Oct 3, 2020
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Hi all! Quick rundown on my situation, though this could easily apply to others (I’ve also read the recent thread on MSTP grant process and am currently looking through the F32 FOA that was posted there; if my question is answered, I’ll edit this post later):

I caught a couple early acceptances to non-MSTP MD-PhD programs (1 fully funded, 1 not), and am waiting to hear back from a few MSTP’s post-interview. In the scenario that none of the MSTPs pan out for me, I recognize that fully funded > non fully funded MD-PhD programs is the general consensus, barring rare circumstances.

That in mind, my acceptance to a non fully-funded program is at a school that has stated they are in the process of applying for the MSTP (no idea if it’s true, but I’ve taken it as such since they said they were already in the process).

I’m curious if there is a consistent point in the year where schools find out whether they have been granted the MSTP designation — I could obviously email this school as well to ask, but could also see that as being nosy. At the moment, I am hoping that one of the MSTPs I’m waiting on comes around with news and makes this an easy decision, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to post this here in case others are in the the same situation.

Cheers!!
 
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FalconSlice

7+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2012
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Intersection of CutCo, EdgeCom and InterSlice
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  1. MD/PhD Student
Hi all! Quick rundown on my situation, though this could easily apply to others (I’ve also read the recent thread on MSTP grant process and am currently looking through the F32 FOA that was posted there; if my question is answered, I’ll edit this post later):

I caught a couple early acceptances to non-MSTP MD-PhD programs (1 fully funded, 1 not), and am waiting to hear back from a few MSTP’s post-interview. In the scenario that none of the MSTPs pan out for me, I recognize that fully funded > non fully funded MD-PhD programs is the general consensus, barring rare circumstances.

That in mind, my acceptance to a non fully-funded program is at a school that has stated they are in the process of applying for the MSTP (no idea if it’s true, but I’ve taken it as such since they said they were already in the process).

I’m curious if there is a consistent point in the year where schools find out whether they have been granted the MSTP designation — I could obviously email this school as well to ask, but could also see that as being nosy. At the moment, I am hoping that one of the MSTPs I’m waiting on comes around with news and makes this an easy decision, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to post this here in case others are in the the same situation.

Cheers!!
There are several things I think you may be conflating. Don't worry as most people do too.

First things are first:
Fully funded: this can apply to students/trainees or the program. There are NO MD-PhD (MSTP or non-MSTP) that are "fully funded" by the NIH or any other governmental entity.

MSTP: Definition of MSTP is that they are funded to some extent by the NIH's mechanism. Again, NO--I'll repeat--NO MSTP is "fully funded." In fact, they are only fractionally funded by the NIH. The rest is made up by the school.

Students' funding can vary. At our institution, each student is fully funded during the whole process and are supported during the grad school years by the PI. If he/she happens to get external funding (which many of us do) via a fellowship/grant/etc. they are rewarded with a monetary award (a little bone thrown to us for saving folks money and for making the program look good). Some institutions will pick a few students and fully fund them and the rest are left to fend for themselves. Long-story short, MSTP or non-MSTP is completely unrelated to whether students are fully funded. There are many other nuances, but this was generally the different cases back when I was applying almost a decade ago. @Fencer can weigh in (and correct me if I am wrong). There are many non-MSTP MD-PhD programs which fully support and fund their students.

TL;DR: don't focus on whether program is MSTP or non-MSTP. Focus on the actual funding and support you will (or won't get) as this is a different issue than whether a program has fractional NIH support (i.e., MSTP) or not.
 
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