Graduate Student Research Fellowship Application

I. General Guidelines

Purpose: The purpose of these fellowships is to support graduate students with research projects in the area of Molecular Signaling. Students must be conducting their thesis or dissertation research in the laboratory of one of the CMCS faculty and performing a research project linked to center research objectives. Applications for funding will be reviewed on the basis of student progress, consistency with the scientific focus of the CMCS on intra and inter-cellular signaling, and the potential for collaborative interdisciplinary research with other CMCS associated researchers.


  • Graduate students (MS or PhD) who are working in the labs of WFU Reynolda Campus faculty who are members of the Center for Molecular Communication and Signaling
  • PhD students working in labs of WFUHS faculty who are CMCS members and with whom there are collaborations with WFU Reynolda Campus CMCS members
  • All fellowship applications must be accompanied by a letter from the graduate student’s research advisor supporting the student request for the fellowship

Topics: Topics must be related to molecular signaling, broadly defined to cover the study of signaling at multiple levels, including long distance signaling to coordinate organismal physiology and behavior (e.g. neurotransmitters and hormones), intracellular signaling molecules and events (e.g. secondary messengers and protein modification including phosphorylation and oxidation), and intra-molecular conformational changes in proteins for regulation of the activity of enzymes, transcription factors, and other molecular motors. The four primary research foci of the CMCS are: biomechanical signaling, chemical biology of signaling, computational modeling of signaling networks, and imaging of signaling events.

Aspects of the project that will positively contribute to its suitability for funding:

  • Evidence for graduate applicant’s productivity
  • Relevance to the Center’s focus on cellular and molecular signaling
  • Clarity and significance of study question
  • Collaboration with other center participants
  • Development of new directions or approaches for research projects

Deadline: Applications are due by March 12, 2013. The proposals should be sent to: Susan Tague, CMCS administrative assistant:

Amount: Students may request funds to cover their stipends for either one semester or a full year. They may also request costs for supplies and reagents, but the total may not exceed $25,000.

Reporting: Final reports are required at the end of each fellowship, within 90 days of fellowship completion. The final report should include scientific findings, abstracts or publications resulting from the project, a brief description of how the funding was spent, and whether the funding was instrumental in the preparation and/or funding of extramural grant applications.


II. Instructions for Proposal

A. General guidelines. Use standard fonts and margins (12 point font or larger and 1 inch margins). The header should include the graduate student’s name formatted as follows: Last Name, First Name, with page numbers included. A single PDF or Word document of the proposal must be submitted electronically to Susan Tague, CMCS administrative assistant (, by March 12, 2013.

B. The proposal should contain a one-page cover page which includes:

  • Graduate student name, department, year in program
  • Graduate advisor’s name
  • List of graduate committee members
  • Signature of the graduate program chair for the graduate student’s program or department (or email noting they are aware of the student’s application).

C. The research plan, will use the format of an National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship application and contain three sections, each limited to two pages including all references, citations, charts, figures, and images. Student may also choose to combine the personal statement and previous research experience into one document of 2-3 pages, if preferred.

  • Personal Statement
  • Previous Research Experience
  • Proposed Plan of Research

D. Student CV that contains research and teaching experience including a list of presentations and publications.

E. Letter of support and CV of graduate advisor (SENT SEPARATELY by March 12 to This letter should contain information on the graduate applicant’s progress (has s/he advanced to candidacy and/or a timeline for doing so), status of publication, how the project fits center priorities, and how s/he has been supported previously and how this fellowship fits into the other support options in the PIs laboratory.

F. Budget: Include a brief but descriptive budget and budget justification. Indicate the standard graduate stipend in your program on the semester or yearly level (whichever you are requesting) and any supplies and reagents needed to support your project.