Who is eligible to apply for MedScholars?

MD students enrolled at Stanford are eligible.

MD students who obtained a PhD prior to matriculation may apply for MedScholars for research that has focus substantially different from that of their prior doctoral studies.

Students who are pursuing a Dual Degree (e.g. MD/MBA) are not eligible when they "step out" to pursue the dual degree. Stepping out means that you are no longer paying tuition under the School of Medicine for that period of time, and any Financial Aid support is handled through the other degree program. When you "step back in" to the MD program, you resume eligibility for MedScholars. 

You may not receive more than the equivalent of 5 full time quarters of funding while in the MD program.

Students who are in or accepted into an MD/PhD program are not eligible*.

Types of MedScholars Proposals:

Discovery Grants
For research in summer after first year only
Normally 100% time

Research Fellowships
For substantial projects pursued alongside the the split curriculum or step-out years, normally 3-4 100% contiguous research quarters. It is highly recommended to apply 2 quarters in advance. 

INDE 267 must be completed by students who split the curriculum. INDE 267 is strongly recommend for students pursuing a step-out year.

Innovation Grants
For research in other configurations that suit the project and student schedules

1 full-time quarter (100% MedScholars) is equivalent to 40 hours/week.

The earliest you can apply for MedScholars funding is spring of the first year (winter application deadline). MS1 spring quarter will be considered an Innovation Grant.

MD students may apply for no more than 25% MedScholars funding during the second year of medical school. The 25% effort can be for continuation support for a prior MedScholars project, or to start a new MedScholars project with continued funding after the second year. Applications for funding alongside the full first or second year curriculum will be considered Innovation Grants and will be highly competitive.

Examples of potentially allowable applications (assuming applicants meet any other requirements or restrictions that may apply):

  • A Student who plans to continue working on their Summer MedScholars research project may apply for 25% in the Autumn quarter.
  • A Second year student who has not received 25% MedScholars in Autumn and Winter quarter could apply for a new MedScholars project with 25% effort Spring quarter (Q6), to be followed by 50% Summer, 50% Autumn, if they have the required weeks free of clerkships.


The minimum project size is equivalent to 100% time effort for one academic quarter, which can be structured in 25% increments of time over several quarters.


Eligibility for clerkship students in any year:

  • Students registered for clerkships in a quarter in which they will have MedScholars funding must demonstrate at the time of application, that they will have a sufficient number of clerkship periods free to undertake the research proposed:
  • 25% MedScholars during clerkships = 3 “free” weeks
  • 50% MedScholars during clerkships = 6 “free” weeks
  • 75% MedScholars during clerkships = 9 “free” weeks
  • 100% MedScholars during clerkships = 12 “free” weeks

The MedScholars office will verify student availability from clerkship at the beginning of each quarter. The clerkship periods are used to calculate the active weeks of a clerkship quarter.

MedScholars funding is capped at 50% in the last quarter before graduation. Students who are graduating may only apply for MedScholars for research that occurs in the first six weeks of their graduation quarter. Working full-time (40hrs/wk) during those six weeks would be considered 50% MedScholars effort. Working half time (20hrs/wk) during those six weeks would be considered 25% MedScholars effort. Deliverables will be due four weeks prior to graduation. For example, if graduation is June 12, MedScholars completion is due May 15.

Funding cannot exceed 100%. Students who have a TA-ship must adjust their MedScholars so they do not exceed 100% funding. Information regarding limits can be found in the MD Handbook.

Please contact the Office of Medical Student Research & Scholarship if you have any questions.

One-time adjustments to percent effort for Fellowship Grants in progress

For student with full time (100% FTE) quarters approved as part of Fellowship Grants, with approval from the program, MedScholars will now routinely allow a one-time % effort adjustment to one of the fulltime quarters.  For example, if your project is wrapping up and you would like to step back into clerkships during the last quarter of funding, you can submit a Change Request Form to reduce the last quarter’s effort down to 50% to accommodate a clerkship rotation. Note: Additional adjustments outside of this policy will require additional approval, may not be granted (consistent with our current policy).

*Students holding a MedScholars award at the time they are accepted to an MD/PhD program may continue their MedScholars project and receive their MedScholars funding up to the time that they are admitted to the MD/PhD program. Normally students may not receive MedScholars funds after they are admitted to an MD/PhD program. Students in MD/PhD programs remain ineligible for MedScholars funding until they have defended their doctoral dissertation or officially withdrawn from their PhD program. After that point, students who are still enrolled in the MD program become eligible for MedScholars funding.