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DIR Postdoctoral Training Opportunities

Current Postdoc Positions​

  • AAV Biology and Gene Therapy
    Post-doctoral positions are available to study the interactions between adeno-associated virus (AAV) and its host cell. The goal of these studies is to understand the basic biology of the virus and develop improved vectors for gene therapy. Current research projects focus on the development of new vectors for gene transfer, and improve recombinant protein expression and trafficking. Experience in molecular biology, protein sorting, or virology is preferred.

    To Apply:
    Please send cover letter, curriculum vitae, bibliography, and a brief description of your interest in the field of AAV biology to: John A. Chiorini, Gene Therapy and Therapeutics Branch, NIDCR, Building 10 Room 1N113, 10 Center Dr MSC 1190, Bethesda MD 20892-1190, USA Email.
  • The Laboratory of Sensory Biology is always looking for outstanding postdoctoral scientists with an interest in sensory neuroscience; candidates should contact Nick Ryba (; taste and smell) or Mark Hoon (; somatosensation, pain and itch).
Postdoc Training Opportunities

  • NIDCR Dentist Scientist Career Transition Award for Intramural Investigators (K22)
    The NIDCR Dentist Scientist Career Transition Award for Intramural Investigators (K22) program provides highly-qualified dentists in NIH Intramural postdoctoral fellowship positions with an opportunity to receive further mentored research experience in the NIH Intramural program, and then provides them with independent funding to facilitate the transition of their research programs as new investigators at extramural institutions. The first phase of the K22 award provides support for continuing the mentored intramural postdoctoral training for up to two years. Following the mentored phase, the individual may request up to 3 years of support to conduct research as an independent scientist at an extramural sponsoring institution/organization to which the individual has been recruited, been offered and has accepted a tenure-track (or equivalent) full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent). This support is to allow the individual to continue to work toward establishing his/her own independent research program and prepare an application for an NIH research project grant (R01 or equivalent).
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
    This two-phase award provides the opportunity for promising postdoctoral scientists to receive both mentored and independent research support from the same award. The initial 1-2 year mentored phase will allow investigators to complete their supervised research work, publish results, and search for an independent research position. The second, independent phase, years 3-5, will allow awardees who secure an assistant professorship, or equivalent position, to establish their own research program and successfully apply for an NIH Investigator-Initiated (R01) grant. Outstanding postdoctoral candidates who have terminal clinical or research doctorates (or equivalent doctoral degrees) and who have no more than 5 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of initial application, or subsequent resubmission(s) are eligible. Former principal investigators of NIH Small Grants (R03) or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21) are also eligible.

    The NIDCR welcomes applications from postdoctoral scientists seeking to establish an independent research career in social, behavioral, biomedical, and biological science fields relevant to the NIDCR Strategic Plan. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to a career in oral health research, and funding priority will be given to applicants holding a dental degree.

    In addition, although previous K awardees are not generally eligible to apply for a second K award, the NIDCR will accept K99/R00 applications from dentist scientists who have used a previous NIDCR-funded K08 or K23 award to earn the PhD degree. Such applicants must have completed the PhD before applying. All other eligibility requirements and conditions of the K99/R00 mechanism apply.

    For more details regarding the Pathway to Independence Award, see the NIH New Investigators website​.
  • NIDCR Dentist-Scientist Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)​
    NIDCR is also sponsoring a K99/R00 award program limited to dentist-scientists possessing both a DDS/DMD clinical degree and a PhD (or equivalent) research degree. This program is similar to the standard NIH-wide K99/R00 program, but has several unique features. For this award mechanism, the mentored K99 phase is required to last two full years--no early activations of the R00 phase will be permitted. In addition, awardees who are offered independent positions in a U.S. dental school in conjunction with a dental specialty training program will be allowed to request up to 5 years of R00 phase support. In such cases, the specialty training program must be structured so that no more than the equivalent of 3 calendar person months (i.e. 25% effort) in any year is devoted to clinical activities; at least the equivalent of 9 calendar person months (i.e. 75% effort) each year must comprise protected research time. NIDCR will not provide funding for the clinical specialty training; the dental school hiring the R00 awardee will be expected to support such training. Letters specifying this commitment will be required as part of the application to transition to the R00 phase. Dual degree dentist scientists who do not intend to pursue specialty training or those who complete the mentored postdoctoral phase and then elect not to participate in specialty training are still eligible for this award, but are limited to three years of R00 support.

    Dentists who have used a previous NIDCR-funded K08 or K23 award to earn the PhD degree are also eligible for the dentist-scientist K99/R00 award mechanism. Such applicants must have completed the PhD before applying. All other eligibility requirements and conditions of the K99/R00 mechanism apply.

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This page last updated: March 20, 2014