NIH Eligibility Policy:


At the time of appointment to the WRHR Program, candidates for support as WRHR K12 Scholars must:

  • Be a physician holding the M.D. or D.O. degree;
  • Have completed postgraduate residency training in obstetrics-gynecology;
  • Be in the final research year of postdoctoral fellowship training in obstetrics and gynecology if the candidate has chosen to subspecialize;
  • Identify an approved mentor or mentors with extensive research experience;
  • Be able to devote at least nine months (equivalent to 75%) of full-time professional effort to conducting research and research career development;
  • Not be or have been a PD/PI on an R01, R29 or subproject of a Program Project (P01), Center (P50, P60, U54) grant, independent mentored career development (K-series) grants, or other equivalent research grant awards. Although individuals who are or were PD/PIs on NIH Small Grants (i.e., R03s) or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (i.e., R21s) may be eligible providing they meet the other eligibility requirements.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or noncitizen national, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess a Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent citizen.

The application process consists of two phases:

Phase I – The following documents should be submitted electronically to Margie Seskey at 

  1. Completed WRHR application form
  2. Current curriculum vitae
  3. A one-page statement of the candidate’s career goals and description of her/his expectations from the training period—discussion should include the total period of training (up to 3 years), the Scholar’s intended area of expertise, and prior research training (if applicable).
  4. Three letters of recommendation to be sent via mail or email directly from the recommender to the WRHR Research Director at, as follows:
  • Candidate’s chair, division director or training program director, and
  • Previous mentors or other physician or scientist familiar with the candidate’s qualifications

Phase one applications will be reviewed by the PI, and the program director. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in Phase II.

Phase II – Selected applicants will be matched with a mentor and together they will prepare and submit a research and career development plan, consisting of:

  1. Candidate’s biosketch.
  2. Mentor’s biosketch, the personal statement section should mentor's past mentoring experience and current research focus
  3. Candidate’s research proposal of no more than five pages with the following structure: Abstract and specific aims (one page), significance, innovation, and experimental design (four pages)
  4. Budget for the proposed experiments
  5. Mentor’s statement (up to two pages) outlining the mentorship plan (including suggested members for the mentorship team), career development plan, and coursework. The mentor should describe the research environment, and the availability and quality of needed research resources
  6. Copies of certificates in training in Human Subjects Research and Research Integrity for the candidate and the mentor
  7. New mentors will also be required to provide a list of up to 5 past or current trainees, which includes the name, degree(s), dates, where trained, title of project, academic level, and present position and institution

Please note that the research proposal need not be the exact research plan ultimately pursued by the candidate if they are accepted to the program, and may be modified after review and discussion with the Advisory Committee.

Review Considerations

Each proposal will be reviewed initially by the PI and Research Director to ensure that the application criteria are met. Applications will then be reviewed by the entire Advisory Committee. Candidates who proceed to Phase II may be invited to interview with Advisory Committee members, concluding with a presentation of their research plan to Committee. The proposed primary mentor will also be expected to attend this presentation. The Advisory Committee will provide feedback to candidates.

For further questions, contact:

Margie Seskey


WRHR Program Coordinator
Margie Seskey
Magee-Womens Research Institute
204 Craft Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Tel: 412-641-7531