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Selection Criteria

Students who will benefit the most from this program will tend to be academically advanced, independent, highly motivated, appreciate cultural diversity and have a clear idea of their educational goals and the research they wish to pursue. We want to select only those students who are most likely to prosper and benefit from this unique opportunity. To help in our selection process, and in your decision of whether to apply, we have identified three main criteria that strongly predict success. Anyone who is accepted must meet the three criteria outlined below. Applicants to the NIH-KI program are asked to address the below three criteria in detail within the on-line application.

1. Academic Performance

Stellar academic performance is a strong predictor of success in this challenging program.
Performance assessment focuses on multiple areas:

    • Academic grades and course history
    • Test scores (GRE or MCAT)
    • Letters of recommendation

2. Research Experience

In the Research Experience section of the application please describe research experiences you have had. Research experience, during or after an undergraduate program, can be extraordinarily valuable to the applicant who is deciding whether he/she is suited for a career in research, and can also provide useful training.

3. Specific Research Plan

All PhD students must ultimately have two thesis advisors (one at NIH and one at KI) and a research plan.

Early identification of an advisor and development of a research plan are strong indicators of motivation and ultimate success in the program. Applicants who are serious about being considered for entry into the program must submit a brief (1-2 pg) description of the proposed thesis research and identify both advisors (one at NIH and one at KI) ahead of time, during the application process. With this unique program, great emphasis is placed on the student’s ability to think critically about their respective mentor pairing along with the research plan. Both of these factors help the Program Directors and selection committee that reviews the applications to make the best selections amongst the applicant pool.

Within the application, please include the following:
Additional Information: indicate which NIH and KI investigators have been contacted to serve as mentors for your thesis research
Personal Statement: provide a brief (1-2 pg) description of the proposed dissertation project