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MED-MS - Medicine (MS)

School of Medicine Medicine MS MS - Master of Science

Program Overview

Master of Science in Medicine with a Subplan in Biomedical Investigation

The goal of the Stanford Berg Scholars Program (Master of Science in Medicine with a subplan in Biomedical Investigation) is to address decreasing numbers of physician-scientists by shortening the training period without compromising quality of research, focusing instead on individualized career development of our M.D.-only physician-scientists by placing them in outstanding research groups led by experienced faculty.

Admissions Information

How to Apply for the Berg Scholars Program:

Interested candidates should send an email to to state their interest in applying to the program. Candidates are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with the program director, Dr. Utz, to develop their applications and gain guidance in their career plans. These meetings may begin as early as the first quarter of medical school, or even the summer before matriculation. Dr. Utz will help applicants prepare and review their application prior to official submission and will assist applicants in preparing for the oral presentation to the Berg Scholars Selection Committee.

The Berg Scholars Program application period is open to Stanford MD program students who are approved for the split curriculum and who are at the end of their second year. Students must split their curriculum in order to apply to be a Berg Scholar. Application submission, reviews, interviews, oral presentation, and program acceptance will occur at the end of the Summer Quarter after the second year of medical school. Eligible students may also apply “off cycle” at any time; however, if accepted, funding will not be retroactive.

Specific Instructions for Berg Scholars Applicants:

The Berg Scholars Program application includes:

  • Research proposal, no longer than 5 pages total, single-spaced, Arial 12 font, and 1/2-inch margins. Suggested format should follow the format taught in INDE 267:

    • Hypothesis and Specific Aims (2/3-1 page, typically no more than 2-3 aims)

    • Significance (~1/4-1/3 page)

    • Innovation/Impact (1/4-1/3 page)

    • Research Design and Methods (~3-4 pages, including background and preliminary data), for each aim:

      • Hypothesis and Rationale

      • Research Design and Methods

      • Expected Outcomes

      • Pitfalls, and Alternative Strategies

    • References are not included in the page limits

  • Permission to access a copy of your AMCAS application that is on file in the School of Medicine

  • A letter of recommendation from the proposed mentor

  • Statement briefly describing each of these items (limited to 1 page total for all 3 topics):

    • Motivation for a physician scientist career and Berg Scholars in particular (~1/3 page)

    • Planned coursework (if any) other than courses required for all Berg Scholars

    • Faculty who will serve on Berg Scholars Research Progress Committee (Composed of Research Mentor, Dr. Utz, and at least one additional Faculty member)

    • Gantt chart for Year 3 and Berg Scholars Year (Dr Utz will help you with developing this timeline) (~1/3 page)

Applicants will be required to orally present their research proposal to the Berg Scholars Selection Committee in person or via Zoom, late in summer quarter (or fall, winter or spring for those who choose to apply late). The oral presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period. Dr. Utz will contact your E4C Faculty Advisor, your Advising Dean, and the Registrar, to ensure that you are in good academic standing at the time of application. Decisions will be announced prior to the start of the next quarter.