JHU/NCI National Cancer Institute Molecular Target and Drug Discovery Fellowship

achamess

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2007
314
31
www.drwillbe.blogspot.com
Status
MD/PhD Student
This is program is very attractive, and seems to me like a very good way to spend the 1-2 years I intend to take off before applying to MSTP programs - that is, if I could even get admitted (they take only 5 students/year). Has anyone done this JHU/NCI program or know anyone who has? The masters of biotechnology courses look pretty solid. I don't know how readily one is able to gain credit for courses taken at other schools in graduate school. Is it common practice for another graduate school to accept the coursework completed at another institution? If so, that would be helpful during the PhD years of MSTP.

http://advanced.jhu.edu/academic/biotechnology/fellowship/
 

JHopRevisit

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2008
302
0
Status
Hmm. an interesting program, but even as a Hopkins MD/PhD I have to admit I've never heard of it. So I can't really help you with your credit transfer question. We have a few people with masters in our program and they don't seem to be getting much official credit for their work, although obviously the skills and knowledge they've developed are helping them considerably and that might translate to a shorter graduation time. But since an MD/PhD is already shortened time in your thesis lab I don't think you'll save any time overall, a PI won't let you complete a thesis in a year. Even if you get a few course credits counted, it really won't be that beneficial to you.

If you're interested in working at the NIH, why don't you just apply to NIH combined degree programs where you study at a medical institution and then at the NIH for graduate school. Hopkins would be a great place to do it, given our ties to the NIH and how close we are, but I'm sure you'd be able to put together a great program at any number of schools. I guess I don't see the advantage of pursuing the masters and then attempting to apply into graduate school, unless you're not ready to commit to an MD/PhD.
 

Neuronix

Total nerd
Staff member
Administrator
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2002
13,001
2,215
the beach
Status
Attending Physician
I don't know how readily one is able to gain credit for courses taken at other schools in graduate school. Is it common practice for another graduate school to accept the coursework completed at another institution?
No. I wouldn't count on this at all. It may happen sometimes but it is pretty variable.

Even if you get a few course credits counted, it really won't be that beneficial to you.
Agreed with that whole paragraph.

If you're interested in working at the NIH, why don't you just apply to NIH combined degree programs where you study at a medical institution and then at the NIH for graduate school.
This is the part where I want to give some more information. You can find info on the GPP at: http://gpp.nih.gov/Prospective/InstitutionalPartnerships/MSTPatNIH/

Just keep in mind this list:
http://gpp.nih.gov/Prospective/InstitutionalPartnerships/MSTPatNIH/MSTPParticipants.htm

Note the list of schools that "Will consider" full funding. It's small, and that's "will consider" meaning, eh, we'll think about it. I don't know how it is at Hopkins, but at Penn it's extremely rare that a student will be allowed to do a PhD at the NIH and only recently within Immunology. Even then I think they'll probably try to talk you into staying here.

So if you really do want to do a PhD at the NIH you can, just keep this info in mind.
 
OP
A

achamess

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2007
314
31
www.drwillbe.blogspot.com
Status
MD/PhD Student
Thanks JHop and Neuronix.

It's not so much that I'm beholden to the idea of working at the NIH as I am to the idea of doing something highly productive and beneficial during the time off I take. This program looks as if it would be very useful with respect to expanding my knowledge, skill set, social network and resume before applying to MSTPs. I am also going to apply for the IRTA at the NIH, but I was just wondering in particular about this program joint with the NCI and JHU.
I am a bit dismayed by the fact that most PhD programs wouldn't accept the coursework I would do at JHU, but would it be reasonable to assume that my PhD years could be more productive, especially early on, if I enter already having done much of the core courses and having gained 2 years bench experience at the NCI? This, perhaps, could reduce the time required to obtain a PhD, but I know I shouldn't count on that.

Decisions, decisions..

On another note, if anyone has any further suggestions about some other possible programs or opportunities for post-baccalaureate research, I'd like very much to know about them. So far, the NIH IRTA and this program look to me as the ones most adapted to people specifically in my position and with my aims, but I don't doubt that other institutions have set up similar programs. I've just heard so many good things about the NIH post-bacs, so that's why I give the impression that I'm committed to do work there I suppose.
 

