To be eligible for this award, applicants must be physicians, dentists, or nurses who:

  • have excelled in their education and are completing or have completed their formal clinical training (we will give preference to those who have recently completed their formal clinical training or—in the case of nurses—their research doctorate);
  • are from historically marginalized backgrounds and are able to describe how their background, identity, or lived experiences have positioned them to contribute to the goals of the program. Examples of marginalized backgrounds include, but are not limited to, first-generation college graduates; individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals from communities of color; and individuals with disabilities;
  • are U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of application, or individuals granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application (changes in federal policy or law may necessitate that we consider adjustments in eligibility and grant terms);
  • are prepared to devote four consecutive years to research and are committed to pursuing academic careers;
  • are able to spend at least 70 percent of their time engaged in research activities;
  • are committed to improving the health status of the underserved, decreasing health disparities, and/or serving as role models for students and faculty from historically marginalized backgrounds; and
  • are not related by blood or marriage to any Officer or Trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nor a descendant of its founder, Robert Wood Johnson.

Federal, state, tribal, and local government employees who are not considered government officials under Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible to apply.

Physicians must be Board-eligible to apply for this program. A dental applicant must be a general dentist with a master’s degree or aPhD or have completed advanced dental education. Nurse applicants must be registered nurses with a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline completed by the application deadline.

In order to pursue the advanced research training required by this program, applicants must identify faculty mentors with whom a research plan will be developed. The mentor’s experience in the supervision of trainees and the adequacy of the mentor’s research environment and support will be strongly considered. Once these linkages have been established, the applicant and proposed mentor may begin the application process.

Eligibility FAQs

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 AMFDP Scholar at my institution. May I still apply?

I have a Ph.D. and am engaged in biomedical research at a medical school. Am I eligible?
You must have one of these:

  • an M.D. or equivalent, and be board eligible
  • a D.D.S.
  • a Ph.D. or D.N.S. with a nursing background (as a registered nurse).

Please see Links for some programs that support PhD research.

I am a registered nurse in a PhD program, but have not finished my research doctorate.  Am I eligible?
You must have your research doctorate by the AMFDP’s application deadline.

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.  Specific aims of the two projects must be distinct.

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 or nursing, 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. All application materials will have to be new, although the same transcripts may be used if there have been no updates in the intervening year(s).  There will be one additional document for you to submit as a reapplicant, the “Reapplicant Update.”