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Medical Scientist Training Program

Scientist Training Component

Basic scientific research forms the bedrock of the PhD training program. There are a number of PhD granting programs within the College of Medicine, three of which operate out of Cincinnati Children's Hospital (Biomedical InformaticsImmunology and Molecular & Developmental Biology). 

M1 and M2 basic science courses count toward the required 130+ credit hours for the PhD degree; these courses are roughly equivalent to and substitute for the core basic science curriculum required of all PhD students in their first year. 

Thus, MD/PhD students typically enter the PhD programs as "second-year" graduate students with just a few basic science courses and electives to take, depending on the program.

The next three to four years are devoted to coursework and research towards the PhD degree. Candidates may pursue laboratory research in any of the 11 MSTP academic doctoral programs.  

Students first choose a designated MSTP faculty member as their mentor, and then join the appropriate graduate program.The MSTP and the various graduate programs display considerable flexibility in devising a program of study suited to each individual student’s interests.

Research Rotations

Prior to selecting a PhD dissertation advisor, each student participates in research in a minimum of two, and up to four laboratories of MSTP faculty. MSTP faculty are a subset of the faculty recognized for their record accomplishment and experience in mentorship. 

Students have opportunities to meet faculty by taking part in research rotations and bi-weekly Faculty Mentor lunch meetings.These are two important components of our program that help assure students of a good match with an excellent advisor.

Transition from Graduate school back to Medical School

The MSTP helps students to successfully navigate the transition back to medical school after completing the PhD through:

  • Longitudinal Clerkships - Students are encouraged to to participate in longitudinal clerkships while working on their PhD
  • College of Medicine Simulation Testing and Training - Allows students to take a refresher course on clinical skills
  • Senior Physician Scientist Advisors - SPS mentors are trained to advise students on transitioning back to clinical work