Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Criterion - Can I apply?

The Program is available to all students who are currently enrolled in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Application Process - How do I apply?

The application process begins with you scheduling an initial interview with the Program Office. You can complete the Biographical Information form at the interview, or you can complete the fillable form and email it to the Program Office. All students must submit a 4-5 scientific proposal with a UT College of Medicine faculty member. For more detailed information, see the Application Process page or contact Stephen C. Tom, Director of Research, Room 408, Hyman Building (email: or tel: 448-5528)

Selection Criterion - How am I chosen?

Selection criterion includes (1) scientific merit of the proposal, (2) achievability of the project, (3) clarity and conciseness, (4) productivity of the mentor, and (5) satisfactory academic progress of the student.

Competition - What are my chances?

There are 24 fellowships available. The actual percent of students accepted into the Program is, of course, determined by the number of proposals submitted. However, in past years, the vast majority of student proposals are accepted for fellowship support. Past proposals have been well-developed and indicate the student has good intellectual and technical grasp of the proposed research project.

Stipends - Can I pay my rent? And eat, too?

Stipends of $1,731 per month are paid monthly, June 30, July 31, and the final stipend is held until final report is submitted. The maximum stipend is $5,193 for a three-month appointment.

Appointment Periods - What is the fellowship period?

Medical student research fellows must work from 2-3 consecutive months during option period time. This is usually during the summer from June 1 to August 31.

Time Requirements - How much time is spent on the project?

Must be full-time (100 percent effort or 40 hours per week) for at least 2-3 months. You cannot have any other University of Tennessee salary, and you cannot receive stipend supplementation from other UT sources. Students cannot be taking courses for academic credit and participate in the NIH Research Fellowship Program at the same time.

Final Report - How do I finish?

The final report consists of a 200-250 word abstract and a narrative report that emphasizes data results, analysis and interpretation and discussion of your findings. The minimum requirement is three pages although most students submit much more. Most projects are conducted as originally proposed and have some data to report. Many students publish the results of their projects in the scientific literature or present their results at regional and national meetings.

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