TL1 Program Application + Selection Process

Announcements generally are made once a year on the Clinical and Translational Science Institute website and via campus email inviting medical, M.D./Ph.D. and predoctoral students in health-related disciplines on the Hershey and University Park Campuses to apply for program admission.

Applicants will complete an online TL1 application form and submit supporting materials as described below.

Apply Here Button 11-23-16



Tips for completing the online application form: 

  • Work can be saved periodically so that you can complete the application in more than one session.
  • When exiting a session, a re-entry code will be provided to continue editing the application at the point it was last saved. Write down the re-entry code. The same code will be used each time the application is stopped and restarted.
  • Click the “Returning?” button in the upper right corner to resume editing the application.
  • Please DO NOT start a new application.

The following items are required for submission:

  • Research Background and Career Goals (3 page limit), which includes:
    • A brief summary of your past research experience and training and any other relevant scientific experiences. Describe how these experiences relate to the proposed training plan and why you are a strong candidate for the training program.
    • A summary of your scholarly activity, including publications, abstracts, manuscripts (in preparation or review), and national/international meetings attended.
    • A description of your training goals, including the skills and competencies you wish to learn while in the training program and how the training will contribute to your career development.
  • Research Training Plan (3 page limit), which must include:
    • A proposed clinical or translational research area/topic of study.
    • Brief description of proposed experiments or approaches that will be used.
    • A list of proposed courses to be taken.
    • Any proposed training experiences such as internships or workshops.
    • Non-research activities related to professional development.
    • Brief description of the training environment, including key personnel, facilities, and resources that will help you achieve your training goals.
  • Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate
  • GRE or MCAT scores
  • Two letters of recommendation. One should be from your primary research advisor and one from an individual who can comment on your suitability for the training program.
  • NIH-style biosketch of your primary research advisor
  • Letter of support from the department, graduate program head, or research advisor stating a commitment to provide matching funds for 40% tuition and any supplemental stipends that exceed the NIH guidelines.

TL1 Application Review:
Applications are reviewed by members of the CTSI Education and Training Internal Advisory Committee (ETIAC) using the NIH criteria for review of predoctoral fellowship applications. Final funding decisions are made by the CTSI Executive Committee.

Applications are evaluated based on the following three core review criteria:

Core Review Criteria:
There are 3 core review criteria each scored (1-9) and weighted separately on the score sheet. The criteria are:

Candidate (50% weight) 

  • Does the applicant have a history of academic achievement?
  • Does the applicant have any publications?
  • Do career plans build on the applicant’s previous experiences and align with the research plan?
  • Do the mentor’s and the applicant’s statements suggest a good match in training needs and expectations?

Research Plan (30% weight)

  • Is the proposed research plan of high scientific quality and does it address the applicant’s training needs?
  • Is the plan consistent with the candidate’s stage of research development?
  • Does the research plan address scientific significance, originality and feasibility?
  • Does the proposed research project have the potential to make a significant impact?

Research Environment (20% weight) 

  • Are the mentor’s research qualifications and track record of mentoring appropriate for the proposed fellowship?
  • Is there evidence of a match between the research interests of the applicant and the mentor?
  • Is the environment for the scientific development of the applicant of high quality?
  • Are the research facilities, resources (i.e. equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject populations) and training opportunities adequate and appropriate?