MIDB Predoctoral Fellowship in Developmental Science

The Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain is pleased to announce that one traineeship will be
available in 2024-25, sponsored by the Institute, for Ph.D. trainees whose work is focused on
developmental science. This position will be supported by MIDB philanthropic funds. This traineeship
will be awarded for one year (12 months) with a start date at the end of August 2024.

The goal of the fellowship is to train graduate students to work at the forefront of developmental
science to understand mechanisms of development, including neurobehavioral mechanisms,
development in context, and how such mechanisms might contribute to psychopathology.

The fellow may work under the tutelage of any faculty mentor who is a member of MIDB (see
 details about how to apply for membership
). Faculty members of the MIDB are highly multidisciplinary and collaborative. They lead both large-scale collaborative efforts as well as specific tailored research studies within their own laboratories, and use cutting-edge technologies to advance our understanding of fetal, infant, child and adolescent development using translational as well as human study approaches.

Participation in the University of Minnesota’s LEND program activities is possible depending on interest and the nature of the fellow’s research program.

Program of Training

The program of training is meant to provide mentored research related to developmental science.
Trainees will work closely with their faculty mentor to create and maintain an Individualized
Development Plan (IDP), which will be shared with MIDB at the start of the award. The IDP will cover
research goals for the year, training workshops that will be pursued, publication and conference plans,
and coursework to be taken during the year of award. While the program is meant to be highly
individualized to the trainee, there are certain key components that trainees must commit to pursuing,
prior to accepting the award. These are as follows:

  1. Trainees are required to engage in 20 hours of research each week with an identified Faculty Mentor and meet weekly with that mentor to review their work and progress toward research goals including presentations and publications. A progress report will be required at the end of the funding period.
  2. At least once annually, present their work as first author at a major scientific conference. MIDB will support travel to a meeting.
  3. Successful trainees will publish on multiple research projects related to the mission of the training program. We expect trainees to publish at least one first-authored manuscript and additional  coauthored publications during their tenure in the program.
  4. The MIDB must be cited in any conference presentations or papers published during the award period.
  5. The MIDB predoctoral fellow must regularly attend the MIDB colloquium series, currently scheduled on Thursday afternoons. You will also be asked to assist in the planning of colloquium events.
  6. The MIDB predoctoral fellow must engage with the MIDB Student Advisory Group.
  7. The MIDB predoctoral fellow will present their work to the MIDB, in the context of a colloquium presentation, at the end of the award period or early the following year.


Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible:

  1. Ph.D. students from any area of the University are eligible to apply and must be in good standing.
  2. Applicants must be student members of MIDB.
  3. Will have completed at least one year of graduate training by the start of the training support (i.e., September 2024).
  4. Advised primarily by a faculty member of MIDB.
  5. Identify and articulate a research project focused on work that intersects with the mission of MIDB (see the MIDB website for more information).
  6. Be generally available in-person on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota.

Award Information

The MIDB Predoctoral Fellow will receive the following:

  1. 12-month funding at the NIH stipend levels with standard fringe benefits and tuition coverage. As of now, the 12-month NIH stipend for predoctoral trainees is $27,144. This is considered a 50% time appointment, and tuition/fringe will be covered accordingly. Departments may elect to provide matching funds to increase the stipend level.
  2. Research and travel funds ($3000 total) to support travel to workshops and conferences and the candidate’s research.
  3. You may describe yourself as the recipient of a Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain Predoctoral Fellowship in Developmental Science for 2024-25.

Application Instructions

By May 31, 2024 at 5PM Central time, please send the following items combined into a single pdf file by email to the MIDB ([email protected]), in the order that follows. The subject line should read “Application for MIDB Predoctoral Fellowship”.

  1. Cover letter including:
    • your name, home department, year of training (in 2024-25), and the name of the proposed primary faculty mentor(s); please indicate when you expect to complete the Ph.D.
    • how you might contribute to MIDB’s goal of encouraging professional development for individuals from diverse backgrounds
    • any additional information the applicant wishes to highlight.
  2. A two page research proposal (11pt font or higher, please) outlining your proposed program of research, including:
    • title of the proposal;
    • overall aim of the project;
    • background and rationale, as well as relevance to the MIDB mission;
    • materials and methods;
    • if you include references, feel free to put them on a third half page.
  3. Curriculum vita.
  4. An unofficial transcript, including information about any courses for which you have already registered for Spring 2024.

In addition, we request an endorsement from your faculty mentor. Please ask your mentor to use the accompanying Word document to provide an endorsement and to submit it separately to Brie Katterjohn ([email protected]).

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by the MIDB Research Advisory Council, chaired by Prof. Jed Elison. Applications will be ranked by the Committee on the following criteria.

  1. Strength of applicant record.
  2. Promise of research proposal.
  3. Fit of research proposal with the MIDB mission.
  4. Faculty mentor endorsement.

Decisions will be announced by the end of June 2024.
If you have questions about your eligibility or about your work’s fit to the program, please contact Brie Katterjohn ([email protected]).