Students of the MSTP may pursue a PhD through any of the graduate programs offered at UCI. Any combination of the medical and graduate curricula are permitted so long as the medical degree is not completed before graduate studies are completed.Traditionally, MSTP students complete the first two years of medical school, matriculate into and complete a graduate program, and then complete the remaining two years of medical school. With this schedule, students complete laboratory rotations in the summers after the first and second years of medical school.
In the first year of graduate study, students complete coursework, select a laboratory, begin thesis research, and pass qualifying exams.
The requirements for advancement and graduation vary among graduate programs.
In addition to the courses required by the graduate program, all MSTP students are required to complete a course in "Responsible Conduct for Research" during their graduate studies. MSTP students are not required to teach as part of their graduate training. However, many MSTP students participate in medical student tutoring during their graduate studies.
Students in the UCI Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) are provided financial support that includes all tuition and fees for the duration of the program, as well as a monthly stipend that is the standard level of support for graduate students in the life sciences at UCI.
Alternative support is available during the graduate study years from each of the graduate departments. All students in the program receive additional funding to help pay the costs of attending one scientific meeting each year, as well as support for travel during the final year of the program while interviewing for residency programs.
In addition to MSTP support, many students in the program have applied for and received individual fellowships from a variety of prestigious organizations. Grants received in recent years have included:
AHA Medical Student Fellowship
AHA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship
ACA summer fellowship (project in Mexico)
Dean's Office Summer Research Fellowship Regents Fellowship
UCI Committee of 1000 Graduate Students Fellowship
UCI Developmental Biology Center (NIH) Predoctoral Training Grant
Some sources of information about individual fellowship opportunities are:
NIH - National Research Service Award for Predoctoral Individual M.D./Ph.D. Fellows
NINDS - National Institutes of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NIH) awards for M.D./Ph.D. students in neuroscience
A listing of external fellowships and funding sources has been compiled by Karen M. and can be accessed here.