NIH Oxford Cambridge Scholars Program


Please consult the program website to confirm details, including applicable deadlines.

Program Purpose: 
The National Institutes of Health-Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program is an accelerated, individualized doctoral training program for outstanding science students committed to biomedical research. The Program strives for high impact research outcomes, whether basic or clinical. For the Ph.D. track, basic research is aimed at fundamental biological questions that will influence thinking in established disciplines, and drive research across disciplines to create new areas of research. For the M.D./Ph.D. track, the same aims are pursued in clinical research.
Program Description: 
Description of the Doctoral Program: The Program's distinguishing characteristics include dual-mentoring by NIH and UK investigators on a collaborative project. Scholars undertake a collaborative project in any area of biomedical investigation involving two mentors – one at the NIH intramural campus in Maryland and one at either Oxford or Cambridge University, and complete the Ph.D. in about 4 years – half the time of most American biomedical doctoral students. The projects culminate in the award of a D.Phil or Ph.D. in science from either Oxford or Cambridge. Description of the M.D./Ph.D. Partnership Training Program: The NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program can accommodate students seeking combined M.D./Ph.D. training as the pathway to a career as a physician-scientist. Students admitted to NIH M.D./Ph.D. Partnership Training Program conduct research in the NIH intramural research program as part of a coordinated plan of dual-degree training with a U.S. medical school in preparation for a career as a physician-investigator in basic or translational science. Applicants to the combined M.D./Ph.D. Program should apply to US medical schools with an NIH Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and the NIH-Oxford- Cambridge program simultaneously. If accepted to both, they may be eligible for combined degree funding. This will provide an international collaborative dimension to the Ph.D. portion of a combined program and allows the student to progress more rapidly to completion of both degrees. Students pursuing the combined degree program enjoy access to the NIH Clinical Research Center and similar clinical schools at Oxford and Cambridge.
Program Benefits: 
Students receive tuition, fees, and a living stipend to carry out their medical studies at a US medical school, and their Ph.D. work in the NIH Oxford-Cambridge program. Health insurance, travel allowance, and other educational expenses are also provided.
Application Process: 
Doctoral Program Application Process: Only the GPP application is required for admission consideration to the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. Matriculants submit their University applications to Oxford and/or Cambridge in early spring when they are admitted to the NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Program, although they are free to submit sooner in order to reserve spaces at the colleges of their choice. Students may submit applications to both universities if they are unclear at the time of admission which one they plan to attend. MD/PhD Partnership Training Program Application Process. Track 1: Simultaneous admission to medical school and the Scholars Ph.D. Program. Undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students can apply for MSTP programs at medical schools and the GPP (Graduate Partnership Programs) during the same admission cycle. Students must apply to medical schools for combined-degree training to be considered for the partnership pathway. If admitted to both programs, the student enters the partnering NIH Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) medical school with the permission of the GPP and MSTP program directors. For a list of NIH MSTP partnership programs, see: For students in Track 1, the process of mentor selection and laboratory rotations is accelerated so that the student is ready to begin Ph.D. thesis work in the fall of the third year of study after completion of the first two years of medical school – as much as one year ahead of other M.D./Ph.D. training programs. Track 2: Admission to Ph.D. training from medical school. Medical students can apply to an NIH GPP program and begin graduate training generally after completing the pre-clinical medical school curriculum. Students in 'year-out' programs such as the NIH-HHMI Research Scholars Program or the Clinical Research Training Program can also apply for Ph.D. training in this track. Upon acceptance to the GPP, students can then apply for MSTP status to the MSTP program of their medical school. Track 3: Admission to medical school and a MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program) during Ph.D. training. Students wishing to pursue this pathway should apply to medical schools for combined degree training (not medical school only) so their applications are considered by the MSTP admissions committee at the medical school. Applying to this pathway during the first or second year of Ph.D. training is preferred so the training can be as integrated as possible. Because the 'Ph.D. First' pathway is non-traditional, admissions standards may be higher than in tracks 1 and 2.
For the Doctoral Program: Applicants with undergraduate degrees applying to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at one or more of the GPP Institutional Partnership universities. For the M.D./Ph.D. Program. Track 1: Undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students applying to MSTP programs at medical schools and the GPP during the same admission cycle. Track 2: Medical students, generally those who have completed the pre-clinical medical school curriculum, or students in 'year-out' programs. Track 3: Ph.D. students, generally those in the first or second year of graduate school.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Program Deadline: 
Deadlines vary, but are generally December through February. Consult the foundation website for more information.
How To Apply: 
Students or alumni, as applicable, may apply directly to this program. Applicants are encouraged, however, to work with SF State's fellowship advisor well in advance of the program deadline to perfect their application essays and other materials.