Application FAQs

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Program FAQs

Why isn’t the application website open?
The application system is scheduled to go live on February 1, 2013. To get started, you may have your transcripts sent to the National Program Office, identify those three people you would like to supply confidential reference reports, and use the information on the “Apply” page to prepare your statements and scientific proposal. The only things you will not be able to do until the site opens are register with the site, answer questions about yourself and your education, invite referees online, and upload documents. Please call us at 317-278-0500 if you have any questions.

What is the difference between the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program (MMFDP) and the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP)?
The MMFDP was the precursor to the AMFDP.  The MMFDP started in 1983 and selected its last cohort in 2003.

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Eligibility

I have a green card and expect to apply for U.S. citizenship within a year. Am I eligible for this program?
You must have U.S. citizenship or be a permanent resident at the time of the application deadline.

There is already an MMFDP Fellow or AMFDP Scholar at my institution. May I still apply?
Yes.

I have a Ph.D. and am engaged in biomedical research at a medical school. Am I eligible?
No. You must have an M.D. or equivalent to be eligible. Please see Links.

I have a K award. Am I eligible?
We have no restrictions on our applicants or awardees having K awards. However, the NIH may, depending on the Institute, disallow applications by AMFDP Scholars. If there is any doubt, please contact the specific Institute at NIH and the AMFDP National Program Office for guidance on the timing of your application and/or the start date of your grant.

I am an Associate Professor. Am I eligible?
This program is intended for those just beginning their academic careers. In some cases, particularly in dentistry, those at this level may be eligible.  In most cases in medicine, those at the Associate Professor level are far enough along in their careers not to need the kind of mentored experience this program provides.  Please contact the National Program Office to discuss eligibility if you have any questions.

I am an Assistant Professor. Am I eligible?
If you have been at the Assistant Professor level for only one or two years, you are still eligible for the program. If you have been at that level longer than two years, see the question above.

May I reapply if I have applied in the past?
Yes. In most cases we will have retained your transcripts. All other application materials will have to be new.  You will also need to upload a “Reapplicant Update” to let us know what has changed since your last application.

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The Application

Are there any changes from last year’s application process?
We ask for substantially the same information as in past years.  Changes made last year are still in effect: Letters of Reference will be submitted online only (however, only three per applicant will be accepted); transcripts will be submitted both online and directly from the institutions; dental medicine has been added to the program.  New in 2013: we require an institutional letter of support, and reapplicants must give an update on their activities since the last application.  Also, CVs are now limited to 15 pages each.

Why do I have to submit three paper copies of everything that I am submitting online?
A number of hard copies are used in discussions and at the interviews, where it would be impractical to view electronic versions.

May I submit more than three letters of recommendation?
No.

May one of the letters of recommendation be from my mentor?
Letters of recommendation should come from those other than your mentor.

If I have identified two mentors, must both provide all of the information requested in the Letter to the Proposed Mentor?
Yes. They may either write separate letters, or collaborate on a single letter. If there are two letters, then both should be uploaded to the Application and Review system. It is necessary to provide a biosketch for each.

What is an example of a Supplemental Document that may be uploaded?
Use of the Supplemental Documents template is optional, and we do not anticipate that many candidates will use it.  Please check with the National Program Office before you upload a Supplemental Document.  Keep in mind that, besides transcripts and letters of reference, only those documents that are both uploaded to the system, and of which we have three hard copies, will be sent out to reviewers.

What is the application deadline?
For 2013, the deadline for submission of electronic applications is 3pm EDT on March 14. The deadline for postmark of hard copies and transcripts is March 15. THERE WILL BE NO TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR THE WEBSITE AFTER 3PM EDT.  We strongly suggest that you complete all sections of the application at least several hours before the deadline.

Why is the electronic deadline (March 14) different from the postmark deadline (March 15)?
The delay by one day in the postmark deadline gives applicants submitting an application in the final hours the chance to ensure that their paper applications are accurate and complete.

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The Institution

May there be multiple applicants from the same institution?
Yes.

Can the award be used at an institution overseas?
No. Only research institutions within the 50 states are eligible.

Is there a specific list of institutions at which the award may be used?
No.

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Mentors

Must a mentor be a U.S. citizen?
No.

Must a mentor have an M.D.?
No.

Must a mentor be a member of a minority group?
No.

Must a mentor be located at my institution?
In most cases, yes. Mentors should be close enough to ensure regular interaction and supervision. Please call the National Program Office at 317-278-0500 with specific questions.

Is it possible to have more than one mentor?
Yes, in cases where there is a compelling scientific or career reason to have multiple mentors.

I don’t have a mentor. Will the National Program Office assist me in finding one?
No.

What happens if a mentor leaves an institution during the course of the award?
If the Scholar is not moving with the mentor, the Scholar must find a suitable mentor at the current institution. If the Scholar is moving, then an application must be made for the transfer of the grant. In either case, continued funding is not guaranteed.

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The Award

What is the duration of the award?
Four years.

What is the maximum support for four years?
$420,000. This includes an annual $75,000 stipend, plus $30,000 per year for research support.

May I change institutions during the course of the award?
The award is portable; however, a new application must be made with the new mentor and institution. Continued funding is not guaranteed.

May I interrupt the award for my final year of clinical training?
No. You must have completed clinical training by the time you begin the award.

How much of my time must be devoted to my project?
You must be engaged in research activities for at least 70% of your time.

Are awardees permitted to have outside funding, for example, from the National Institutes of Health or another foundation?
Yes.

May the award be used in part to support work done at an institution outside the U.S.?
No.

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Timetable

What happens after the initial application is submitted?
All applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility, and then sent to a number of reviewers drawn from the National Advisory Committee and a panel of outside evaluators. Up to twenty applicants are selected as semifinalists to be interviewed. Up to nine candidates will be identified after the interviews as finalists for the award.

When are applicants notified of the results of the initial review of applications?
All applicants are notified by late June.

When and where are the interviews?
For 2014, July 9-11 in Chicago.

What happens if I can’t come to the interview?
You will be asked to reapply the following year. In this case, please contact the National Program Office.

When are finalists notified?
By August of 2014.

What happens after finalists are notified?
Finalists are given the opportunity to submit Finalist Documentation (online) to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, consisting of a research proposal, four-year budget, curriculum vitae, institutional letters, and a photograph.

When may I start if I am selected as a Scholar?
You may start January 1 or July 1 the year after selection.

If I am not selected, may I reapply?
Yes. The National Program Office will keep transcripts on file for three years. Letters of reference, mentor’s information, and the proposal must be new for each year.

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Interviews

Does my mentor come to the interview?
No, but your mentor should help you prepare your presentation.

Who pays for the trip to the interview?
The room and meals at the hotel will be paid, and economy travel will be reimbursed, by the National Program Office.

What is the format of the interview?
Approximately half of the candidates will arrive in time for a reception and dinner on Wednesday evening and will be interviewed on Thursday. The rest will arrive on Thursday in time for a reception and dinner, and will be interviewed on Friday. Candidates are asked to make 15-minute presentations about their research, which will be followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion. Candidates are free to leave after their presentations.

May I use audio-visual aids as part of my presentation?
Yes. However, if you use a PowerPoint presentation, you must email it to the National Program Office in advance of the interview to ensure that it runs on our equipment.

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