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NIH OxCam Program, Track 3--Do MSTP schools dislike this?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by sat0ri, Oct 26, 2017.

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  1. sat0ri

    sat0ri Everything we see hides another 2+ Year Member

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    Based on the figure below, I'm curious if the track 3 NIH MD/PhD pathway might but you at a disadvantage when applying to dual MD-PhD programs? My reasoning is that, if you spent your PhD somewhere else, what incentive is there for the med school to pay for your tuition if you will not be producing any research (at PhD-level volume/quality)? Or... do schools not care because MTSP funding is not the "school's money" but rather a government endowment?

    How does one apply for MSTP funding if you already completed your PhD and essentially you're just looking for your MD tuition/living expenses to be paid for (because financial solvency is important if you're going into academic/research)?

    If it helps to know: I am a current master's student at Cambridge (US citizen) under a competitive international scholarship.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    well, if you're doing NIH GPP track 3, ur already doing the half-NIH, half-OxCam PhD between 2 PIs and MSTP Extramural funding is still just NIH funding. Two different buckets of money in the same pool. I'm at Cam as well and from what I've heard here positions in Track 3 are really limited and vary year to year. I think applying Track 1 for NIH OxCam is still the most sensible option unless you have a collab between your Cam PI and an NIH PI already lined up a year in advance. Even then, Track 3 is no guarantee of MSTP funding obviously, unlike Track 1.

    To the medical school, it doesnt really make a difference if you are track 1 or track 3, you are still doing the PhD elsewhere and being funded by the NIH extramural and intramural funds.

    I love it here, but overall NIH GPP seems a little too here-and-there for me. I might apply, but unless I had a really well-outlined project already underway in both labs, I wouldnt want to do this kind of PhD project. Too much to work out, too many communication barriers, too difficult to coordinate everything while trying to get experiments and techniques to work on a shortened timelimit (2-ish years at each place...). Seems like sacrificing productivity for the sake of not having to choose!
     
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  4. sat0ri

    sat0ri Everything we see hides another 2+ Year Member

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    So I think my misunderstanding is likely very simple. What exactly is MSTP funding? Is this what would fund my medical school tuition? It shows that I would apply for MSTP funding when applying for medical school, so why would a medical school allocate this to you when you already completed your PhD somewhere else? I'm assuming MD/PhD are entirely paid for, otherwise it wouldn't be financially feasible right? In track 3 you apply for MSTP at a different time than NIH funding I believe.

    I am only considering track 3 at this time because I'm hoping to secure continuous funding, so when my MPhil ends in October I'll still be at Cambridge. Right now all other options are off the table for personal/life-related reasons. Logistically for my project, it makes sense because I'm looking to do a certain part of the project at Cambridge and then I'd need to test this somewhere else (NIH). Sorry for vagueness.

    I'm totally lost so I'd really appreciate any help.
     
  5. Endoxifen

    Endoxifen

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    I'm pretty much in the same boat, so I've been doing a lot of research on the subject lately. MSTP is funding allocated to universities by the NIH to provide full rides for MD/PhD students. When you apply to medical school your third year, you will apply to the school's MD/PhD program, not their medical school. If they accept you, they will cover your MD just as your PhD was covered before it. My understanding is that medical schools offer this funding to NIH scholars because the NIH is the source of their funding. They don't have to accept you, but they do have to be able to offer funding, if they have room for you. When I spoke to the OxCam representative, she wasn't able to give me an example of a student who didn't receive funding on track 3, but it's entirely possible. Track 3 is really only viable in your situation and even then, it's still a bit more dangerous.
     
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  6. sat0ri

    sat0ri Everything we see hides another 2+ Year Member

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    Is there any advantage to the NIH OxCam program then vs just doing a PhD then MD? So as @Lucca said, the NIH OxCam is a bit scattered, having to split up your work between to professors, two labs, two very different locations. I can extend my current MPhil funding at Cambridge to a PhD, so I'm wondering if I should just do that and apply MD-only.
     
  7. Endoxifen

    Endoxifen

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    The advantage would be the decreased length of the PhD, the experience and connections you will make at both universities, and likelihood that your MD will be fully covered. The last reason is most important for me because I'd really rather not pay $300,000 for an MD, when it could be free with an added stipend.
     
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  8. Maebea

    Maebea Member 10+ Year Member

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    A point of clarification: the NIH does not provide full funding for MSTP students. Whether the funding source is the T32 MSTP grant, an F30 fellowship, or a T32 supplement for a GPP student, the NIH provides $22,900 for stipend and $21,000 towards tuition. Since the stipend and tuition is significantly higher at most programs, the institution must supplement the NIH money with other non-federal funds. As you surmise, there is little incentive for a program to take a GPP student for the MD years, and some programs refuse to accept GPP students while others may not provide the supplemental funds to bring the student up to the funding level of their MSTP students. You need to contact the GPP director to determine which MSTP-funded schools will provide full funding to GPP students.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 7:19 AM
  9. Rumplestiltskin

    Rumplestiltskin Imp Extraordinaire Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    As @Maebea stated, it’s on the program to agree to pull your funding up to the level of other students. I’m currently wrapping up the track 3 PhD->MD training and have had several PhD colleagues talk to me about this path and several had issues with the application process at an admin level (which program processes the application, Md or Md/PhD). Definitely ways to make the process smoother, so feel free to DM and we can chat.
     

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