How to Become a Medical Scholar

First, second or third year medical students are eligible to apply. The application system for the 2019 scholarships will be open between January and March 2019.

Complete applications must include the following:

  • Cover letter indicating the applicant’s interest in pursuing a career in infectious diseases, how the Medical Scholar Program will help the applicant explore that interest and a detailed explanation of the proposed research activity to be conducted. Cover letters should not exceed two pages in length.
  • Letter of Support from an IDSA member or fellow agreeing to serve as a mentor for the term of the scholarship. Letters should not exceed two pages in length.
  • Course list, background experience or research demonstrating interest in ID.
  • Please direct all questions about your application or eligibility to


Eligibility Requirements

  • Applications will be ranked by the Medical Scholars Committee, a nominated group of infectious disease professionals who review and approve all applications. Scholars are selected based on the promise their prospective research holds for the field, as well as their demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in infectious diseases.
  • All applicants will be notified of the award decisions in April. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a fully-accredited U.S. or Canadian medical school to be eligible for this award. This includes students enrolled in MD-PhD programs who may have completed medical school but still must continue their studies in the PhD phase of the program.
  • The scholarship activity must focus on pediatric or adult infectious diseases and may involve either clinical or research activities.
  • Acceptable clinical activities can range from ID consultant training to participation in clinical trials or any other appropriate variant activities.
  • Acceptable research activities include all facets of infectious diseases including epidemiology, microbiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
  • Each student must have a mentor who is an IDSA member or fellow.
  • Past award recipients may not reapply.
  • Multiple students working on the same project may apply, however each student must submit their own separate application and have their own mentor.
  • Mentors are not permitted to work with multiple students on a project.
  • Funds may be used to support incidental expenses such as supplies, travel, conference registration, etc.

Awardees are required to respond to a participant’s survey, provide a project abstract and submit a final report of research findings at the end of the activity. Students are also required to include information in the final report on how funds were used.  If the student does not comply with the final requirements to close out the program, the balance of funding allocated for that scholar will be forfeited.



Who can Apply?

Applicants must be medical students (first, second or third year) from an accredited medical school in the US or Canada. Students currently pursuing an MD/PhD are eligible to apply.

I would like to do a joint research project, is that possible?

Yes, but each participant must apply separately.

How long does my personal statement need to be?

The personal statement on the online application should not exceed 500 words. There is no minimum.

How long does the letter of support need to be?

The letter of support should not exceed two pages. There is no minimum.

When will recipients be notified?

Recipients of the Medical Scholars Program will be notified in April.

Can my research have an international focus?

Yes, as long as it focuses on infectious diseases.

Can award funding be applied to tuition expenses?

No, award funding may not be applied to tuition expenses.

Am I eligible to apply if I have already received (or expect to receive) other sources of funding for my research project?

Unfortunately, you would not be eligible to apply. We aim to support high quality research projects that do not have other sources of funding.