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Basic Science Training Retains NIH Grants

Leon Zernitsky / Illustration Source

When it comes to government funding of basic science training programs for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is batting a thousand this year. All 12 of its “T32” basic science training grant applications facing competitive renewal this past year were funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Vanderbilt’s success rate for obtaining and retaining NIH funding of these grants has exceeded the national average for several years. “This is a tremendous reflection of the commitment of our faculty to education,” says Susan Wente, associate vice chancellor for research and senior associate dean for biomedical sciences. “These accomplishments also speak to the dedication and talent of our research enterprise as a whole and all those who support the efforts to keep these grants funded.”

Even with tight NIH funding, Vanderbilt has been able to retain a stable number of training slots. Currently, 144 graduate students and 125 research and clinical postdoctoral fellows are supported primarily through the Medical Center’s 40 T32 training grants. (The number T32 is part of the NIH’s grant designation system.)