NIH Medical Research Scholars Program

Program Helps Medical, Dental, Veterinary Students Enter the Pathway to Biomedical Research Careers

2022-2023 MRSP Application Period: October 1, 2021 - January 7, 2022

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP) is a comprehensive, year long research enrichment program designed to attract the most creative, research-oriented medical, dental, and veterinary students to the intramural campus of the NIH in Bethesda, MD.

Student scholars engage in a mentored basic, clinical, or translational research project on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, or nearby NIH facilities that matches their research interests and career goals.

NIMHD is proud to participate with other NIH Institutes and Centers in the MRSP. Our goal is to introduce the MRSP to medical, dental, and veterinary students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and encourage them to consider biomedical research as a career.

MRSP Eligibility Requirements for the NIH

In order to be eligible to apply for a Medical Research Scholars Program at the NIH, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. This program is intended for medical, dental, osteopathic, and veterinary students attending accredited institutions location in the U.S., U.S. Commonwealth territories, or Canada. Candidates must currently be enrolled in a medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, a dental school that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, an osteopathic school that is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, or a veterinary medical college that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education.
  2. Candidates currently enrolled in PhD or MD/PhD programs are not eligible to apply.
  3. The Medical Research Scholars Program is designed for students who have completed their clinical rotations, i.e., third-year, but does not exclude students with strong research interests from applying prior to having completed their clinical rotations.
  4. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  5. Fourth-year students qualify to apply and participate in the Medical Research Scholars Program. However, they must not participate in the National Residency Match Program and must defer graduation.

For more information, visit Medical Research Scholars Program

NIMHD Featured Scholar Bio

Jamie Ko

Jamie Ko (2021-2022 MRSP Scholar) is a fourth-year medical student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is completing a yearlong research fellowship through the NIH’s Medical Research Scholars Program under the mentorship of Dr. Anna M. Nápoles, Scientific Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and Dr. Paula Strassle, staff scientist in NIMHD's Division of Intramural Research.

As a first-generation college graduate and child of immigrants from China, she became intimately aware of how social factors affected the health of under-resourced communities. Throughout Ms. Ko’s academic studies, she developed a passion for exploring and addressing health inequities.

As an undergraduate student at Yale, she integrated her interests in health sciences with public health, resulting in a double major in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, as well as sociology with a health concentration. To further her understanding of health inequities, she completed a master's degree in public health in chronic disease epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.

During medical school, she continued to pursue her interest in health disparities, merging her epidemiology skill set with health policy and patient advocacy. She served as a co-president and delegate of the UCLA American Medical Association and California Medical Association chapters, a committee member on the American Medical Association’s Council on Global Public Health, and Research Director of the Los Angeles Human Rights Initiative.

Ms. Ko plans to apply to a general surgery residency and pursue a career in academic surgery devoted to providing equitable surgical care for patients. Currently, her research focuses on surgical and COVID-19 health disparities. During her free time, she enjoys playing the violin, singing in choirs, running, and reading.

Previous NIMHD Scholars


Page updated December 10, 2021