Application Process

Prior to applying to the M.D.-M.S. Program, each applicant is required to submit a letter of interest to the postdoctoral education specialist. Letters are due by 5 p.m. Central time on Feb. 1, but applicants are encouraged to submit their letters by Dec. 1 or earlier.

In the letter, applicants should include:

  • An introduction of themselves
  • A synopsis of prior education and detailed research experience
  • A summary of current research interests — be as specific as possible
  • A list of potential mentors (if known)
    • The most critical role of the mentor is to guide the scholar in the research experience portion of the program.

      The mentor must be an investigator at Mayo Clinic with extensive clinical or translational research experience. He or she must have, or meet the criteria for, master or full-level faculty privileges including an academic rank of associate professor or higher; must have demonstrated National Institutes of Health or R01 funding; and must have successful previous experience mentoring scholars.

      Resources to identify and directly contact potential mentors include the following:

  • A copy of the applicant's current curriculum vitae

The postdoctoral education specialist will review the letter of interest and assist in connecting applicants with potential mentors. Please email all application materials for the M.D.-M.S. Program to the postdoctoral education specialist by 5 p.m. Central time on March 1.

A small number of competitive funding awards for the M.D.-M.S. Program are available each year. Applicants are automatically considered for an award when their applications are reviewed.

Application components

  • A completed application with signatures. Email the completed program application (PDF) with the supporting materials outlined on the first page of the application to the postdoctoral education specialist. Please indicate at the top of the second page that the application is for the master's degree program.
  • A cover letter. Applicants should describe their career plans and how earning a master's degree through the M.D.-M.S. Program will enhance their career development. They should also describe any other similar funding for which they have applied.
  • The Initial Mentoring Agreement (PDF).
  • A copy of the applicant's medical school transcript.
  • Curriculum vitae and bibliography.
  • Letters of recommendation. Three letters of recommendation, addressed to CCaTS Predoctoral Programs Director Anthony J. Windebank, M.D., are required from three specific people.
    • The applicant's research mentor. This letter must address:
      • The applicant's potential for success
      • The mentor's qualifications as a mentor (include the mentor's curriculum vitae and bibliography)
      • The mentor's support for the applicant, such as how often the mentor and applicant will meet, available space, supplies and research support
      • That the applicant's work will represent a significant intellectual contribution toward the design, conduct and analysis of the research and that the applicant will be first author on the manuscript or thesis resulting from it
    • The applicant's medical school dean or associate dean. This letter must indicate that the applicant is in good standing and a good candidate for the M.D.-M.S. award.
    • A faculty member. This should be a faculty member with whom the applicant has conducted research.

Note: M.D.-M.S. applications are not expected to have this information completed on the form:

  • Mayo Clinic posting account unit (PAU)
  • Name and signature of the applicant's clinical or research administrator
  • Name and signature of the applicant's department or division chair

Selection process

Applications are reviewed by the CCaTS Education Resources Predoctoral Programs Committee. Applicants are notified before April 15 as to whether they have been accepted into the program for a start date of July 1 and whether they have been offered a funding award.

Develop a research proposal

The research project must meet National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria for clinical or translational research and follow the format given in the M.D.-M.S. Scholar Research Proposal Guidelines. After admission to the program, applicants begin communicating or meeting with their mentors to develop their research proposals.

The proposal must be submitted by Aug. 15 for review and approval. Coursework begins the first week in July.