Research Scholarships

Research scholarships offer both the essential skills and valuable relationships that, together, provide perhaps the surest and swiftest path to residency in the United States, as well as professional advancement, for the vast majority of international medical graduates.

Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) offers research scholarship opportunities in a wide range of specialties at its affiliated and training hospitals for sponsored candidates who have the necessary qualifications (see below).

The research scholarship program is a combination of focused clinical research project and clinical observership in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Thus, you will gain valuable experience in the fundamentals of American medical research and investigative techniques, as well as the analytical thinking skills that are the basis of the best in evidence-based medical practice.

You will become familiar with practice of American medicine and hospital systems here, learn to work with patient Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and have the opportunity to make ward rounds with your medical teams and participate in morbidity and mortality meetings, journal clubs and grand rounds. You also will have the opportunity to participate in teaching conferences and research publishing projects, and learn how to make presentations.

In addition, you will build the foundation for personal and team clinical leadership by interacting with talented fellow researchers in the TUSM program, residents, nursing and attending staff.

Research scholarship required qualifications:
Candidates for research scholarships must meet the following sponsorship, education and examination requirements.

  • Sponsorship, and a financial guarantee, from a TUSM-affiliated international sponsor organization. Applicants are only eligible if they are already sponsored; unfortunately, it is not possible to apply for sponsorship.
  • An MD or equivalent degree from an accredited medical school (a diploma and school transcripts are required).
  • Acceptable United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) results. Applicants may be considered candidates if they have passed Step 1 of the USMLE (minimum score of 215) and are preparing for Step 2 of the USMLE. However, to be accepted for a research scholarship (and, eventually, a residency position), they also must complete Step 2 with the following minimum scores: Step 2-CK, 215; Step 2-CS, Pass. Applicants also must indicate how many attempts were necessary to pass the examinations (More information on the USMLE requirements)
  • While not required of applicants who have passed USMLE Step 1, submission of score reports on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a score of at least 95, is desirable. (More information on TOEFL)

While it is desirable to participate in the program for a full year, shorter training periods are possible. Our goal is to allow the hospital program director enough time to observe your work ethic and performance, so that a letter of recommendation can be written on your behalf. In any event, with the residency match being announced in March of each year, successful candidates must return home to initiate the visa process in time for the residency orientation program in late June.

If your research program is part of an advanced degree program, it could run longer than one year. In addition, research programs that are part of a fellowship, and require an additional year of training, should be identified at the beginning of the application process and approval obtained from the sponsoring organization.

Candidates who have successfully completed their research scholarship program will be awarded a certificate from the hospital at which the research is being conducted.

How to get started:
To learn more about how to become a TUSM research scholar, you should visit the Application Process section of our web site. There you will have access to the application form — and additional documentation that is required —as well as information on how and when to apply, as well as what happens after they have completed their application.

Please note:
The mentorship and guidance of your supervising physician – as well as his or her performance-based recommendation – will play a critical role in your pursuit of residency at a Tufts training or other United States hospital, and career professional advancement. However, a TUSM research scholar position is not a guarantee that you will receive a residency offer.

In addition, you should understand that TUSM does not provide housing as a part of the research scholarship program. You are responsible for finding and paying for your own housing. It is suggested that you begin your housing search well in advance of the starting date of your research program. We offer some suggestions and other online resources on the Finding a Place to Live page of this web site.