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Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.

Louis Pasteur

Advice and Instructions for 2015 Applicants

Welcome to the Admissions site for the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. Below are some helpful hints for filling out the application.


Open letter from the Admissions Director


Dear Prospective Applicant,

The NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program seeks students of the highest academic caliber who are seeking to obtain a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences. Successful applicants will spend half their time at the National Institutes of Health and the remainder at either Oxford or Cambridge in an intensive, research-driven, dual-mentored degree program. Students begin work to develop a dual-mentored thesis that meets their academic and research goals immediately upon acceptance. The scholar’s doctorate, usually completed in four years, is conferred by either Oxford or Cambridge, depending on where their research is done; hence applicants must meet requirements for acceptance into the graduate program of the relevant University. Our expectations for the successful Scholar applicant include:

  • While academic expectations, as measured by grades and test scores, are high--research experience, outside activities and letters of recommendation contribute to a holistic evaluation of the candidate.
  • Successful applications have generally had one or more substantial research experiences, as we have observed that success and satisfaction in a research environment are the strongest predictive factors for success in the Scholars Program. Most successful applicants worked in a laboratory during college, and those with two-three plus years of research experience are not unusual. 
  • Many applicants have co-authored manuscripts in scientific journals, although this is not a prerequisite. In addition, some have presented their work in the form or talks or posters at national meetings.
  • Outstanding letters of recommendation, particularly from research mentors, typifies the successful applicant and is weighed heavily in the evaluation process. Because of the dual-mentored nature of the program, mentors should comment on the student’s focus, organizational skills, and time management abilities as well as intellect, drive, creativity, general research abilities, and potential for a career in the biomedical sciences.
  • Successful applicants have often been honored by their universities for academic or research achievements or by outside agencies such as the Beckman or Amgen Foundations, MARCS program or a Goldwater Scholarship.
  • Applicants are asked to write a personal statement that details their motivation, experience, and long-term goals. The statement, which reflects the applicant’s focus and biomedical interests, factors heavily into the evaluation process. It should include a description of why the applicant feels they will thrive under the dual-mentored, accelerated process that characterizes the program.

While we do not require students to commit to any particular course of study prior to acceptance, we encourage applicants who are invited to NIH for an interview to contact potential mentors and discuss possible projects prior to the interview, as this is viewed as a strength in the application. Informal interactions that applicants have when visiting the NIH campus are also considered in the evaluation process.

We look forward to reviewing your application and encourage you to contact us via email or phone with any questions. We wish you all the best in your current and future research endeavors,


Elaine A. Ostrander, Ph.D.

Admissions Director

NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program



How to Apply for 2015 Consideration

Application Due Date, Fee, and Interview Dates

  • Application portal will open August 1, 2014.
  • Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PM EST on December 1, 2014.
  • To apply to the program see the link here:
  • There is no application fee for the GPP application. University partners may have an application fee, depending on how you apply.
  • 2015 interview dates for the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program are tentatively scheduled for February 18 and 19. You must attend both days.
  • The program will cover your transportation costs and lodging.


Applications Required for Admissions Consideration and University Choice

Only the NIH GPP application is required for admission consideration to the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. Create your account and then select "Apply Now". When prompted "Are you creating an Individual Partnership?" select No. When asked "Are you enrolled in an Institutional Partnership for PhD graduate students?" select No.

Select the "Apply for Institional Partnerships for PROSPECTIVE PhD Graduate Students".

Under Partnership Selection:

NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars applicants select: University of Oxford/ University of Cambridge (England) / NIH

(For students planning to start PhD training in Fall 2015)

MD/PhD applicants select: Consortia of Universities - Intramural MD/PhD Partnership

(For students planning to start MD/PhD programs in Fall 2015)

Application Components

CV/Resume sections:


  • “Research Interests” briefly list:
    • Field(s) of research you interested in (e.g. neuroscience, imaging, immunology, biostatistics)
  •  “Research Experience” include:
    • Research project’s goal and title
    • Research internships
    • Independent undergraduate research
    • Major accomplishments and findings
    • Research techniques learned
  • “Publications and Presentations” include:
    • Papers with authors and citation
    • Thesis, abstracts, meetings, etc.
  • “Awards & Honors” include:
    • Undergraduate awards and recognitions
    • Scholarships received
    • Dean’s list
    • Research fellowships
    • Community citations
  • “Extracurricular Activities” include:
    • Leadership roles
    • Memberships in professional associations

Under "Additional Information" include:

  • List potential mentors at NIH and Oxford and/or Cambridge whose research you are interested in. You can search for NIH faculty members through the NIH institute web sites at the NIH Intramural Research Program.
  • List any scholarships (Marshall, Rhodes, Gates-Cambridge, NIH Cambridge Trust, Churchill, Fulbright, etc.) that you are in the process of applying for or have already submitted an application to.

Letters of recommendation

  • Requests for letters of recommendation will be sent after the referees' contact information is entered and the application is saved.
  • Letters are due by December 8th.
  • Letters must be current (written within the last 12 months).
  • Only letters uploaded to the on-line application site will be accepted.


Optional: Cambridge Commonwealth and European and International Trust & NIH Scholarship

Students interested in attending the University of Cambridge should apply to the NIH Cambridge Trust Scholarship (NIH Cambridge Trust Scholarship) and indicate that you are applying to this in the “Additional Information” section of the application. To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must apply to the University of Cambridge and complete Section B of the University GRADSAF



Questions about application technical issues should be directed to Dr. Pat Wagner ( Questions related to the OxCam Program should be directed to the program's Director of Student Affairs, Dr. Matt Vogt or the Managing Director Katie Soucy.