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NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program – United States/United Kingdom

  • University of Cambridge/University of Oxford, and The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Biomedical
  • Fully Funded
  • US Citizens
  • United Kingdom/United States
  • December 01, 2020

Applications are invited for Fully Funded NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program (PhD) at the University of Cambridge or University of Oxford, United Kingdom and The National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program is an accelerated, individualized doctoral training program for outstanding science students committed to biomedical research careers. The program is based on the British system, in which students perform doctoral research without required formal courses other than those students choose to take in relationship to their own interests. Students selected for admission to the program have already developed a passion for science through engagement in summer, job related, or undergraduate research programs.

Open to US citizens only – three institutions have come together to offer a collaborative 4 year PhD programme, (with the option to combine this with an MD at a US Medical School). Students are allocated two supervisors: one based at the University of Cambridge or University of Oxford; and one based at NIH. Students spend two years at the NIH and two years at either the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford, working on a project that involves a collaborative undertaking by the two laboratories.


Tuition and fees will be paid for by the program, while stipend, medical benefits, and travel allowance for all four years of the program are funded by NIH mentor.

The NIH OxCam scholarship funds a 4-year PhD including stipend, lab consumables in the USA, health insurance in the USA, a travel and training budget and University fees. 

Research is conducted collaboratively between the University of Cambridge and the National Institutes of Health.  The student divides their time equally between the two institutions.


To be eligible for NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program:

  • The Student
    • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Will receive tuition and stipend support, based on NIH policy, for the duration of the program
      (approximately 4 yrs.)
    • Can partner with other scholarship programs
  • The Doctoral Research
    • Self derived and self driven
    • In any area of biomedical research
    • Conducted in both the NIH and U.K. laboratories (time split evenly between both)
    • Has no formal coursework required
      • Courses available if necessary
  • Two Mentors
    • Form a dual collaborative mentorship
      • One mentor at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural campus, Bethesda, MD
      • One mentor at either the University of Oxford OR the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom
  • One Degree
    • Earn a DPhil or PhD from Oxford or Cambridge respectively
    • Average time to completion is just over 4 years (approximately 2 years at each location)
      • Faster than the average PhD program in the U.S.


Applications to NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program are made via the NIH in the USA in the first instance, each year. See the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program website.

The NIH application portal is open on 3 August  and closes 1 December 2020. Invitations for interview are sent out in mid-January and interviews will be held in February 2021.

If you receive an offer from the NIH and you would like to study at the University of Cambridge, please submit an application via the University’s Graduate Admissions Applicant Portal. You should apply directly to the PhD programme of the department where you intend to undertake your PhD, eg. Psychiatry, Engineering, Chemistry. You may find the National Institutes of Health Oxford/Cambridge Program course in the course catalogue.  This should be used if no alternative is available.


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