Student fellowships and programs

USP is committed to investing in the next generation of scientists who are conducting cross-cutting research to advance science in new and exciting ways. USP offers a variety of student programs to help motivate, support, and shape future innovators to address public health challenges and advance cutting-edge science.

Learn more about our: 


Next Generation Scientists Program

USP’s Next Generation Scientists Program is designed to engage and empower emerging leaders in science and innovation to make progress in fast moving scientific areas that are mission critical to USP.

This USP-funded research grant is meant for graduate and post-doc students who are completing cutting-edge research in the fields of pharmaceutical medicines, dietary supplements, and foods.

USP is committed to representing the communities that we serve and engaging underrepresented audiences in scientific research and innovation. All applicants are encouraged to apply.

Proposal submissions

Project proposals should be related to one or more elements of USP’s Science Quality Framework:

  • Evolving Approaches for Standards
    Explore new models and flexible approaches to developing public quality standards, including risk- and performance-based approaches, that can be leveraged for improved insight and quantitative quality assessments.
  • Product and Drug Substance Performance
    Evaluate procedures such as dissolution, drug release, disintegration, and aerodynamic particle size distribution to help ensure the quality of medicines worldwide.
  • Emerging Modalities of Medicines
    Discover new technologies and treatment modalities, including personalized medicines like specific compounding and cell & gene therapies, being developed to meet the unique needs of patients.
  • New Manufacturing and Analytical Technologies
    Help ensure the quality of advance manufacturing techniques, such as PCM, and exploring technologies, such as 3D printing and digital therapeutics, to understand the future modalities of medicine and personalization that meets patients’ needs.
  • Quality Environment
    Help support supply chain integrity and build confidence among healthcare practitioners, patients, and consumers by assessing quality by design, supplier qualification, and good manufacturing practices for packaging, storage, and distribution.

Proposal submissions should include the following information:

  • Research proposal, including timeline and budget
  • CV/resume

Eligibility

An applicant must be a recent student from an accredited master’s degree or Ph.D.-granting program. Applicants do not need to reside in the U.S. to apply.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications must propose research in the areas of pharmaceutical medicines, dietary supplements, and foods, with potential or direct connections with quality and/or supply chain issues, such that the successful results would be of practical benefit to quality assurance and/or enable USP to create new standards/products. Proposals will be evaluated by an Advisory Committee comprised of USP staff and Expert Volunteers on the following: strategic relevance, scientific merit, and novelty.

Budget Guidelines

Grant proposals should include a budget of $5,000 to $50,000 USD. The number of grants and amount of funds awarded will vary based on applications received and annual budget.

Applications should include a specific request for the funding needed to complete the research, including total cost and a budget for all expenditures such as: personnel (see below); reagents and expendables; permanent equipment; and travel. A brief budget explanation should be part of the proposal; budget considerations may be part of the evaluation of the proposal.

Funding will be awarded in one lump sum before research commences.

A maximum of $5,000 per year may be used to support the principal investigator’s salary, including benefits. Postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technicians, graduate students (stipend and/or tuition), and/or undergraduate students may be supported through the grant, at levels commensurate with the grantee’s department or academic unit.

No institutional overhead charges, nor facilities and administrative charges will be charged to USP nor will any be provided by USP.

When the research has concluded, the grantee will submit a financial report and a scientific progress report (see below).

Reporting Requirements

Each grant recipient is required to submit a scientific progress and financial report to USP. USP shall, in its sole discretion and consistent with its standard practices, determine whether the grant recipient is meeting the goals and objectives appropriately. A USP mentor will be assigned to the grant recipient based on expertise related to the research; the USP mentor will be responsible for monitoring the grant recipient’s scientific process and ensuring timelines and expectations are met.

Each grant recipient is required to present a lecture (currently, virtually) during or promptly following the grant period at a time to be agreed upon by the grant recipient and the USP.

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Questions?  Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email science@usp.org.


Fellowships

The USP Fellowship Program was developed to recognize graduate level students who are conducting research related to USP’s mission impact priorities. The program is designed to provide collaborative research opportunities to emerging leaders in science and innovation and help prepare students to take leadership positions in science.

Selection process

Fellowship opportunities are offered throughout the year, and each fellowship is expected to last 1-2 years to allow enough time for research, implementation, and development. Projects are determined by USP scientific leadership to ensure alignment with mission impact priorities, and USP staff have the flexibility to determine if they would like to recruit fixed-term postdoc Fellows to conduct research within USP, or collaborate with external academic institutions and their postdocs to conduct the research in their university setting.

