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How to Apply

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The first step in the application process is to determine whether you are eligible for the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program. The second step is to identify which of the three tracks apply to you. The third step is to apply to the appropriate track. The components of the standard NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) application are listed below. More detailed information about eligibility requirements and the application process is listed on the individual track pages. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • United States citizenship or permanent resident
  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • MCAT scores
  • AMCAS application
  • Currently enrolled in or applying to a United States medical school or Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) 
  • Research experience with a focused plan for PhD training at both the NIH and a partnering university

To determine your track, please answer the following question(s):

  1. Have you already started medical school?
    • If yes, you are a Track 2 applicant.
    • If no, please answer the next question.
  2. Are you planning to attend medical school BEFORE you begin PhD research?
    • If yes, you are a Track 1 applicant.
    • If no, you are a Track 3 applicant.

Application Process

  • Applications for the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program open every year in August and close in December. Although applications for fall 2022 admission have closed, applications for fall 2023 admission will open August 2022.
  • Prospective students must first submit the NIH GPP Application for admission consideration. If desired, interested candidates may delay submission of the UK University application until notification of program acceptance. Please note that students seeking consideration for external scholarships such as Rhodes or Gates-Cambridge must submit the UK application by the University deadline.
  • It is highly recommended that prospective students read the FAQs prior to submitting an application.
  • There is no application fee for the NIH GPP application. 
  • Students selected to interview will be notified by late-January.
  • Candidate interviews are held in February. Invited interviewees are expected to attend all three days.
  • Interviews may occur virtually or in-person at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. If candidate interviews are held in-person, the program will cover the individual's transportation and lodging costs during interviews.
  • Students admitted into the Program will be notified by the end of February.

Application Components


  • “Research Interests” may include:
    • Field(s) of research in which you are interested (e.g., neuroscience, imaging, immunology, biostatistics)
  • “Research Experience” may include:
    • Research project title and aims
    • Research internships
    • Independent undergraduate research
    • Major accomplishments and findings
    • Research techniques learned
  • “Publications & Presentations” may include:
    • Papers with complete author list and citation
    • Thesis, abstracts, poster and oral presentations at meetings, etc.
  • "Awards & Honors” may include:
    • Undergraduate awards and recognitions
    • Dean’s lists
    • Research fellowships
    • Community citations
  • “Extracurricular Activities” may include:
    • Leadership roles
    • Memberships in professional associations

Additional Information:

  • List any scholarships (Marshall, Rhodes, Gates-Cambridge, NIH Cambridge Trust, Churchill, Fulbright, Gilliam etc.) for which you are currently applying.
  • List potential mentors at the NIH and partnering universities in whose research interests you are interested. You can search for NIH faculty members on the individual NIH institute web sites, which can be found through the NIH Intramural Research Program site.

Letters of Recommendation:

  • Requests for letters of recommendation will be sent to individuals as soon as you enter their contact information and save your application. It is not necessary for the applicant to submit the final application in order for these requests to be sent.
  • Letters must be written and dated within the last 12 months.
  • Only letters uploaded to the online application site will be accepted.
  • Applications with less than three letters of recommendation are incomplete and will not be considered for admission.


Questions related to the NIH MD/PhD Program application may be directed to the program administrators at

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