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T32: Medical Student Research Training Supplement


The Medical Student Research Training (MSRT) program provides mentored support for medical students interested in taking a year off from their medical school studies to work in an academic research lab. This support is via a supplement to a training grant (T32) in the appropriate area of research. A list of currently funded T32 program locations with the Principal Investigator contact information is available. Providing the opportunity for students to interrupt their medical school studies for up to 12 months to pursue a research project should help them solidify their decisions to pursue a research career, focus their research interests, and provide a background for future training and career development programs once they have completed their medical training.


Funds will be awarded as a supplement to the appropriate NIDDK-T32 grant at the institution.

NIDDK will provide, prorated for the actual period of support

  • a stipend at the current published predoctoral stipend level
  • $4,200 for research support

Guidelines for the T32 Principal Investigator and candidate medical student

For an application to be considered, a medical student must:

  • have established a relationship with a faculty sponsor at a funded NIDDK T32 where the program goals align with the candidate’s proposed research at least 2-4 months prior to application submission date
  • be a medical student in good standing
  • have completed at least one year of medical school education
  • have full time commitment of a minimum of 9 months, up to a maximum of 12 months, to participate in the program
  • have the permission of the Dean of their medical school to participate in this program at their own or another institution
  • be a U.S. citizens or permanent residents

NOTE: Students who have previously earned a Ph.D. degree are not eligible nor are students enrolled in a combined M.D.-Ph.D. program (see PA-18-668  and PA-18-673  for information on funding for M.D.-Ph.D. students).


The NIDDK is in the process of updating the application process to enable electronic submission of administrative supplements.  This page will be updated once additional details are available (e.g. Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) information), although if you have questions in the interim, please contact your NIDDK Program Official. 

Applications are submitted by the principal investigator of the training grant. To apply, you must contact the PI of a currently funded T32 program to inquire about their willingness to submit an application on your behalf.

Required Documents

An application consisting of the following must be submitted to the NIDDK for each student for whom support is being requested:

  1. Completed face page of a 398 application
    1. include the proposed start date (e.g., July or September), the grant number of the T32 involved, and the official signature of the institutional business
    2. type the student's name (Last Name, First Name) at the top of the page. 
  2. Copy of the most recent transcript from medical school
  3. Statement from the medical student
    1. describe research interests, career goals, and expectations for the research year 
  4. Statement from the proposed mentor
    1. indicate plans for working with the student
  5. Outline of the proposed research project for the student
    1. max. of 4 pages
    2. include any other activities (i.e. participation in journal clubs, lab meetings, scientific workshops, specialized technical training, etc.) 
    3. This should be prepared jointly by the student and the mentor
  6. Letter from the Dean of the School of Medicine
    1. indicate approval for the student to take time off from his/her studies to pursue this research year and stipulate that the student is expected to resume a normal medical school curriculum once the research year has ended
  7. Three letters of recommendation from current faculty at the school of medicine
    1. attest to the student’s interest in a research career, academic accomplishments, and suitability for this research experience. 
    2. one of these letters may be from someone with whom the student has already performed a research project at the undergraduate or post-baccalaureate level, at a different location. 
  8. The budget page from the PHS 2590. 
  9. A brief (1-page) summary of the administration of this MSRT Program at your institution, include:
    1. An indication of the means used to publicize the availability of these training positions, including the faculty and staff involved
    2. The number of students inquiring about the program, as well as the number of students applying
    3. The method used to match students with mentors
    4. Plans for including the students in existing training in the responsible conduct of science courses/seminars
    5. The number of medical students at your institution who will be taking a year off from their studies, supported by other means, to pursue a research project

If the student is not from your institution, describe how the student found the program, and your decision process in accepting them as a trainee.

If the proposed mentor is NOT already listed as a member of the training faculty on an NIDDK-supported T32, then a request to appoint the mentor to the training grant must be submitted to the NIDDK program director for the relevant T32, prior to submission of the student’s application.  Approval must be obtained prior to submitting the application.

If a DK-funded Center is available and its cores will be utilized by the student, include a statement from the Center director with whom the student and mentor will most closely be aligned, confirming that the facilities, resources, and enrichment activities of the Center will be available to the student and mentor.


New Applications

  • January 15
  • April 16

Staff Contact

Christine Densmore, M.S.

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