NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: 2023-2024 MnDRIVE Research Fellowships in Neuromodulation (Graduate, Postdoc, Resident/Clinical Fellows)

January 19, 2023
MnDRIVE Brain Conditions Logo


The University of Minnesota announces its 2023-2024 Research Fellowship Program in Neuromodulation. 

MnDRIVE Research Fellowships in Neuromodulation 

Graduate ● Postdoctoral ● Resident/Clinical Fellow

One year Fellowships to start in the Summer or Fall 2023 

Deadline to Apply is 5:00 PM (CT) on Thursday, January 19, 2023

Recipients will be notified at the end of March 2023

Awards are for one year and may be applied to stipend, benefits, and tuition (in the case of student trainees). Funds are for up to $59,436 for doctoral students, $70,288 for postdocs, and up to $77,322 for clinical fellows/residents).

Program Description 

Fellowships are funded by the Discoveries and treatments for brain conditions core area of the Minnesota Discovery, Research, and InnoVation Economy initiative (MnDRIVE). Fellowships will be awarded to outstanding graduate (doctoral) students, postdoctoral trainees, and residents/clinical fellows pursuing basic, translational, or clinical research in neuromodulation.


Neuromodulation is a transdisciplinary field focused on treating neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders with technological interventions at the neural interface that are non-destructive, reversible, and adjustable. Neuromodulation research integrates basic science, engineering, and clinical disciplines to yield new insights into brain function and develop therapeutic innovations that include electrical, magnetic, optogenetic, and ultrasound technologies. Fellowship applications using purely pharmaceutical interventions will NOT be considered responsive to this call for applications.


MnDRIVE is a landmark partnership between the University and the state of Minnesota. Discoveries and treatments for brain conditions, a MnDRIVE core area of research and partnership, addresses complex and debilitating brain-related disorders by leveraging university and state investments in medicine and engineering and extending our vibrant partnerships with medical device industries in Minnesota. For more information about the MnDRIVE core area of Discoveries and treatments for brain conditions, see For more information on MnDRIVE please visit:

Criteria for Selection 

UPDATED POLICY:  Previous recipients of a MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Research Fellowship are NOT eligible to apply. There will also be no fellowship renewals. 

Fellowship recipients will be selected based on academic record, clinical record (for residents/clinical fellows), relevance of the proposed research to neuromodulation, evidence of past and future research productivity, alignment of the training experience with the goals of the MnDRIVE initiative, and proposed training experience and research project quality. Applicants working on projects with industry partners and/or commercial potential are especially encouraged to apply. 

  • Graduate Fellowships: We seek outstanding doctoral students with strong undergraduate and graduate school records whose thesis research is focused on neuromodulation. 
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships: We seek outstanding postdoctoral trainees who are planning on or already working with University of Minnesota faculty mentors on neuromodulation research at the University of Minnesota. Upon starting the fellowship at the University, a recipient must be a postdoctoral trainee in a job classification reflective of that role (e.g., recipients must have a PhD at the time they start the fellowship; PhDs in professional positions at the University are not eligible for the fellowship). 
  • Residents/Clinical Fellowships: We seek outstanding MDs interested in working in the field of neuromodulation. To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants should have an MD or MD/PhD, be a resident or fellow in a Board of Regents approved residency or clinical fellowship program at the University of Minnesota, and have a current license to practice medicine in Minnesota or a Minnesota Board of Medicine Residency permit by the award period.  

The University of Minnesota is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. 

Application Instructions

There are three parts to the application, all must be completed and submitted no later than 5:00 PM (CT) on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

PART 1.  Online fellowship application form.   

Applicant should complete the online fellowship application form, which calls for the following required information:

  • Applicant name and contact information (telephone, email, current and permanent address).
  • University of Minnesota faculty mentor contact information (this will be the faculty mentor under whose direction the applicant will work should the applicant receive a fellowship) - name, phone, email, position, department.  
  • Names and contact information of two individuals OTHER THAN the FACULTY MENTOR who will write LETTERS OF SUPPORT on behalf of the applicant.   

Applicant will also upload a PDF document to the application containing the following sections in the order shown:

Please include headings on each page with your name, program or department, mentors name, and the page number.

