Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the T32 training grant and what is its purpose?

The training grant is a 5-year award from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) of the NIH. Its purpose is to provide state-of-the-art research training in musculoskeletal biology to predoctoral graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

How many positions are available on the training grant?

Three predoctoral positions and two postdoctoral positions are supported by this training grant. Each individual may be funded up to a total of three years. After two years of support, trainees wishing to continue for a third year must reapply for the position.

Who is eligible to apply for a position on the training grant?

All individuals supported by this grant mechanism must be a US citizen or noncitizen national (permanent resident). Students on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Predoctoral students must be enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Minnesota and be in good academic standing. Postdoctoral fellows must have a MD, DDS, DVM, and/or PhD and must have had no more than one year of previous postdoctoral support on another NIH institutional training grant or individual NIH fellowship award.

What are the criteria for acceptance into the program?

The criteria for acceptance include the following:

  1. Academic credentials
  2. Strong interest in musculoskeletal research and a desire for a research career
  3. Desirable personal characteristics, including integrity, perseverance, and communications skills

How do individuals apply to the program and what is the application deadline?

A complete application must include the following:

  1. A completed predoctoral or postdoctoral application form that is available online or from Tanya Doble
  2. A statement of career goals and interests
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. University-certified transcripts
  5. GRE scores (if available)
  6. Reprints of a maximum of 3 peer-reviewed manuscripts
  7. Three letters of recommendation from those who are knowledgeable of the applicant’s academic performance and research skills. If the applicant is currently located at the University of Minnesota and has identified a mentor, the application package should also include a letter of support from the mentor. These materials should be submitted to Tanya Doble, Orthopedic Surgery, 2450 Riverside Av., Suite R200, Minneapolis, MN 55454; Phone 612-273-8052; FAX 612-273-8072; or by email at

What is the level of stipend support for trainees supported by this grant?

Predoctoral stipends are set by the trainee’s graduate program. The NIH provides a set stipend level; any amount over the NIH funded level to match graduate program level must be funded by faculty mentor’s non-sponsored funds.

Postdoctoral stipend levels are set by the NIH each year and vary depending on the number of years of experience.

The training grant can supplement tuition/fees, health insurance, travel, and trainee-related expenses. Exact amounts for predoctoral or postdoctoral support are available here.

Trainees (predoctorate and postdoctorate) are not considered University of Minnesota employees and thus withholding taxes are not withheld unless requested by the trainee. If appointed, you are responsible for addressing this issue, learn more here.

What are the expectations of the trainees?

Trainees are expected to be committed to full-time research training (40 hours/week). Clinical duties must be confined to those that are an integral part of the research training experience. Trainees will be expected to regularly attend program seminars and journal clubs. They will also be required to present journal club and research seminars in designated forums each year. Additionally, trainees are required to complete a research ethics course, a grant writing course, and a Skeletal Biology course (OBIO 8012/CMB 8012).

Clinical fellows may opt to participate in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery conferences instead of the Skeletal Biology Journal Club. Postdoctoral trainees are strongly encouraged to apply for mentored career awards while being supported by the training grant. Annual reviews of trainees by the Steering Committee is required prior to re-appointment for continued support.

Who are the faculty mentors that are listed on the grant?

Denis Clohisy, MD, Cathy Carlson, DVM, PhD, and Kim Mansky, PhD are the directors of the training program. Additional training faculty are listed on the training grant website under the Leadership & Faculty tab.

Can additional faculty members participate?

Additional mentors may be added, based on the research interests of trainees (i.e. trainee has a research interest outside of the current mentor research expertise and identifies an individual he/she wishes to work with). These individuals must meet the criteria outlined below, including an extramurally funded, independent research program and a strong interest in providing musculoskeletal research training. Faculty members may apply by submitting a letter of interest and a CV to Dr. Kim Mansky. A completed application form is also required. New faculty must be approved by the training program faculty as well as at the NIH program level.

The criteria for membership are: 

  • Full member of the graduate faculty
  • Established, extramurally supported research program 
  • Commitment to strong research training in spirit of the program

Your responsibilities as a mentor will include:
When sponsoring a trainee, mentors will submit a proposal to the steering committee explaining a potential trainee’s project, its merits as a training experience, including cross-disciplinary elements and mentorship, and ancillary supporting experiences that will be given to the trainee.  The mentor will also submit an annual report to the Steering Committee, describing progress, performance, and a summary diary of mentoring of the trainee.  Reports and trainee programs will be reviewed and approved by the Steering Committee to ensure compliance with mission.  As needed, the Steering Committee will determine remedy.

To apply for membership, please complete the attached application form and provide us with the requested materials. Applications from new prospective mentors will be reviewed and approved by the Steering Committee.