The need for investigators who are well trained in both basic
science and clinical research has long been recognized within the
biomedical science community. To help meet this need, in 1964 NIGMS
established the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This
program encourages and supports the training of students with
outstanding credentials and potential who are motivated to
undertake careers in biomedical research and academic medicine.
MSTP students participate in an integrated program of graduate
training in the biomedical sciences and clinical training offered
through medical schools. Graduates receive the combined M.D.-Ph.D.
degree, and the majority of them pursue careers in basic biomedical
or clinical research.
The MSTP currently has 43 participating programs with a total of
932 trainees. (There are approximately 75 medical schools that do
not have NIGMS MSTP training grants but that also offer
opportunities for M.D.-Ph.D. studies.)
MSTP participants may choose from a wide range of research
training programs in the biological, chemical or physical sciences.
Other disciplines in which MSTP participants can pursue graduate
study include the computer sciences, social and behavioral
sciences, economics, epidemiology, public health, bioengineering,
biostatistics and bioethics.
Mechanism of Support
MSTP grants are made to universities and their medical schools,
which are responsible for program operation and trainee selection.
About 170 positions for new students are available nationwide each
year. Awardee institutions also support additional students using
funds from other sources. Selection for admission is highly
competitive. For those selected, the program provides a maximum of
6 years of support, although an individual's course of study for
the combined degree may take somewhat longer. All institutions
identify other sources of support for a trainee’s additional
years of study. Trainee support provided by an MSTP grant includes
- tuition allowance; and
- modest sums for travel, equipment and supplies.
Many institutions supplement the basic stipend provided by the
Continued support for an individual student is subject to annual
renewal based on the trainee’s satisfactory performance in
the program and the institution’s successful competition for
funds at the time of grant renewal every 3 to 5 years. Since MSTP
grants are a type of National Research Service Award, trainees must
be citizens or noncitizen nationals of the United States or have
been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess an
alien registration receipt card I-151 or I-551). Trainees incur no
Individuals who wish to enter the MSTP should contact the
program office at the participating
institution(s) of their choice directly for curriculum
information and admission requirements. Interested institutions
should contact the NIGMS program director for information
concerning the program.
For More Information
For further information about the NIGMS Medical Scientist
Training Program, contact:
Peter Preusch, Ph.D.
Medical Scientist Training
National Institute of General Medical
45 Center Drive MSC