IRACDA Application Details

2022 dates for a 2023 program start (tentative)

Application deadline: Extended - December 1, 2022

Acceptance decisions: Rolling

Fellowship acceptance: Rolling

Program start: Tuesday, January 3, 2023


All applicants must have received a PhD or PhD - equivalent in relevant areas of engineering or biology and have no longer than two years of prior postdoctoral training when their program cycle begins. For this NIH-sponsored program, candidates need to be US citizens or have permanent residency. We especially encourage people belonging to groups that are typically underrepresented in stem cell research to apply. Postdocs who already work at UCSC are eligible, provided that they are still within the first 2 years of their postdoc tenure.

Application Process

Candidates need to identify a primary research laboratory at UCSC and work with that PI on their research plan for the application. The planned research needs to fall within the scope of the NIH, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, who sponsors the IRACDA program. Please contact the IBSC if you require guidance to identify an appropriate laboratory ( Please submit the application form, the demographic form and the research plan to the IBSC and have your prospective UCSC mentor and two former advisors send their letters directly to the IBSC ( by the application deadline.

Application Documents (2022) - Please download PDF files and send to:


2) Demographic Form (For reporting purposes only. Not forwarded to selection committee) - DOWNLOAD IRACDA DEMOGRAPHIC FORM

3) Research plan (no form) – 2 pages or less (plus pages for references and timeline), developed in collaboration with your sponsoring research mentor. The target audience are reviewers who may be in a different stem cell fields than you are. Please use no smaller than 11 pt font (Arial or similar) and at least 0.5 inch page margins on letter-sized documents. Please include an approximate timeline for the main planned activities so that reviewers who may not be familiar with all proposed techniques can get an impression of the time that will be necessary for the proposed research.

4) Form by the sponsoring UCSC mentor* - DOWNLOAD SPONSORING MENTOR FORM
*Please provide the downloaded PDF form to your sponsoring mentor. Form should be sent directly to the program administrator by your mento

5) Two (2) letters of recommendation from mentors or supervisors (ie. your Ph.D. supervisor) that speaks to your potential for success in this training program. Letters should comment on your (1) ability to work independently and take initiative to problem solve; (2) your ability to work well within a team; (3) your time management skills and ability to complete tasks; (4) your communication skills, both written and verbal; (5) your research ability and potential to develop an independent career; as well as any additional relevant information that speaks to your candidacy. Please ask your mentor/supervisor send this letter directly to:

Selection Process

An independent, non-UCSC selection committee will review all applications. Professors on this committee have a large variety of research interests, including stem cell and non-stem cell biology in human and model organisms (Mouse, Drosophila, Planaria, C. elegans) in the fields of of developmental biology, genomics, molecular biology, and cell biology.

Applications will be scored using the following criteria:

1) Research: Reviewers will evaluate the research ability of the applicants, and their potential to develop an independent career.

2) Teaching/mentoring: Reviewers will evaluate the applicant's experience in, and desire to acquire teaching and mentoring skills and their drive to embark on a career in academia. All applicants should detail why they are applying to the IRACDA program.

3) Mentoring environment: Reviewers will evaluate the UCSC sponsor's mentoring plan and preparedness to receive mentoring training.

4) Research proposal: Is the proposal well thought out and researched? Is the proposal appropriate for a 4-year training period? Does the research proposal fall within the research interest of the NIH/NIGMS? What is the potential impact of the proposed research?

The UCSC/CSUMB IRACDA program does not discriminate in admissions and activities on the basis of race/color, ethnicity, national origin, religion/creed, disability, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation or veteran’s status.