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What Is a T32?

The Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32) are designed to support Principal Investigators (PIs) whom are committed to training the next generation of researchers via didactic research and career development opportunities.

The Training Programs should provide opportunities for individuals interested in careers in biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research and provide:

  • A strong foundation in research design, methods, and analytic techniques appropriate for the proposed research area
  • Enhancement of each trainees’ ability to conceptualize and think through research problems with increasing independence
  • Experience conducting research using state-of-the-art methods as well as presenting and publishing their research findings
  • Opportunities to interact with members of the scientific community at appropriate scientific meetings and workshops
  • Deepened understanding of the health-related sciences and the relationship of trainees' research training to health and disease

New Training Programs may complement other ongoing research training programs at MUSC, but new Training Programs must be clearly distinct from other MUSC training programs receiving federal funding.

For additional information, read FOA: PA-18-403 and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (PDF).

PI Experience
The PI should have a proven track record in obtaining research funding and training undergraduate and/or postdoctoral fellows.

Award Information
T32 awards pay stipends, trainee travel, research training expenses (i.e., health insurance, staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies), and contribute to tuition and fees.

Success Rate
The individual success rates for T32 applications vary by funding institute. Visit the NIH RePORT website to find the success rate of T32 applications at your NIH Institute of interest.

Clinical Trials
T32 Programs do not allow appointed trainees to lead a clinical trial, but trainees can obtain research experience in clinical trials led by mentors or co-mentors.

T32 Administrative Team
Having an administrative team to assist with the preparation of the T32 application, and the program implementation and administration is critical to its success.

Data Tables
Data Tables are a critical component of T32 applications. Applicants need to familiarize themselves with the Data Tables and understand the instructions for each table and what is required. Refer to the T32 Data Tables Document for further information. Please be mindful that data must be collected from all participating departments. With sufficient pre-planning, ORD will assist the applicant in compiling the needed information.

The xTRACT system in eRA Commons is an electronic system for creating research training data tables and tracking trainee outcomes. Currently, this system is available on a pilot basis and users are encouraged to begin exploring its functionality. According to NIH Notice: NOT-OD-18-133, beginning in FY 2020, NIH and AHRQ intend to require the use of the xTRACT system in eRA Commons to prepare required Data Tables for certain types of T32 applications.

In the body of the Research Training Plan, applicants should summarize the key data from the tables that highlight the characteristics of the applicant pool, faculty members, the educational career outcomes of participants, and other factors that contribute to the overall environment of the training program.

Letters of Support
Letters of Support that detail institutional commitment to the proposed training plan are required. The Office of Research Development can provide guided examples to assist in drafting the appropriate targeted letters.


The T32 application requirements vary per NIH Institution. Therefore, you MUST consult the Table of Institute/Center-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts to make sure your application follows the guidelines of that Institute. When in doubt, consult with NIH Scientific Program Contacts.

If you are interested in submitting a T32 application and would like to arrange a meeting, please contact the Office of Research Development*.

* Please contact us several months in advance of the submission deadline if you would like support in preparing a T32 application.