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NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program

NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program

WebsiteEligibilityDeadline Seniors Deadline passed


Since 2001, more than 150 individuals pursuing PhDs in biomedical research have taken advantage of the unique opportunities provided by the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program (OxCam).  This program offers access to mentors and resources from our three collaborating institutions: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University of Oxford, and the University of Cambridge. The requirement of having at least two mentors from two of these institutions allows students to develop the skills needed to build virtual research teams and leverage collaborative technologies in the pursuit of bold new ideas and solutions. Efforts to differentiate from traditional biomedical training programs has allowed the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars to enjoy intellectual freedom and flexibility, which has led to increased innovation and collaboration.

  • Students carry out research with a goal of earning a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD or DPhil), which requires spending roughly equal amounts of time at the NIH and at the chosen university.
  • During their time at the NIH, students become members of one of the NIH Institutes and also join a vibrant graduate student community of more than 400 students.
  • Most doctoral study programs in the U.K. do not require the completion of formal coursework, and the doctoral degree can be completed in three to five years. Upon completion of the program, students are awarded a doctorate by either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.
  • An NIH class dean works with each student in order to ensure satisfactory progress while pursuing his/her research goals.
  • At the start of the program, all new students develop a detailed research proposal and an individualized training plan that outlines goals and a personalized plan of study. This requirement launches students and their mentors on an accelerated plan of research.  Students' progress is tracked by holding to program timelines and benchmarks, which allows for problems to be addressed quickly.


  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • College senior as of the application deadline.
  • Outstanding academic performance and exceptional promise for a career in biomedical research. Previous laboratory research experience is a highly regarded qualification. Applicants must also have taken (and successfully passed) courses in biology, chemistry, (both inorganic and organic), physics, and mathematics.

Application Procedure

Application components:

  • CV/resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE or MCAT scores
  • Additional Information
    • List any scholarships (Marshall, Rhodes, Gates-Cambridge, NIH Cambridge Trust, Churchill, Fulbright, etc.) that you are in the process of applying for or have already submitted an application to.
    • List potential mentors at the NIH and Oxford and/or Cambridge whose research you are interested in. You can search for NIH faculty members on the individual NIH institute websites, which can be found through the NIH Intramural Research Program site.

For more information on how to apply, click here.

Value of the Award

Students are fully funded for their tuition, college fees, health insurance, and stipend. They also receive a laptop computer and a generous travel allowance. Finally, financial support has just been approved for students desiring to complete combined M.D./Ph.D. degrees through the program.


Questions about application technical issues should be directed to Dr. Pat Wagner at wagnerpa@od.nih.govQuestions related to the OxCam Program should be directed to the OxCam Office.

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