Application Process

The next application deadline for the 2021-2022 cohort is October 15, 2021.  

The following are the steps for completing the application process for the Postdoctoral Research Training Program.

Step 1: Initiate Contact
Initiate your application by emailing a letter briefly describing your research and vision for your future career in aging research. Please include your anticipated date of degree completion or your number of years of postdoctoral experience, and a copy of your Curriculum Vitae. Send to:

Step 2: Write a Research Proposal
You must submit a brief research proposal that will outline your planned research for the 2 years of the postdocoral fellowship. This should be developed with your mentor or have your mentor’s approval.

The proposal should include the following:

  1. Cover letter indicating your interests in studying health and resilience in aging and the general direction of your research
  2. Specific Aims: Up to one page
  3. Background and Significance: Up to one page
  4. Research Proposal: Up to three pages. Your proposal should outline clearly the research questions/hypotheses to be addressed, the sample from whom data will be collected, the analytic strategy, and the expected or potential outcomes.

Step 3: Submit Additional Materials VIA THIS LINK  (see below for details)

  1. Career Plan: Briefly outline your long-term career goals. Indicate the type of institution, role and field(s) of interest to which you hope to move in the future.
  2. Training Plan: Indicate the specific aspects of training you wish to accomplish during the two-year program and how the proposed research in this program will carry you toward your indicated career goals.
  3. Mentor Letter and Mentor CV: Please ask your proposed mentors to write a letter in which they state that they are (1) willing to serve as mentors, (2) willing to provide whatever resources are necessary for you to complete your proposed research (lab space, computers, and so on), and (3) any additional comments they wish to submit to the review committee about your application. This letter and the mentors’ CVs should be sent to the program office directly by the mentors.
  4. Letters of Reference: Please have three individuals familiar with your research and academic potential write letters of recommendation for you. Each should have the recommendation form included with it. NOTE: Your letters of recommendation should come from people other than your mentor.  Recommendation Form
  5. Transcript: Please have your graduate school send a transcript of your course work to: Aging Center RTP, c/o Emily Herbert, DUMC 3003, Durham NC 27710.  Electronic transcripts can be sent to 

All materials for the application should be submitted in PDF format by uploading them to our secure applicant portal. Please include your last name as part of each file name for tracking purposes. 



Basis for Judging Applications
Applications are assessed by a faculty committee via an NIH-style review and judged on the basis of their scientific merit, relevance to aging, and the fit of the trainee’s needs for training with the resources of the mentor and the training program.