A complete application to the FIRST program consists of:

  • A completed FIRST Application Form - On the Application form you must identify a research mentor that you have discussed possible research opportunities with either by phone or in person before you submit your application form to the program office for review and processing. Failure to identify a potential research mentor may result in your application not being reviewed. Please click here to view the list of current and past research mentors for this program. If you identify a research mentor not on this list, he/she will have to submit a mentor application and be approved by the program director before you can be accepted into the program.
  • A copy of your curriculum vita
  • A completed copy of the FIRST Personal Data Form
  • A letter from you addressed to the program director, Dr. Lou Ann Brown, that includes: why you are interested in FIRST; your research experience; your interest in teaching; your career plans after fellowship training
  • Two letters of reference (under most circumstances one letter should be from your thesis advisor). Letters can be sent in pdf format via email to
  • A letter from your proposed research mentor endorsing your application to the FIRST program.
  • An NIH style Biosketch for your proposed mentor.
    • We are currently accepting applications for the 2019-2020 academic year.  The deadline to receive all application materials (including letters of reference) for the next recruitment cycle is February 1, 2019. If accepted, the start date for all fellowship recipients is September 1, 2019. Any additional questions regarding the application process should be sent to

      NOTE: We are in the process of making this a paperless application. All forms should be completed and submitted online. All other documentation should be emailed to angela.shennette@emory.eduIf you or your references prefer sending in a hard copy, please use the following address: 1510 Clifton RD., O. Wayne Rollins Center, Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322 

Interview Phase:

Based on the initial review of your application, candidates are selected for an in person interview with various members of the FIRST Program's Executive Committee. These members include:

  • Program Director, Dr. Lou Ann Brown, Department of Pediatrics, 2015 Uppergate Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30322 (404)727-5739, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Co-Director for Teaching, Dr. Arri Eisen, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Co-Director, Dr. Anita Corbett, Department of Biology, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Executive Committee Members (3-4) from either Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College and/or Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Select Group of FIRST Fellows

Additionally, if you have not met with your proposed research mentor, interviews times will be set for applicants to meet with the mentor, his lab and other appropriate faculty.

Interviews are 1-2 days and are generally scheduled between February and March  each year. Successful candidates will be notified in early February if they have been selected for an interview.