The following are potential sources of revenue for the support of trainees in the Neurobiology of Disease Track:
- individual fellowships (most likely the F30 award) from NIH (K-type NIH awards appear not to be appropriate), or
- an institutional NIH training grant (T32); these can be used to support M.D. postgraduates to do a PhD-degree;
- funds from the parent clinical department of the trainee;
- scholarship or stipend awards from private foundations (local and national, e.g. Dana awards); and
- NIH or equivalent federal research grants (such as R01s, PPGs, etc.), especially appropriate when a student is mainly involved in laboratory research.
Stipends for trainees in this track will be larger than those currently in place for conventional graduate students; otherwise, the reduction in income (to move from house staff salary to graduate student stipend, currently about $23,000 per year) will be too great a deterrent. Many of the NIH-based stipends are relatively low for this type of trainee (around $21,000) and will almost certainly need to be supplemented by clinical department funds or institutional funds (e.g., President's office, Office of Research, the graduate school, or others). Detailed exploration of NIH funding opportunities for these trainees should be carried out with appropriate program officers of various neuroscience-related NIH institutes, whose individual policies on eligibility and award type vary. NIH RFA's have recently been announced that appear to support training of this type, for example: Training in Translational Research in Neurobiology of Disease (T32): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DA-06-008.html.
Following below are:
- Description of issues regarding tuition and visa status for clinical trainees enrolled in the NOD track,
- Description of admission requirements and procedures for the NOD track,
- Discussion and outline of curricular requirements for the NOD track, and
- Brief overview of the new Neurobiology of Disease core course.
ISSUES REGARDING VISA STATUS AND TUITION FOR CLINICAL RESIDENTS ENROLLING IN THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF DISEASE (NOD) TRACK OF THE NEUROSCIENCE GRADUATE PROGRAM
Clinical trainees (interns/residents/fellows) who are Texas residents for tuition purposes will enroll in the graduate school for the NOD track at the in-state tuition rate.
Clinical trainees who are U.S. citizens but NOT Texas residents (for example, an American citizen from California) will be required to pay out-of-state tuition rates for graduate work unless the student is eligible for a waiver of non-resident fees (seehttp://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/pdf/0183.pdf).
Clinical trainees who are foreign nationals (non-U.S. citizens) may enter for residency training and graduate work with an H-1B visa. International trainees must remain under the medical resident/fellow title or be in violation of their H-1B visa status; that is, international trainees cannot be given the job title of "graduate assistant."
Foreign clinical trainees will likely be best served by using the H-1B visa, as it permits the establishment of residency for tuition purposes after the first year. A new international trainee on an H-1B visa could register for courses in the first year, but would pay tuition at the out-of-state rate, unless the H-1B visa holder has already established Texas residency for tuition purposes before transferring to the UTMB clinical residency program.
At the current time, in-state tuition and fees total approximately $110 per credit-hour; out-of-state tuition and fees approximately $350 per credit hour. NOD students may expect to take from 9-27 credit-hours per year after the first year, depending on their level of progression in the track.
It should also be noted that immigration rules and Texas law may change at any time. Thus, it is not possible to guarantee that the information provided above will remain constant or unchanged. For foreign nationals especially, frequent interactions with the International Affairs Office are advised.
ADMISSIONS CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR NEUROBIOLOGY OF DISEASE TRACK OF NEUROSCIENCE GRADUATE PROGRAM
The following are requirements for admission into the Neurobiology of Disease Track in the Neuroscience Graduate Program of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UTMB:
- Applicants must hold the MD degree from a regionally accredited United States or international medical school and have been accepted into a post-graduate residency training program under the auspices of a clinical department at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
- Applicants must submit the following documentation for consideration for admission:
A. A completed Application for Admission to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (with appropriate application fee: $60 for U.S. citizens, $85 for international applicants). Applications for Admission may be completed electronically on-line at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Hard copies of the application form may be obtained from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and when completed, sent to the Enrollment Services Office of UTMB, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-1305.
B. All undergraduate transcripts.* The graduate school requires a minimal overall GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), unless waived.
C. Medical school transcript(s).*
D. All graduate school transcripts.*
E. Report of MCAT score and board scores for the USMLE parts I and II*
F. Three letters of reference, one being from the chairman of the department in which the residency is being pursued*
G. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for non-U.S. citizen applicants, unless waived by the Graduate School.* The graduate school requires a minimal TOEFL test score of 550 (for paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test) or 6.5 on the IELTS academic test.
H. GRE scores* are required for all applicants who have graduated from medical schools outside the United States and who have not taken the MCAT; customarily this will apply to graduates of foreign medical schools. Although not required of graduates of U.S. medical schools, the GRE scores can enhance the application to the NOD track.
*Items 2B-H must be official copies (i.e., sent directly to the Enrollment Services Office of UTMB from the school/institution, testing service or referee). In some cases the graduate school may accept copies of such documents from the applicant’s UTMB residency program if the documents were received directly from the institution, testing service or referee(s) and are accompanied by a letter from the residency program director or departmental chair certifying their authenticity; but the University Registrar may require original official documents before an applicant matriculates.
- Previous research experience is highly desirable.