Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

SABER Associate Scholar Program

The overall purpose of the Institutional Research and Career Development Award (IRACDA) program is to develop a diverse group of highly trained scientists to address the nation's biomedical research needs. The program promotes consortia between research-intensive institutions (RII) and partner institutions that have a historical mission and a demonstrated commitment to providing training, encouragement and assistance to students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical research enterprise of the nation. 

The IRACDA program combines a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience with an opportunity to develop academic skills, including teaching, through workshops and mentored teaching assignments at a partner institution. The program is expected to facilitate the progress of postdoctoral candidates toward research and teaching careers in academia. Other goals are to provide a resource to motivate the next generation of scientists at partner institutions and to promote linkages between RIIs and partner institutions that can lead to further collaborations in research and teaching (NIGMS website:

Our San Antonio Biomedical Education and Research (SABER) IRACDA program partners with two recognized Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs), Our Lady of the Lake University and St. Mary’s University, as well as Trinity University for our teaching mentor and teaching pedagogy activities.


  • Participate in programmatic training activities that have been demonstrated to successfully prepare postdoctoral fellows to be competitive for a wide variety of professional careers.
  • Earn a SABER Biomedical Teaching Certificate that will demonstrate proficiency in a number of important facets of career development including teaching pedagogy, research integrity, and hands on teaching experience.
  • Participate in professional application workshops targeted at a number of career paths.


  • Candidates for the Associate SABER•IRACDA Associate Scholar program must have a professional doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DDS, DVM, or equivalent). Associate SABER•IRACDA Scholars can be from a wide range of biomedical and/or behavioral sciences research fields. All applicants must have evidence of strong academic achievement and scholarship, as well as personal attributes such as high motivation and integrity.
  • Applicants can be US citizens, non-citizen nationals, permanent residents, or on temporary or student visas.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to completing all of the required activities and responsibilities as outlined. SABER Biomedical Teaching Certificate will be awarded upon completion of required activities and responsibilities AND appointment as an Associate Scholar for at least one (1) year.


  • Face Page
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae – must provide all of the information in the template
  • Applicant’s Cover Letter/Narrative
    • Summarize your career goals, career development plan, reasons for applying to the Associate Scholar program, and proposed research activities.
    • Describe your commitment to an independent research and teaching career in academia and how/why your participation in the Associate SABER•IRACDA Scholar program is important to your future career
  • Research Mentor’s Signature on the agreement form
    • Indicates research mentor’s willingness to allow Associate Scholar to participate in training and other programmatic activities
  • List of individuals who will provide a letter of reference. The full name, title, phone number, and email address of each individual should be included. See below for additional instructions regarding these letters.


  • Applicant materials. All application materials described above should be arranged in the order outlined above and electronically submitted in a single pdf file to

Letters of reference. At least three letters of reference should be provided in support of the applicant. One of these letters should be from the dissertation advisor or chief of service; if this is not feasible, please include a brief explanation on the page of the application that lists reference letter writers. Letters should be electronically submitted to from the email address of the individual providing the letter.

Supported, in part, by a PHS grant (K12 GM111726), San Antonio Biomedical Education and Research, from the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA).