Medical Scholars Research Fellowship (MSRF)

The PSSF Medical Scholars Research Fellowship provides research opportunities and mentoring to students who aspire to become physician-scientists and are dedicated to making fundamental discoveries that improve health.

The MSRF is a key component of PSSF’s mission to revitalize, grow and support the career pathway for physician-scientists. By providing medical students with opportunities to spend dedicated time in basic research, PSSF aims to increase the pipeline of future physician-scientists. Training today’s medical students in rigorous scientific bench work ensures a culture of innovation that will lead to a deeper understanding of what it means to pursue challenging, unanswered questions; and ultimately advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.

The fellowship supports one year of mentored, rigorous research training in fundamental biomedical research. Single-degree medical students interested in a dual career in research and patient care are eligible to apply for the MSRF.

The program also includes:

  • Discussions on various biomedical topics led by established physician-scientists.
  • An end-of-the-year meeting where fellows present their work and attend mentoring/career guidance workshops.
  • A mentoring program that includes guidance in residency selection, and ongoing career advice.


All applicants must be nominated by the medical school dean. The medical school dean can nominate only one applicant in any competition year.

Applicants to the MSRF must be currently enrolled in a medical school in the United States. Students may apply during any year of their studies, but applicants in the last year of school must defer graduation until the completion of the fellowship year.

The MSRF is not available to students enrolled in a combined MD/Ph.D. program, a Ph.D. program, a Pharm.D., an ScD program, or those who have completed a Ph.D., Pharm.D., or an ScD in a laboratory-based science.

The MSRF is open to United States citizens and U.S. permanent residents only.

All students must conduct 12 months of continuous, full-time laboratory research with minimal interruptions.

Prior research experience is not required.

The Physician-Scientist Support Foundation is committed to promoting diversity in science and research. We strongly encourage applications from members of minority groups underrepresented in medicine and science.


For the 2024 fellowship year, the total amount awarded to each Medical Student Fellow is $50,000. The annual stipend is $42,000. In addition to the stipend, the award includes an allowance of $8,000 for health insurance and travel expenses.


Students must choose an academic or nonprofit research institution in the United States as their fellowship institution, except for a government laboratory. The fellowship institution need not be the student’s medical school. Students are responsible for making all arrangements for attendance at their chosen institution.


The proposed project must be in the basic, translational, or applied biomedical sciences. PSSF does not fund clinical research, health services, or health policy research. We support projects that expose students to how research advances fundamental understanding related to health.


The fellowship term may begin no earlier than June 1 and no later than September  1. The term of the fellowship is 12 consecutive months.


We ask the applicant to develop a research plan in consultation with a research mentor. The applicant is responsible for selecting the research mentor at any academic or nonprofit research institution in the United States, except for a government laboratory, and making arrangements to work in that person’s laboratory. PSSF will not make these arrangements. The designated mentor must be the faculty member who will directly supervise the proposed research.

A mentor can have only one applicant in any competition year. A mentor should have active research programs, sustained external grant support, a strong record of training students, and the time and interest to train the applicant. An applicant may have a co-mentor if their research plan crosses areas of expertise or if a co-mentor would strengthen the research training experience.

All application components must be submitted online by January 11, 2024, to be considered in the fellowship competition.  Applicants should retain copies of the application materials completed and submitted online. Application materials will not be returned. Evaluations of the review committee will not be made available to the applicant.


Fellowships are awarded based on the applicant’s potential to become a physician-scientist and how the year-out experience will enhance such potential. The applicant’s ability and promise are assessed through the personal statement and proposed research plan. Quality of training is evaluated through the research plan and information provided in the mentor’s endorsement, including the mentor’s research qualifications (expertise and publication record in the research area, external grant support to fund the research project for the entire proposed fellowship term).


Online Application Open: September 1, 2023

Application Deadline: January 11, 2024

Award Notification Date: March 18, 2024

Award Acceptance Deadline: March 26, 2024


All applicants must be nominated by the medical school dean. Once the nominated student starts the application, the dean will receive notification to submit a letter commenting on the nomination process and selection criteria as well as the applicant’s unique qualifications pertain to the fellowship.

To begin the MSRF application, please click the ‘Begin Application’ link below. Applicants will be asked to create a username and password.

Begin Application


Inquiries, requests, and correspondence regarding Medical Scholars Research Fellowship should be directed to:

Min Lee
Program Director
Medical Scholars Research Fellowship
Physician-Scientist Support Foundation


The Rose & David Dortort Foundation

Contact Us:

(p) 301-493-4760