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Rhodes/Marshall Scholarships

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by solitude, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    Not that I have a snowball's chance in hell of winning one of these, but I will definitely be applying. Aside from it being the chance of a lifetime, I am curious how it would work with regards to MSTP training. Anybody won one/thought about one/applied for one/know an MD/PhD who did one?

    My preliminary thoughts...
    -Doctorates in Britain are only 3 years to my understanding, and all years are funded under the Rhodes and Marshall. If I did a doctorate there, could I come back and do both the MD and PhD with an MSTP? Should I do both the MD and PhD upon receiving a British doctorate? Would I get funded under MSTP grants if I were already a Phil.D? Should I just do a Masters in Britain?

    -Would the time spent doing a Masters/Doctorate in Britain save me a lot of time in my education back in the states? I would imagine that with a few years of full-time graduate research experience under my belt, the PhD phase would go faster, and postdocs would be less necessary or quicker? With two doctorates and an M.D., could I jump straight to an academic position after graduating?

    -Would the training be equivalent? I know that there are some awesome labs at Oxford and Cambridge, but would they be as good as those at Harvard, Hopkins, et al.? Would they be as well-respected when applying for postdocs/residencies in the U.S.?

    Anyways, this is a hypothetical situation, obviously, but I'm curious to see what people think, and to hear about others' experiences. In the end, if I were lucky enough to have the opportunity, I think would do it for sure, but it's wise to contemplate the ramifications before applying.
     
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  3. haricot

    haricot Junior Member
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    funny you ask...i just got this from my school's premed office:

    "In addition, the NIH will now fully fund students who wish to pursue a
    MD/PhD degree as part of the NIH-University of Oxford and
    NIH-University of Cambridge Scholars Program. Students can now attend
    one of the 40 medical schools affiliated with the NIH's Medical
    Scientist Research Training Program."

    this is not through marshall/churchill, but through the nih graduate partnerships program, where you spend two years at nih and two years at oxford or cambridge, and work on a collaborative project between two labs. sounds very cool. they just made it possible to do this under MSTP funding, and haven't put the details up on the website yet, but i'm sure you could contact them and ask.

    http://gpp.nih.gov/
     
  4. Habari

    Habari Senior Member
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    There isn't much point in doing a D.Phil and then pursuing a PhD in the states. Most people do their doctorate/masters, and then apply to med school, usually with great success. There are other possible fellowships to cover part of med school time if one qualifies (i.e. soros fellowship, or jack kent cooke). Your likelihood of getting md/phd funding with a D.Phil is extremely low if it is anything in the realm of science. M.Phil would be the way to go if you are set on a US MSTP program.

    A masters wouldn't save you much time at all if you matriculated in an MSTP - but obviously a doctorate would save you time if you did an MD when in the states. Two doctorates and an MD (plus any other degrees you accumulate) doesn't guarentee you anything with regards to an academic position.

    Any answer to this would be a gross generalization, since the quality of science varies greatly at oxford/cambridge - with oxford seemingly farther behind (with the exception of evolutionary bio and a few other areas). The training is not equivalent, as the styles of training between most US phd programs and british phd programs are different, though there is a push in britain to conform somewhat to US standards. As far as "well-respected" - it doesn't matter that much without a record of accomplishing something given the resources one has had at their disposal.

    Go for it. One would be surprised by the "range" of people who get these fellowships (of all types). The marshall sounds better from an ethical and practical point of view, but as far as the sagacity of the opportunity - one could do worse than a paid fellowship to a historically notable university.
     
  5. Maebea

    Maebea Member
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    However, not all MSTP's participate in this program at this juncture. You should check with the MSTP at the schools you are interested in to see if they will accept you for such a program. Since you would taking only MD classes at the med school, there is no real benefit to the MSTP to have you in their program. You would not be enriching the scientific enterprise at that institution, so they may be unwilling to put up the additional money to cover your med school tuition (in general, the NIH covers only part of the tuition for MSTP students, the school has to come up with the rest of the money). Mike Lenardo is the one of the movers of this effort at the NIH. You can contact him at [email protected]
     
  6. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    Awesome guys, thanks for the info.
     
  7. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    Yeah I don't know if I could find funding for the M.D. other than via an MSTP, so I guess M. Phil. would be the way to go.

    I'm curious why you say that the Marshall "sounds better from an ethical and practical point of view"? What exactly do you mean by this, just that the applicant can choose any British university instead of being restricted to just Oxford via the Rhodes?
     
  8. Habari

    Habari Senior Member
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    Well yes, from a practical point of view the marshall is more flexible.

    As for the former - the "aggressive colonialist"/"ultra-imperialist" Cecil Rhodes made his money by using africans in servitude to mine the south of africa - zambia/zimbabwae parts were formally called "Rhodesia" - for diamonds (him and his associates formed DeBeers - at one point he was in control of 90% of the worlds diamond trade). He became quite wealthy from the enterprise, and started a secret society that eventually became the Rhodes trust/scholarship. Call him a man of his times, but historical relativism alone can't quite elide the reality.

    "We must adopt a system of despotism such as works so well in India in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa.” (Windex, Cecil Rhodes, His Political Life and Speeches, p.162.)

    But I don't mean to be a killjoy: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?
     
  9. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    Yeah I knew Rhodes was a scary guy. Interesting though, I have never heard this argument made against those applying for and accepting Rhodes Scholarships.
     
  10. Maebea

    Maebea Member
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    There's a lot of blood on the hands of benefactors of many universities. Leland Stanford was a railway robber baron who made a lot of his money on the backs of chinese workers. Duke's money came from a tobacco fortune. In more modern times, David Geffen (UCLA) and Sandy Weill (Cornell) have not been sunday school teachers either. These guys may not be quite in Lord Cecil's league, but they certainly have a stench about them.

    We would be remiss if we did not tip our hat in the direction of Alfred Nobel, whose wonderous invention of dynamite greatly expanded the killing potential of war, ensuring that the dead would maimed beyond recognition, while providing international recognition and a fat check to so many bright people toiling away in academic obscurity.

    Perhaps Shaw's Undershaft should be our hero for having no pretense about his willingness to sell weapons to anyone who had the money to pay, and for not feeling the need later in life to rehabilitate his image by giving vast fortunes to universities and medical schools to secure naming rights.
     
  11. Newquagmire

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    Something to note is that the D.Phil programs tend to assume students are more independent in the lab from the get-go (or at least require less coursework) due to more specialized undergraduate programs. The independence is supposed to lead to 3-year finishes. A significant number of students do not actually finish in 3 years, and what happens then is dependent on the case.

    If you do train, an advantage is that you can see how your experience and project are going before ultimately deciding to take the M.Phil and run or stay and finish an entire D.Phil. I have heard of MD programs allowing applicants to defer for the remainder of a D.Phil.
     
  12. zenith

    zenith Junior Member
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    I don't think that's a very fair representation at all. Nobel invented dynamite to assist in mining excavation, and thereby save the lives of the hundreds of miners who died due to mine collapses and cave-ins every year. Furthermore, not only did he not intend for dynamite to be used malevolently, he was so upset that it was used to kill, it was actually the motivation behind founding the Nobel prize. He was so wracked with guilt that he founded the world's richest humanitarian prize (the Nobel peace prize) awarded specifically for outstanding efforts in preventing war.
     
  13. GraC_undr_PrsR

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