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Applying to MSCI

Candidates should submit an application that includes biographical information, references, career goals, and a specific proposal for a clinical and translational research project. The research proposal must identify the candidate’s mentor. Applications will be judged on the quality of the science proposed, on the commitment of the mentor of the career development of the candidate, and on the overall impact of the training program on the applicant’s career development. The application deadline is February 28.



Eligible candidates for the MSCI Program include:

  • Board-eligible physicians enrolled in a fellowship program at Vanderbilt or Meharry Medical College,
  • Vanderbilt or Meharry residents with protected time for research,
  • Vanderbilt medical students with protected time for research after the third year of medical education,
  • Vanderbilt faculty members with the consent of their Department Chair,
  • Post-Doctoral PhDs anticipating a career in clinical and translational research,
  • PhD candidates in the School of Nursing anticipating a career in clinical and translational research, and
  • Scholars external to Vanderbilt/Meharry will be considered based on the availability of a suitable mentor within Vanderbilt and the related professional background of the candidate.

Candidates must be in good standing with their home department at all stages during admission and remain in good standing with the home department and the MSCI program throughout matriculation.


Required Application Materials

1. Electronic Application

Area of Study: Medicine-Non MD

Program: Clinical Investigation

Financial Awards: Financial awards include scholarships and tuition support from VU, VUMC, and other sources.  Priority for financial awards is given to applications received by the February 28, deadline.

2. Letter from mentor documenting commitment to the candidate’s career development, and, if part-time applicant, mentor’s commitment to part-time attendance and completion of degree. Please include a copy of the mentor’s curriculum vitae.

3. Three letters of recommendation (may include mentor).

4. Letter from the Division Director or Department Chair assuring 75% or more protected time for research.

5. Research Plan: The three to five-page proposal should describe Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Experimental Methods, Procedures, and Long-Term Objectives. Research plans exceeding the five-page limit will be returned; the page limit does not include references. Be sure to provide a title for your project.

6. Curriculum Vitae of the applicant.

7. Statement of how this proposed research plan fits into your career objectives.

You may upload your Research Plan, Curriculum Vitae, and Career Statement in the application section labeled Statement of Purpose.

8. Letter stating confirmation of tuition payment throughout matriculation, and if applicable, support for part-time attendance, from the responsible person or department on official letterhead.

9. Undergraduate and medical school transcripts.  Official transcripts must come directly from the issuing institution, not the candidate.

Candidates submitting official transcripts from international institutions should refer to the University Registrar’s guidelines.  International students with questions about the prior degree verification process may contact Ashley Heaton, Assistant University Registrar, at

Please send official e-Scripts or official electronic transcripts to

Mail official transcripts to:

PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Proposals must outline clinical and translational research that is hypothesis-driven and mechanistic.
  • Performance of the project must be feasible within a two-year period.
  • Project mentors must have extramural research grant funding that is assured for the duration of the project.
  • Sponsoring departments will be expected to guarantee that 75% or more of the candidate’s professional time will be devoted to the goals and objectives of the MSCI program.



The MSCI Program is typically a full-time, two-year (5 academic terms) program. Tuition is usually funded through NIH training grant mechanisms, corporate/foundation grants, or institutional resources. In addition, partial scholarships are available for qualified applicants.  Tuition not covered by a sponsor, department, and/or grant is the financial responsibility of the enrolled student.  Learn more about resources for funding MSCI.

Current students may access their e-bill through the Office of Student Accounts or YES (Your Enrollment Services).

Tuition and student fee amounts for the upcoming academic year are determined every April by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust.


Tuition rates and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year:

Year 1:

  • Tuition, $41,160
  • One-Time Transcript Fee: $100
  • Student Services Fees, $658
  • Student Health Fee, $798

Year 2:

  • Tuition, $20,580
  • Student Services Fees, $562
  • Student Health Fee, $696

Special Student:

  • Tuition, $1,765 per credit hour
  • One-Time Transcript Fee: $100
  • Student Services Fee, $281 per Fall and Spring semester
  • Student Services Fee, $96 per Summer semester

Student Health Insurance:

  • Fall: $1757.50
  • Spring: $1757.50