DeadCactus

SDN Lifetime Donor
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2006
2,589
675
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for posting. Looks like an awesome opportunity for people like me who probably need a little more research experience to get into an MD/PhD program. Anyone happen to have any info on competitive admissions stats?
 

RxnMan

Who, me? A doctor?
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2006
4,112
15
Somewhere in time and relative dimensions in space
Status
Medical Student
...I am also going to apply for the IRTA at the NIH, but I was just wondering in particular about this program joint with the NCI and JHU...On another note, if anyone has any further suggestions about some other possible programs or opportunities for post-baccalaureate research, I'd like very much to know about them...
One caveat about the JHU program. I was looking throught their FAQ (located here) and found this:

4. How do I get a fellowship?
Admission into the Fellowship program is a competitive admission process where up to five students per year will be admitted to the JHU/NCI Fellowship program. Candidate must be a recent (within the past 3 years) graduate of an accredited university or college, be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, and be accepted into the JHU M.S. Biotechnology program as a degree student before being considered for the fellowship.
So you must be in their MS biotech program before getting into the fellowship. It sounds like something you would apply to while you're in your first year of the biotech program. Or, you might get in off the bat if you've got a massive pedigree.

For other programs, check out the NCI's CRTA program. They offer 1-2 year fellowships for BS holders and they're supposedly pretty good.
 
Apr 2, 2015
1
0
Hello everyone,

I actually did this program. I applied a year after getting my bachelors, and I applied directly to the program, at that time it was a joint application. And I was accepted and awarded the fellowship. I had a brief phone interview and that was it.

I also got to opt out of half of the core courses due to upper level courses taken during my senior year of my BS.

If you start out at Hopkins doing this program, and get your MS, and then decide to STAY at Hopkins for a PhD, any core courses you take during this program that are also required for PhD training can be waived (meaning you get credit for those courses, and you more than likely have to substitute them for electives). If you decide to go to a different grad school for the PhD, then at best, you might get elective credits for your MS coursework. (Unless you can make an argument that a course like Advance Cell Biology at JHU is equivalent to a Graduate Cell biology class required for PhD training at another university). If you have your list of grad schools, it doesn't hurt to ask. [additionally, if you end up wanting to pursue a PhD at Hopkins, and you like the project/PI/Lab that you do your MS in, it might be possible to set up a GPP with NIH & Hopkins so you can continue your research as part of your PhD thesis work, and it might be easier given the previously established relationship with JHU and that particular PI... Just a thought.]

In the eyes of the NIH, students in this program are CRTAs (Clinical research training awardees) and are eligible for all NIH Post-Bac programs and activities.

I have a friend who is in this program now and she's planning to go on to Med School and is using this time in the program to prepare her applications, while gaining research experience, networking, and essentially a free masters degree from Hopkins.

For the past 3 years, they've accepted 3 applicants/cycle, not 5. So it is pretty competitive. They get a few hundred applications/cycle, and that number is increasing as more word gets out about this funded masters program in biotech.

There's also a sister program that JHU offers in partnership with USAMRID, focusing on Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. I actually applied to both (to increase my chances) but the NCI program got back to me first.
 

bd4727

10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
361
26
USA
Status
Attending Physician
Just keep in mind this list:
http://gpp.nih.gov/Prospective/InstitutionalPartnerships/MSTPatNIH/MSTPParticipants.htm

Note the list of schools that "Will consider" full funding. It's small, and that's "will consider" meaning, eh, we'll think about it. I don't know how it is at Hopkins, but at Penn it's extremely rare that a student will be allowed to do a PhD at the NIH and only recently within Immunology. Even then I think they'll probably try to talk you into staying here.

So if you really do want to do a PhD at the NIH you can, just keep this info in mind.
Not super relevant to the OP but just FYI for others, Hopkins is one of the main programs that does consistently partner with NIH-OxCam for MSTPs. Also NIH-Hopkins have their own PhD pathway too separate for PhDs only, and for MD/PhDs. It's all super complicated and I think I made a long post about it a while back, but basically Hopkins is one of the main schools that is very pro partnership programs with NIH...
 

bd4727

10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
361
26
USA
Status
Attending Physician
To OP: would you have to pay or is this a funded program? If you have to pay do not do it.