Medical School Grants
The healthcare profession, as a whole, will be one of the fastest growing fields over the next 10 years. Employment is projected to increase by 22 percent during this period. The demand exists because of the aging population.
Many students are encouraged to pursue the medical field because the conditions are favorable for employment. Medical schools are responding in kind by increasing their acceptance rates based upon the projected increased demand. Physicians who are willing to work in rural or low income environments have an even greater chance of securing viable employment.
Becoming a Physician
Becoming a physician is not an easy task. Although medical schools are accepting more applicants to meet demands, acceptance into medical school is still competitive. The medical school student must commit themselves to 4 years of undergraduate work, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years of residency depending upon the chosen medical discipline.
Physicians must be self-motivated, have a good bedside manner, work long hours under a significant amount of pressure, have emotional stability, and be able to make sound decisions under pressure. Because the job is demanding, the pay is also high to compensate for the grueling hours and pressure associated with the job.
According to a 2008 study, primary care physicians were able to obtain an average median income of $186,044. For those physicians practicing specialized medicine, the average median income was $339,738.
Medical Career Paths
The potential medical student can become either a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Most individuals are familiar with the responsibilities of a Medical Doctor; however, a growing number of individuals are learning more about the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) uses all other forms of medicine, but emphasizes the importance of preventative medicine, holistic healthcare, and the body’s musculoskeletal system. Doctor’s of Osteopathic Medicine can be found in general practices, internal medicine, or pediatrics.
Physicians are employed in several different specialty fields, such as family and general medicine, pediatrics, anesthesiology, obstetrics, surgery and psychiatry. Residency programs assist medical students in fine tuning and learning to practice professionally within their chosen field of study. As technology advances and consumer awareness increases, physicians will have to become even more astute to remain abreast of the changing times.
For a private four year college education, the student can expect to pay $20,000 per academic year. The average student will need assistance with the costs if they desire to attend school. Several scholarships and grants are available for students considering the medical field. Obtaining a scholarship or a grant is equally as competitive as getting into medical school. Therefore, the student should be prepared to present their best impression to the reviewing committee.
Grants Available to Medical School Students
Research Medical Student Grant
This particular grant was designed to encourage students who have interest in the field of radiology.
Medical students who currently have research experience in medical imaging will receive preference when applying. The recipient of the award will sharpen their skills in research, hypothesis testing, and objective definition. Recipients will also be expected to participate in a research project for 10 weeks. The research will be conducted under the guidance of an advisor.
The research can be integrated into the curriculum as a research elective or alternatively, may be conducted during personal time or while on summer vacation.
The student will be awarded $3,000 by the grant committee and $3,000 will be matched by the sponsoring department. The student will receive in total a $6,000 stipend. The funds may not be used for non-personnel research expenses.
The student must be a member of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) when the application is submitted. The applicant may apply as a Member-in-Training or a non-dues paying member. However, the advisor or co-investigator must be a member who pays dues.
- The prospective applicant must be registered as a full-time medical student at an accredited medical school in the North American continent.
- The research should be in one of the following fields of study: radiology, nuclear medicine, or oncology radiation. The research, however, does not have to occur in the same educational institution where the student is attending school.
- The applicant must not have a history of being a principal investigator or receiving a contract for $60,000 or more in a single year.
- The applicant may not be employed by a for-profit company in the radiology field.
- The applicant may not receive grants in successive years and may not submit more than one application to the RSNA Foundation per year.
- The applicant must not receive support from another source for the same project, unless one form of funding provides salary support and the other funding source provides non-personnel research expenses.
Students interested in the grant and meet all the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply using the Online Grant Application System. The deadline is February 1, 2010. A signed and dated copy should be received by the RSNA Foundation office no later than this date.
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART)
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant is accessible to undergraduate students within their third and fourth years of undergraduate studies. Often, medical students pursue undergraduate studies within the sciences or engineering prior to enrolling in a medical school. This grant will assist those students who are interested in the field of medicine, but need financial assistance at the undergraduate level.
The student should be enrolled in a program of study at least half time and be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. The student must major in engineering, mathematics, technology, physical sciences, life sciences or computer sciences to be eligible for the scholarship. Students who are majoring in a critical foreign language or a liberal arts program are also eligible. However, this is a non-traditional route to medical school.
The student must maintain at least a 3.0 in the course work required for one of the aforementioned majors. The National SMART Grant award is a supplement to the student’s Pell Grant award. The student must also be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
The student majoring in biology will still be eligible to receive the National SMART Grant if the student is not taking any classes related to biology in a particular semester, if the classes are a requirement for the course of study.
The National SMART grant recipient will receive up to $4,000 for the third and fourth years of his or her program of study. The total amount received from the SMART grant and the Pell Grant may not exceed the total cost of the student’s attendance. The student’s grant may be reduced if the number of students eligible exceeds the budget allowance for the fiscal year.
Application Process and The Federal Pell Grant
To become eligible for the SMART Grant, the student must first apply for the Pell Grant. To begin the application for the Pell Grant, the student must prepare the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application will determine the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) for college. The EFC number will then be assigned to the application. The number will be based upon the amount that the prospective recipient has disclosed about the household financial information.
The receipt of the Pell Grant is dependent upon the EFC number, the student’s enrollment status (full time or part time), and the student’s participation in scholastic programs.
The Pell Grant is awarded primarily to families whose annual household incomes fall below $20,000 per year. Most private institutions have tuition costs of $20,000 per academic year, and public institutions are half that amount. Therefore, financial hardship is placed upon families who wish to pursue an academic education who earn less than $20,000 per year.
