Doctoral and postdoctoral training

Doctoral and postdoctoral training

In addition to our PhD in Nursing Science program, the UW School of Nursing offers several opportunities for enhanced training in specific areas of nursing science. Trainees in these programs are generally supported via fellowships.

Pre- and Post-doctoral training program in Omics and symptom science

Omics graphicTo meet the goals of precision health, there is an urgent need to develop the next generation of nursing scientists poised to lead interdisciplinary teams that integrate ‘Omics’-based measures with clinical outcomes research. To accomplish this, a concerted effort needs to be made in the training of nursing science doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees with skills necessary to incorporate and evaluate Omics (genomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, microbiome, genomics, epigenomics) in health and disease. The University of Washington School of Nursing has a long history in building biobehavioral nursing science capacity. Our goal is to expand this capacity by integrating Omics tools and interdisciplinary educational approaches into our doctoral and postdoctoral training.

The University of Washington School of Nursing has a T32 training program in Omics and symptom science, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (T32016913). The grant provides opportunities for pre-doctoral traineeships and postdoctoral fellowships of up to 2 years to include specialized coursework and seminars and focused development in omics approaches to examine issues related to symptom science.

To be eligible for appointment for this research training program, applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and qualified as a Registered Nurse. Pre-doctoral trainees must be accepted to the University of Washington PhD in Nursing Science Training Program. Postdoctoral fellows must have completed a research doctorate in nursing science or related field by the time of appointment.


Pre-doctoral applicants

All application materials for the PhD in Nursing Science Program need to be submitted as per graduate application instructions by December 2.

In your application materials to the PhD in Nursing Science Program, please denote in the Research Focus statement section of the application that you would like to be considered for the Omics and Symptom Science Training Program.

Post-doctoral applicants

The priority deadline for post-doctoral fellowship applications is January 31.

Applicants should provide:

  1. a cover letter explaining what they hope to gain from a postdoctoral fellowship, including research interests and goals and how they align with the training provided in this T32.
  2. a copy of their current CV
  3. 1-2 samples of scholarly writing (journal articles, essays)
  4. 3 letters of recommendation. These letters should be sent electronically directly to the training program directors from the recommender (not from the applicant) and should speak to the applicant’s scholarly abilities, areas for growth and future potential.

All application materials need to be sent electronically to the Training Director Heitkemper’s assistant Ms. Wendy Herzog ( by January 31.

For more information about the Omics and Symptom Science Training Program, please contact either of the co-directors Dr. Margaret Heitkemper ( or Dr. Hilaire Thompson (

Engaging with Aging Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Gerontological Nursing

To build the science around healthy aging, there is an urgent need to develop the next generation of nursing scientists. The University of Washington School of Nursing has a long history in developing nursing science in the care of older adults. We are pleased to announce the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging is offering one Engaging with Aging Post-Doctoral Fellow position to start in summer 2019, funded by a School of Nursing donor. Engaging with Aging (EWA) is a framework and set of processes that agers may choose to use to proactively manage their daily living in the face of normally emerging and progressing maturational developments with or without the presence of pathology.

The Fellowship

The purpose of the post-doctoral position is to prepare individuals for research careers in universities, health care agencies, government agencies or industry. The post-doctoral fellow will be supported for one year of training with a second year of funding available based on satisfactory progress in the first year. The individual will develop skills to create further independent funding to support their career, spend time publishing work from their dissertation and/or their mentors’ research studies, and spend at least 50% effort on developing and conducting a study in which the purpose will be to improve our understanding of the concept of Engaging with Aging.

You can read more about approaching older adult care and research from the perspective of Engaging with Aging here, in an editorial from de Tornyay Center director, Basia Belza, and Associate Professor Emeritus Janet Primomo.

The Engaging with Aging concept is inspired in part by a blog, written by UW School of Nursing emeritus faculty member, Doris Carnevali. You can read the blog here.

Program Aims

  • Recruit and retain a qualified diverse cadre of post-doctoral fellows to conduct gerontological research
  • Provide interdisciplinary didactic research training in the fundamental theories, methods, and skills necessary to conduct gerontological research
  • Facilitate the ability of postdoctoral trainees to develop research expertise through ongoing research experience in aging that integrates mentoring by interdisciplinary teams, exposure to and immersion in ongoing research activities, and structured feedback and critique
  • Mentor trainees in the ethical conduct of research, especially in diverse vulnerable populations
  • Evaluate the training program structures, processes, and outcomes on an ongoing and annual basis


  • Complete a PhD in Nursing Science degree during or after 2017 and by the time the position starts
  • Be eligible for U.S. employment
  • Show evidence of a program of research that supports the concept of Engaging with Aging
  • Preferred qualification: Applicant is currently a registered nurse

Application Information

  • Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, transcript, and 1-2 pieces of sample writing (e.g. articles, grants).
  • Three letters of recommendation. Letters should be sent directly to from the recommender, not the applicant. Letters should address the applicants’ scholarly abilities, area for growth, and future potential in academia. Letters need to be received by the application deadline.
  • Applicant’s cover letter should include responses to the following questions. Each question has a maximum of 200 words.
  1. How do your research interests match with the concept of Engaging with Aging for healthy older adults living on their own?
  2. The EWA Post-doctoral Fellowship will be required to develop a research project around the concept of EWA. What ideas do you have for this project?
  3. What do you hope to get out of doing a post-doctoral fellowship and what are your 3 and 5 year professional goals?

We are no longer accepting applications. 

Any questions can be directed to

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Common Applicant Questions

Predoctoral Scholarship in Gerontological Nursing

The de Tornyay Center for Health Aging offers a scholarship for students pursuing a PhD in Nursing Science with an emphasis in gerontological nursing. Recipients will receive full tuition for autumn, winter and spring quarters with a small stipend or salary for up to two years.

Ph.D. applicants who are accepted for admission will be considered for the de Tornyay Center Predoctoral Scholarship in Gerontological Nursing and notified of this offer in their acceptance letter.

Ph.D. program applicants are encouraged to discuss their specific area of interest in gerontological nursing when they complete the online PhD application.

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