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Request for Information (RFI): Strategies to Enhance Physician-Scientist Training through the NIGMS Medical Scientist (MD-PhD) Training Program (MSTP)

Modified: June 13, 2017

Notice Number: NOT-GM-17-009


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) seeks input on NIGMS’s institutional Medical Scientist (MD-PhD) Training Program (MSTP). This Request for Information (RFI) will assist NIGMS in identifying, developing and potentially implementing strategies that will catalyze the modernization of physician scientist training at the national level to ensure that trainees gain the skills and knowledge needed to be leaders of the biomedical research enterprise of the United States in academia, industry, and government settings.


NIGMS has a longstanding commitment to training the next generation of biomedical scientists and supports M.D.-PhD. dual degree training through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This program provides Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional Predoctoral Training Grant (T32) awards to medical institutions that are responsible for training physician scientists.  The Physician Scientist Workforce Report of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director has highlighted the decline of physician scientists as a percentage of overall NIH principal investigators.  NIH data presented at the 50th Anniversary Medical Scientist Training Program symposium shows that while earlier cohorts of MSTP trainees were highly successful in achieving independent research careers and NIH grant support, more recent graduates have been less successful.  Many factors may contribute to this difference, including lengthening of the post-M.D.-PhD. training period before achieving independence and increased competition of investigators for limited research funds and positions.  Several efforts are underway to address these issues as they pertain to physician scientists.  This RFI specifically focuses on the dual degree training programs supported by NIGMS through MSTP grants and how they can enhance the persistence of trainees in research careers.

Information Requested

NIGMS invites all interested parties, including the general public, to provide input on matters that can be specifically addressed through the MSTP.  Changes in post-MD-PhD. training and future research support are outside of the scope of this RFI. Topics that could be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Trainees; Financing/Funding; Dual-degree training; NIGMS management of MSTP grants; Other.

How to Submit a Response

Responses to this RFI will be accepted through August 9, 2017. All comments will be anonymous and must be submitted via a web form here.  

Please read the RFI for further details.

Training Grant Director