Pell Grant Awards
The Federal Pell Grant usually awards students about $4,000 per academic year. After the student becomes eligible for the Pell Grant, the student can apply for the SMART Grant online. The deadline for the FAFSA is June 30, 2010. State funds vary. Check the website to determine the specific deadlines for the state in which the applicant is applying.
National Institute of Health (NIH) Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA)
The Academic Research Enhancement Award Grant was established to award students participating in small research projects within the biomedical or behavioral sciences field. The research should be conducted by students who are currently attending a health professional school.
The goal of the grant award is to promote the following principles:
- To support research in the health profession
- To increase and strengthen the educational institution’s research environment
- To increase student’s exposure to the research environment
- To encourage studies in the biomedical sciences
The student cannot have received a NIH research grant within recent history. The student must be enrolled in one of the following academic health programs to be eligible:
- School of Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
- Public Health
- Allied Health
- Chiropractic Medicine
Each year the eligible educational institutions are updated. When the student applies, the reviewing committee will determine the eligibility of the particular educational institution.
Each year three million dollars is awarded to support research within the biomedical field. The deadlines vary depending upon the type of grant submitted. Deadlines for a standard application are as follows: February 25, June 25, and October 25. AIDs related research deadlines are as follows: January 7, May 7, and September 7. Grants can be submitted electronically through the website.
For more information about this particular grant, the applicant can contact the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health. The contact for this particular grant is Mary Ann Guadagno, Ph.D.
Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships
This scholarship was designed to assist in the qualification of quality medical school candidates. This screening process will help the medical schools achieve their diversity requirements while eliminating disparities in health care.
Five scholarships will be awarded to students who have exhibited leadership within their field or program of study. The leadership efforts should address societal, educational and health care needs of minorities within the United States.
Each medical school may nominate one student per year for the award. The application should include 10 stapled sets. One original copy of the application and nine photocopies of the application should be included.
Each set should include the following:
A letter of recommendation from the dean of the school.
The letter should discuss the applicant’s leadership abilities in the health care profession and within the minority community in the areas of societal, educational and health care.
- A letter of recommendation from the minorities affairs representative
- A letter of recommendation from a member of the faculty
- A personal statement of 250 words or less.
The statement should discuss why the student is interested in the medical profession and how he or she hopes to improve health care of minorities
- A Curriculum Vitae (CV) stating the applicants experience and pertinent contact information
- The applicant’s transcript should be included
Completed applications should be submitted to the Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships Award Committee in the Association of American Medical Colleges Department. Any questions regarding the scholarship should be addressed to Angela R. Moses.
The recipient must be entering their third year of medical school. Again, the applicant must exhibit leadership and a commitment to health care in the minority communities. The recipient should be a United States Citizen or a permanent resident. Those students who are pursuing a dual degree program, such as the M.D./Ph.D. program are only eligible in their third year of medical school.
Award Amount and Deadline for the Scholarship Application
The deadline for the scholarship application is May 3, 2010. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Each recipient will receive a $5,000 scholarship. The award will be given in November of each year.
Biomedical Vacation Scholarships
This award aims to provide undergraduates with research experience during summer vacation that may later be used within a graduate level program, such as medical school or a M.D./Ph.D. dual degree program. The scholarship encourages a career in research that can be combined with a medical career.
Scholarships will award recipients up to 190 pounds per week for eight weeks of research during the summer holiday. Expenses associated with research are not provided.
To become eligible for the scholarship, the student must be enrolled at a university in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. The student may either be an undergraduate enrolled in their second or third year of studies in the field of science, dentistry, or veterinary school. Alternatively, a medical student can apply at the end of their second or third year of medical school.
A medical student who has completed the BSc year or graduate entry medical students who have completed an undergraduate degree in a science related subject is not eligible to apply for this particular scholarship. Students who desire to complete their research requirements outside the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland are not eligible for this particular award. The applicant may only apply once and awards are not transferable.
The application process should be a joint effort between the student and the supervisor. The proposed research project should be completed within the 8 week time frame. The student should be the primary investigator and not just help around the laboratory.
The application will be reviewed according to the candidate’s academic record and the research project idea submitted. Past recipients have studied in the field of biological sciences, pharmaceutical science, dentistry, optometry, veterinary sciences, sports sciences, and medical sciences. Students studying in the natural sciences or computer sciences are welcome to apply. However, the proposed research project should be within the biomedical research field.
Undergraduate students with no prior research experience will be given preference. Students are encouraged to conduct their research studies at a university that is different from the current university that they are attending.
The West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships
This scholarship program is designed to financially assist individuals who are interested in the medical profession and reside within the West Virginia state boundaries.
Students in their senior year of any school of medicine or osteopathy are eligible for the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnership. The student must also be entering the internship or residency program in West Virginia.
Students who are completing their primary care educational program for nurse practitioners or physician’s assistant are eligible to apply. Alternatively, the student can apply if he or she is pursuing a graduate program in physical therapy or a master’s degree in nursing.
Twenty thousand dollars of scholarships will be awarded to medical students. Students in other fields of study are eligible for $10,000 of financial assistance. Students are required to practice for two years in a health care facility that is in need of health care professionals.
The list of grants and scholarships and grants available to medical school students and potential students of the medical profession is not exhaustive. An interested student should search online to locate other opportunities that are suitable to the participant’s particular academic and financial situation.