General criteria for evaluating fellowship proposals are strategic relevance, scientific quality and research feasibility.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Alignment with USP’s mission and strategic goals
  • Innovative in concept or approach
  • Scientific rigor and testability of the hypothesis
  • Design of the deliverables to test the hypothesis and address research questions
  • Clarity of deliverables, goals and timeline
  • Realism and feasibility with respect to planned time, budget/resources, and intended results

Program experience

USP provides competitive first year seed funding to support the kickoff of fellowship projects. USP Fellows are matched with USP mentors who provide tools, guidance, and collaboration opportunities related to their research. USP mentors work closely with Fellows to monitor scientific progress, and Fellows are required to present a lecture to USP staff during or following the project.

Fellowship projects typically focus on the following topics:

  • Evolving approaches to standards
  • Performance of drug products and substances
  • Emerging modalities of medicines
  • New manufacturing and analytical technologies
  • Quality environment

There are no open calls for proposals at this time; however, if you’re interested in applying to be a USP Fellow, please email science@usp.org to learn more.

Meet the fellows


Julian Chesterman, Ph.D.

Excipient characterization

Dr. Chesterman examined Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) excipients to determine manufacturer-to-manufacturer and batch-to-batch variability, as well as evaluated advanced analytical techniques for excipient characterization. This research helped build a solid foundation for development of new quality standards and advanced technologies for PLGA excipients. Dr. Chesterman has a Ph.D. in Chemical/Biomedical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Mentors: Catherine Sheehan, DRSc., M.S, M.S. (USP); Hong Wang, Ph.D. (USP); Peng Zhang, Ph.D. (USP)

Aline Martinez, MLS

Taxonomy

Ms. Martinez is developing a USP taxonomy of over 2,300 subject terms and synonyms describing the pharmaceutical and compendial process. This taxonomy will be applied to a pilot expert-seeker tool that will facilitate the online search of experts at USP. Ms. Martinez has a Master’s in Library Science/Information Management from University of Maryland.

Mentors: Brandon Barrett, Pharm.D. (USP); Lindsey Clawson, MBA (USP)

Stephanie Archer-Hartmann, Ph.D.

Mass Spectrometry

Dr. Archer-Hartmann is developing characterization methods of monoclonal antibodies for mass spectrometry to be used as part of a protocol for new USP Reference Standards. Dr. Archer-Hartmann has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from West Virginia University.

Mentors: Parastoo Azadi, Ph.D. (University of Georgia); Diane McCarthy, Ph.D. (USP)


Scientific Exchange Program

The USP Scientific Exchange Program is designed to advance the development of scientists committed to pharmacopeial work and foster international recognition and harmonization of USP standards. Scientists from the global regulatory/pharmacopeial community participate in the program to learn USP best practices in the development of public standards that help ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines.

Selection process

Four 3-month long spots are offered per year through an open and competitive nomination process. USP scientific leadership, with input from regulatory affairs colleagues, selects projects for scientists, conducts outreach, and solicits nominations. Participating Scientists are typically nominated by international drug regulatory bodies, pharmacopoeias, academic institutions, medicine control laboratories, and the private sector. Candidates are reviewed by USP staff against organizational objectives to determine the best qualified candidates.

Program experience

Scientists are sponsored by USP during their participation in the program. They are matched with USP mentors who provide tools, guidance, and collaboration opportunities related to their research.

Projects typically focus on topics such as monograph modernization, testing and validation procedures enhancement, or general chapters’ development.

For more information, please contact: Melissa Bellon, Senior Manager, Scientific & Technical Writing.

Meet the scientists

Shi Yanhong, Pharm. D.
Dietary Supplements/Herbal Medicines

Dr. Shi supported the development of USP botanical dietary supplements and Herbal Medicine Compendium monographs, including Perilla frutescens Fruit, Perilla frutescens Leaf, Poria cocos Sclerotium, Isatis indigotica Root, Rehmannia glutinosa Root, Psoralea corylifolia Fruit, and Gardenia jasminoides Fruit. Dr. Shi has a Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Shanghai University of TCM, China, and a Doctorate in Pharmacy from University of Toyama, Japan.

Mentors: Cuiying (Macy) Ma, Ph.D. (USP); Kit Goldman, Ph.D. (USP)

David Bravo Leal, M.A.I
Excipients

Mr. Bravo Leal helped with updating USP General Chapter <1078> Good Manufacturing Practices for Bulk Pharmaceutical Excipients. He conducted a comprehensive gap analysis of <1078> and several U.S. and international GMP standards, including NSF/IPEC/ANSI 363, ExiPact 2017, ICH Q7, and GMP guidelines from China, Brazil, and Mexico. Mr. Bravo Leal used the results of the gap analysis and developed a revision to <1078> that provides a harmonized and comprehensive set of criteria for the quality management systems used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical excipients worldwide. Additionally, he introduced a concept of risk management and assessment that will guide excipient manufacturers in making decisions regarding suitable application of GMP based on the level of impact on the quality of the final excipient and drug product.

Mr. Bravo Leal has Master’s degree in Industrial Administration from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Mentors: Galina Holloway, Ph.D. (USP); Catherine Sheehan, DRSc., M.S, M.S. (USP)