Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Research Training Program in Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Neurobiology. Please do not hesitate to contact the Program Coordinator (sleep_training@hms.harvard.edu) if you do not see an answer to your question below.

Applications questions
Q. Should I/ will I need to complete an interview?
A. You will be required to do a short presentation about your research interests to the Selection Committee in person or via web meeting. Potential Training Program applicants are recommended to be proactive in identifying one or more faculty preceptors to champion their application, and in setting up phone calls, meetings or presentations with their potential preceptor(s) well in advance of the next Selection Committee meeting (see calendar). If you need assistance in reaching any of the Program Faculty, please contact the Program Administrator at sleep_training@hms.harvard.edu. (also see below)
Q. Is there a deadline for applications? I am interested in starting my post doc on [date]. When should I apply for this program?
A. Admissions to this program are made on a rolling basis, although decisions may be deferred based on the number of applications received, the number of slots available (which may vary depending on whether a current trainee for whom a slot is held receives individual funding), and the length of time until the start of the new grant year. In general, applications should be received and complete by two weeks prior to the Selection Sub-committee meeting date on which they will be considered. Please see the calendar for meeting dates.
Q. How many letters of recommendation do I need, and how should they be sent?
A. Postdoctoral applicants must have three letters of recommendation to accompany their application, and pre-doctoral applicants are recommended to have the same. Applicants to the Summer Minority Medical Student program should have two letters. Pre- and postdoctoral applicants are also advised to identify an advocate for their application from amongst the Program Faculty, whose letter of support will be included with their application (see below).
   Letters of recommendation may be sent by mail, or scanned and sent by email. Fax copies may be sent, but the originals must also be mailed or emailed (see Application Form).
Q. Do I need to decide which faculty member(s) I would be working with before I apply?
A. As soon as you have decided that you are interested in applying for this program, you should contact the faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working, in order to try to identify mutual interests. You may request help contacting faculty from the Program Administrator. It is most helpful to have a faculty ‘sponsor’ in the application process – if you identify a potential mentor, you should ask them for a letter of support to accompany your application.


Administrative questions
Q. What is the usual start date for appointments, and is there any flexibility?
A. While the grant year for this program starts on July 1st, appointments can generally begin on any date. For optimal integration into the program, however, start dates in July through September are preferred.
Q. How long in advance of my start date would I need to arrive?
A. Administrative process varies by institution (among the Medical School and its affiliated Hospitals), but you should expect to arrive at least a few days before the start of your appointment in order to complete required orientation procedures. Questions should be directed to the Administrator; please see the Administrative Resources and Training Support page for more information.


Training-related questions
Q. I am interested in a clinical fellowship. Who should I contact about this?
A. For information on opportunities for Clinical Training in Sleep, please click here.


Eligibility questions
Q. Is this program open to international medical graduates?
A. Yes.
Q. Is this program open to those who are not US citizens or permanent residents?
A. Non-US citizens/green card holders are not eligible for funding through this program. If an applicant can secure alternate funding, however, they may apply to participate in the Certificate Program. See also eligibility guidelines.
Q. Is there any funding associated with the program (aside from NRSA) for which I may be eligible as a non-US citizen?
A. Please see above regarding alternate funding.
Q. My status may change to permanent resident in a few months from now. If I become a Harvard postdoc with external funding, is it possible to request an NRSA fellowship once I become a permanent resident?
A. Yes, it is, and you may want to prepare and submit your application (or at least some notice of your intention) in advance, so that the Selection Sub-committee is aware of your interest.
Q. Does your program sponsor visas (J1 or H1)?
A. No, this program does not sponsor visas. Please see eligibility guidelines for more information.


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