MD/PhD Partnership Training Program

Background Header
MD PhD Program

Students interested in pursuing a career as a physician-scientist may pair the NIH OxCam PhD Program with a U.S. medical school or Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) via the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program. Students admitted to the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program conduct research in the NIH intramural research program as part of a coordinated plan of dual-degree training with the student's selected medical school. 

MD/PhD Training Pathways

Students may combine medical school training with the NIH OxCam PhD Program via one of three academic tracks. Please note the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program application process for fall 2024 admission has changed. Please visit the How To Apply webpage for more information.

  • Track 1 is for students who have completed the Bachelor’s or Master's degree(s) and are applying to medical schools and/or MSTPs. Upon acceptance, Track 1 Scholars begin their training by completing the first two (pre-clinical) years of medical education at the desired medical school/MSTP. Track 1 Scholars then join the NIH OxCam Program after MS2 to complete the PhD phase of training. Upon completion of the PhD degree requirements, the student returns to the home institution to complete the medical degree.
  • Track 2 is for students who are currently enrolled in medical school. Interested candidates typically apply at the start of the second year of medical school. Upon acceptance, Track 2 Scholars take a leave of absence from the home medical school to pursue doctoral training through the NIH OxCam Program. Upon completion of the PhD degree requirements, the student returns to the home institution to complete the clinical component of medical school.
  • Track 3 is for students who are currently enrolled in a NIH Graduate Partnership Program (GPP) for PhD training and are interested in pursuing a medical degree. Track 3 applications are offered through an internal NIH system to current NIH GPP students only. Candidates interested in the Track 3 pathway are required to first apply and enroll in a NIH GPP for PhD training, then apply for Track 3 at the start of the last year of the PhD program. Please note that Track 3 slots and funding are limited. As a result, calls for Track 3 applications are not guaranteed. Due to recent change in NIH policy, Track 3 applications will not be offered for fall 2024 admission. Although the hope is to re-open Track 3 in the future, we cannot guarantee this pathway will be available for the desired entry year. As such, students are strongly encouraged to consider the Track 1 and Track 2 pathways for dual-degree training.


MD-PhD Training Pathways



    How To Apply

    Please note the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program application process for fall 2024 admission has changed. A general overview of the new process is provided below.

    1. Apply to medical school and/or MD/PhD programs (via AMCAS)
      • Candidates who are applying to/enrolled in any U.S. clinical program or MD/PhD program are eligible to participate in the NIH Medical Scientist Partnership Program (MSPP)
    2. Apply for MSPP funding (via the FM1 fellowship application)
      • The funding application opens July 8, 2023 and closes August 8, 2023
      • Track 1 applicants should contact NIAID staff at least 90 days before the submission deadline by sending an email to NIHMSPPQuestions@niaid.nih.gov to receive specific instructions on how to apply.
      • Track 2 applicants should contact their school's business or grants administration staff at least 90 days before the submission deadline.
    3. Apply for the desired NIH MD/PhD program pathway (via the NIH GPP Portal)
      • The NIH GPP application portal will open in August and close December 1st
      • There is no application fee
      • MCAT scores are required for admission consideration

    Informational webinars about the program application process will start this May. Please check the Upcoming Events page for details such as the webinar dates/times.




    • Students enrolled in combined degree training benefit from the specialized curriculum offered to MD/PhD students at their medical school, which often includes coursework and seminars designed for combined degree trainees, as well as modified clinical rotation requirements.
    • Partnership students are tracked and receive career advice from a group of dedicated NIH-based MD/PhD advisors.
    • Students may take advantage of customized clinical activities at NIH and partner institutions while in the research phase of training, capitalizing on the resources of the NIH clinical center, the largest research hospital in the world, and first-rate clinical resources at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
    • Tuition and stipend benefits are offered to students who enroll at a participating medical school that receives MSTP funding on a competitive basis.
    • For students enrolled in medical schools not receiving MSTP funding, opportunities are provided to apply for individual fellowships for both the MD and PhD phases of training.
    • In most cases, doing the combined MD/PhD program at the NIH should not extend the time required to complete both degrees beyond the traditional MD/PhD program (7-8 years).


    For additional information, please visit the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program website.




    Back to Top