NIDCD T32 Program

Boston University hosts an NIDCD T32 program for eligible U.S. citizens or green card holders, which provides multidisciplinary pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training to prepare a cadre of academic researchers who are highly literate in the methods, objectives, and theoretical structure of health research in communication sciences and disorders (CSD).

The training program will provide trainees with:

  • Deep knowledge base for research in their chosen research area
  • Working knowledge in the breadth of basic, translational, clinical, and implementation research
  • Broad understanding of the interdisciplinary efforts in CSD
  • Intrinsic comprehension of the values, activities, and culture in health research
  • Understanding and a skill set, appropriate to the trainee’s career-stage, in the full range of professional roles of an academic researcher in CSD (e.g., manuscript preparation, lab management, grant writing, compliance with governmental regulations)

How to Participate

Pre-doctoral Applicants

Interested pre-doctoral applicants should apply to BU’s PhD programs in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Psychological and Brain Sciences, or Graduate Program for Neuroscience, identify a suitable mentor, and let the mentor know of your interest in the program.

Postdoctoral Applicants

Interested postdoctoral applicants should apply directly by sending application materials to program director Cara Stepp ( Applications will be considered on April 15 and November 15 annually. Postdoctoral Trainees will be guided by both their Primary Training Mentor and a required Secondary Training Mentor. Current mentors include:  David Boas, Naomi Caselli, Kimberly Crespo, Jordan Green, Frank Guenther, Xue Han, Robert Hillman, Jana Iverson, Gerald Kidd, Swathi Kiran, Amy Lieberman, Tyler Perrachione, Kamal Sen, Cara Stepp, Helen Tager-Flusberg, Jennifer Zuk.

Application materials should include:

  1. Cover letter (addressed to Professor Cara Stepp)
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Personal Statement that addresses: research interests, appropriate research mentors, and long-term academic and career goals
  4. Publications/Papers (up to 3; can include ‘submitted’ or ‘in press’ as necessary)
  5. References (2-3): Please ask individuals submitting references to send their letters in pdf format directly to Professor Cara Stepp at

Training Plan

Key elements of the training plan include:

  • Affiliation with a Preceptor and a lab group throughout the training period (either on Lab Rotation or as required for admission and continued good standing)
  • Attendance at the CSD Research Seminar
  • Active participation and poster presentation in the Annual CSD Research Day
  • One 40-minute presentation annually to the CSD Research Seminar
  • An F31 , F32, or K99 application (or comparable) as appropriate
  • Enrollment in one course in each of three areas of health research (i.e., one course each in (1) preclinical/basic research, (2) clinical research, or (3) research that is translational or implementations) for predoctoral trainees
  • Teaching experience (required for trainees who lack teaching experience and intend to pursue academic research positions)
  • Training in Responsible Conduct of Research


Contact Professor Cara Stepp, PhD at