1. PROJECT TITLE and SUMMARY (1/2 page, font no smaller than 11 pt font).

2. STATEMENT of PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE.  The applicant should provide a BRIEF general STATEMENT of the PROJECT'S SIGNIFICANCE - 1 to 4 sentences in language appropriate for the general public.  For example: Dr. Garcia's patient-centered research on targeting deep brain stimulation within the subthalamic nucleus will lead to improved treatment for the cardinal motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease.      

3. STATEMENT of RELEVANCE to MINNESOTA.  Applicant should provide a brief statement of the potential of the fellowship research and training to contribute to the health and quality of life of the citizens of Minnesota and/or the economic vitality of the state - 1 to 5 sentences. Use language that is Minnesota-focused and appropriate for the general public. This should specifically emphasize the relevance of the proposed research and training to the citizens of the state of Minnesota. 

4. STATEMENT of DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION.  Applicant should provide a brief statement explaining how they or their project will advance or contribute to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion - 1 to 5 sentences.

5. STATUS of IRB or IACUC APPROVALS.  Applicant should indicate the status of IRB and/or IACUC protocols (or indicate that IRB or IACUC protocols are not required for the proposed project). If protocols are not yet submitted, or do not yet have approval, the applicant should indicate the anticipated dates for 1) submitting an IRB or IACUC protocol and 2) attaining final approval.

6. PROJECT NARRATIVE (limit = 1 page, no smaller than 11 pt font). The PROJECT NARRATIVE should provide a succinct description of the aims and methods of the research project, state how the research will advance the field of neuromodulation, and state how the research aligns with MnDRIVE goals.

7. OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION for the PROJECT NARRATIVE.  One image containing up to two graphs or diagrams to support the PROJECT NARRATIVE (limit = 1/2 page), AND/OR one page of bibliographic references.

8. STATEMENT of TRAINING.  Describe what new knowledge, skills, and techniques the applicant will acquire through the fellowship, and how these will advance the applicant's career aspirations. For RESIDENT/CLINICAL FELLOW FELLOWSHIP APPLICANTS, the statement of training should also describe the clinical training plan for the award period (limit 3/4 page, no smaller than 11 pt font).

9. TIMELINE, KEY MILESTONES and DELIVERABLE(S).  The TIMELINE with KEY MILESTONES in the award period should be described or illustrated (with anticipated dates of IRB/IACUC submission and approval dates indicated if IRB/IACUC protocol approval has not yet been obtained), and, in 1 or 4 sentences, applicant should clearly state the project DELIVERABLE(S) expected at the end of the award period.  

10. INDUSTRY PARTNER AND ROLE (Limit = 1/2 page, no smaller than 11 pt font).  Applicant should indicate whether there is an industry partner.  If there is an industry partner, applicant should identify the business partner and the name(s) of the person(s) at the business specifically involved with the project. The applicant should also describe the industry partner's role in the project. 

11. PATHWAY to COMMERCIALIZATION (Limit = 1/2 page, no smaller than 11 pt font).  Applicant should indicate whether there is a pathway to commercialization for the project.  If so, the applicant should briefly describe that pathway.  

12. APPLICANT CV.  The applicant should provide a CV that includes previous education, honors/awards, research experience, publications, conference abstract titles, and IP (e.g., disclosures/patents) (limit = 2 pages).  The CV should also contain the applicant's GPA for all academic institutions attended. 

PART 2.  LETTERS OF SUPPORT from two professional references.  Applicant should arrange for a LETTER OF SUPPORT to be submitted by each of TWO professional references (other than the proposed faculty mentor on the fellowship award) who can comment on the applicant’s qualifications and research potential (each letter should be no longer than 2 pages). Letter writers should submit letters by email to no later than January 19, 2023.   

PART 3.  LETTER OF CONFIRMATION from proposed UMN primary faculty mentor. The UMN faculty mentor should send a LETTER OF CONFIRMATION that identifies the applicant, states the project title and confirms that he or she will mentor the applicant during the award period should the applicant receive a fellowship (Letter of Confirmation should be no longer than 1/2 page). For applications with an industry partner, also include a LETTER OF CONFIRMATION from the primary contact at that business. These LETTERS OF CONFIRMATION should be emailed to no later than January 19, 2023.   

For Questions

Karrie Molitor | Program Manager, MnDRIVE Brain Conditions

Department of Neuroscience | University of Minnesota, 6-145 Jackson Hall | Minneapolis, MN 55455