/SDE Fellowship Winner and the second-highest scoring designee shall be known as the Hartley Corporation/SDE Fellowship Winner. The funds available in any one year shall be the income from and contributions to the endowment accounts

Further information:

Prevent Cancer Foundation

The Foundation supports research that demonstrates potential for impact on cancer prevention. The Foundation defines cancer prevention as the “reduction of cancer incidence through research, education and early detection.” For information and eligibility:

American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR)

Diana Jacobs Kalman/AFAR Scholarships Research in the Biology of Aging

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Foundation

Awards and scholarships for residencies, leadership, research, publications.

Additional links to information about funding opportunities:               

University of Pittsburgh Office of Research:

The National Science Foundation: