The program is available to Stanford MD program students during the beginning of their second or third year. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with Dr. Utz (Director of the Berg Scholars Program) during Autumn Quarter of their first year of medical school so he can assist with selecting a research mentor and to engage in career development activities. Students can formally apply to become a Berg Scholar in their second or third year during the first few weeks of Autumn Quarter. Deadline dates will be provided to candidates when they meet with Dr. Utz. Review the How to Apply page for more information.
A brief summary of motivation for a career as a physician scientist, planned coursework, plans for research residency, and long term career plans.
A copy of student’s AMCAS application that is on file in the School of Medicine.
A letter of recommendation from the proposed mentor and from a previous research mentor (only if the latter is not already included in the AMCAS application).
A research proposal modeled on NSF/NRSA applications (maximum 6 pages). Applicants should meet with Dr. Utz (Director of the Berg Scholars Program) who will assist with the development of a research proposal and provide additional details.
Names of faculty who will serve on a formal thesis committee that oversees the research project (Thesis mentor, Dr. Utz, and at least 2 additional qualified members).
Presentation of the research proposal to the Berg Scholars Selection Committee in person, followed by a question and answer period.
Approximately 5 or 6 Berg Scholars will be selected during Autumn Quarter each year. Please ensure you have made your intentions for applying known by sending email to email@example.com in advance of the upcoming Autumn Quarter (ideally toward the end of your 1st or 2nd MD program year).
Yes, but this may be logistically difficult given PhD program requirements. Funding from the Berg Scholars Program is no longer guaranteed following a transfer, since the Burroughs Wellcome Fund PSIA award that provides primary funding stipulates that funds cannot be used to support MD/PhD students. Students considering this option are encouraged to contact both Dr. Utz and the MSTP.
Yes, the split curriculum is required. All students interested in pursuing the MS in Medicine in Biomedical Investigation as a Berg Scholar are required to declare their intention to split their curriculum by submitting an application form by August 12, during their first MD program year. All applications are subject to approval by the oversight committee headed by the Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education.
In most cases, no. A stipulation of our award is that Berg Scholars must pursue research that is “laboratory” or “data science” based. Please contact Dr. Utz if you are unsure about a particular research discipline.
You are making substantial progress in your studies; and
Your total percent effort between class, research, and TA-ships does not exceed 125%. TA-ships that require 50% effort (such as anatomy) will not be approved, even if the total percent effort is 125% or less.
Yes, concurrent application is encouraged, and we will assist you with your Knight-Hennessy application. If awarded a Knight-Hennessy fellowship, then funding is not additive. Successful applicants will be enrolled in both programs, funded for 3 years by Knight-Hennessy, and the remaining years funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF). Upon leaving Stanford, graduates will be designated as “Berg Scholars” and as “Knight-Hennessy Fellows.”
Yes, absolutely, if we're able to accommodate your participation (due to enrollment limits), you would be welcome to join an activity. We fully anticipate that a significant proportion of Stanford MD students will still pursue careers as physician scientists while spending 5 years in medical school. We strongly encourage students to take full advantage of our many career development offerings.
Any existing scholarships, fellowships, or grant-related funding will be retained by the student. Burroughs Wellcome Fund funding will be used to replace future student loans, and to supplement existing merit or need based funding. A formal funding plan will be described in writing at the time of a Berg Scholar offer. Our goal is to mirror MSTP funding by fully funding Berg Scholars beginning spring quarter of year 3 through graduation, including full stipend, full tuition, and supplementary travel funds.
Berg Scholars must complete all Stanford University requirements for the MS in Medicine in Biomedical Investigation degree. This includes completing a residency requirement of 45 units for the master’s degree in addition to 235 units towards the MD degree. A total of 280 minimum units is required to graduate. Units may not be duplicated or double-counted toward the residency requirement for both degrees.
Students pursuing the MS in Medicine in Biomedical Investigation as a Berg Scholar will determine the courses they will enroll in and their research project details in order to submit a program proposal prior to the end of the first quarter in which they are approved for participation in the program.