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The USD-N3 graduate research grant program allows graduate students to obtain funding to support their research and supplement their research expenses.

Applicant Eligibility

Students must be in good academic standing and enrolled in a graduate program in basic biomedical sciences, chemistry, biology, computer science or biomedical engineering to be eligible to apply for the USD-N3 graduate research grant. In addition, the research projects being proposed must be in the fields of neuroscience, chemistry, biomedical engineering or bioinformatics. Currently-supported N3 fellows are not eligible to apply for this funding.

Budget Considerations

The total budget may not exceed $2,000. The budget period may run up to 12 months from the beginning of the project. Typical project costs can be budgeted, with the exception of meeting, conference or training travel. Travel directly associated with conducting the project is allowable (e.g. conducting assessment or experiments at another facility or field work).

Application Process

Proposals should be sent as one complete PDF file (with the exception of the faculty sponsor letter) to The faculty sponsor’s letter should be sent directly to USD-N3. Applications are accepted on a rolling deadline and will be considered in the order received. Review results will be available within 3 weeks of receipt of complete application. Proposals should consist of the following (in order):

  • Cover page
  • NSF or NIH biographical sketch
  • Budget page and justification - Itemize how you propose to spend the award (up to $2,000), justify the need for each major item and explain what other funding is available to support this project. If none, state so.
  • Grant application
  • Letter from the applicant’s mentor or faculty sponsor, sent directly to USD-N3. The applicant’s faculty sponsor should comment on the applicant's potential for a research career, the applicant's ability to conduct the proposed research, the resources available to the student to conduct the study, and the willingness of the sponsor to mentor the student during the course of the project and in disseminating the results.

Review of Applications

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of scientists from the different departments represented within the USD-N3 program, including basic biomedical sciences, chemistry, biology and biomedical engineering. Therefore, grants should be written for a general scientific audience. Review criteria will include:

  • Quality and feasibility of the research
  • Research potential of the applicant
  • Relevance of the project to the trainee's career goals
  • Evidence of faculty involvement and mentorship
  • Research projects that are relevant to USD-N3 may receive higher priority

Applicants will be notified of review outcomes by the end of February.

Conditions of Award

  • Funds will not be released until documentation regarding Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee or Institutional Research Board approval has been provided to USD-N3, if applicable.
  • Funds are to be expended during the approved budget period. A final progress report is required within 30 days of the end of the budget period.
  • All resultant publications and presentations should acknowledge funding from the USD-N3 program.
  • All successful applicants will be required to present the findings of their research project at an on-campus research symposium, e.g. IdeaFest in April or the annual CBBRe Symposium in August.
  • All successful applicants will be required to attend at least three USD-N3 professional development workshops within 12 months of receiving the award