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About MD/PhD

Program Overview

Intramural investigators established and continue to develop the MD/PhD Partnership Training Program at the NIH to train and motivate the next generation of physician-scientists.  Since the NIH does not grant MD or PhD degrees, this program is affiliated with partnering medical schools in the United States during the student’s MD phase of training, and with partnering universities in the United States and other countries during the student’s PhD phase of training.  NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTPs) may receive additional NIH funds to support students during their medical school years. 

For the PhD phase of training, students apply through one of three tracks:

Track 1: For College Graduates

Undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students apply to Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTPs) at partnering medical schools and the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program during the same admission cycle.

Track 1 Diagram

Track 2: For Current Medical Students

Medical students apply to selected programs through the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) at the beginning of MS2.  Students in “year-out” research programs, such as the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, can also apply for PhD training via this track.  Toward the end of the PhD phase of training, students may apply for NIH funding of their MS3 and MS4 years, provided they are accepted to their medical school’s MSTP.

Track 2 Diagram


Track 3: For Current NIH GPP PhD Students

Current NIH GPP PhD students who are pursuing a physician-scientist career may apply for limited MSTP funding toward the end of the PhD phase of training. During this time, students should also apply for admission to MSTPs at partnering medical schools.

Track 3 Diagram

How to Apply

Track 1 applicants apply to the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program through the GPP application portal.  Track 2 and 3 applicants apply to this Program just BEFORE their final year of PhD training.  Interested students should apply to their desired PhD program through the GPP application portal.  Instructions on how to apply for the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program’s MSTP funding is sent to eligible GPP PhD students each spring.  For more detailed information, visit the “How to Apply” page.