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Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the deadline for applying?
A. Students do not apply for the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship. Once you have been accepted in to a participating Ph.D. program, you are recommended for the fellowship by the department. Fellowships are awarded until all of the positions are filled.

Q. Who is eligible for the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship?
A. The Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship is open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In order to qualify for a Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship, students must be interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in the biomedical or behavioral science field, have a GPA of at least 3.0, meet all departmental requirements, and demonstrate an interest in the advancement of underrepresented minorities in the sciences. Click here for an overview of the program.

Q. What educational/experience background does the typical Meyerhoff Student have.
A. It varies. Most of the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows have a background (undergraduate degree and sometimes a master’s degree) in biomedical or behavioral science areas. All of the students have participated in some type of research experience prior to entering graduate school.

Q. What is the minimum GRE requirement?
A. Minimum GRE scores vary by academic program. The UMBC institution code for the GRE is 5835.

Q. What happens if I receive a different fellowship from UMBC, UMB, or another Federal/Private Fellowship?
A. If you receive and decide to accept a different fellowship, you are still able to participate in the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program. However, your benefits, salary, health insurance, and tuition remission will be paid by the fellowship that you decide to keep. You cannot keep both fellowships. You are permitted to keep merit awards that are sometimes awarded by the department to supplement a student’s salary.

Q. How are the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) affiliated?
A. Students who apply to the Ph.D. program in Biochemistry are a part of a combined program. Students will have the opportunity to take classes at both campuses, as well as rotate with research faculty on both campuses. Students who apply to the participating programs in GPILS (Graduate Programs in Life Science) at UMB will be eligible for the fellowship as well.

Q. Do I need to maintain a minimum GPA?
A. All graduate students are expected to maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 during their entire course of study.  

Q. What is your graduation rate for the program?
A. 79% of the students who have participated in the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program have been retained or completed the Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D. The average time to degree completion is 5-6 years.

Q. How many years will I be supported by the fellowship?
A. The fellowship is currently a 12-month fellowship.

Q. Does the fellowship cover fees associated with tuition?
A. No. Please visit www.umbc.edu/gradschool/funding/index.html regarding fees at UMBC. For information on fees associated with UMB GPILS programs, visit www.fincsvc.umaryland.edu/sa/images/grad.pdf.

Q. Does the Meyerhoff Fellowship support you the entire tenure of your graduate career?
A. Yes. Graduate students are financially supported by the fellowship for the first year of study with salary, health insurance and tuition remission. The following year’s students are supported with financial assistance to attend scientific research meetings and program support to be sure that students stay on track towards achieving the Ph.D. Students are required to attend and present at the Monthly Research Meetings, as well as the Annual Retreat.

Q. Is health insurance covered for all years while you are pursuing your Ph.D.?
A. Yes. The first year your health insurance is covered by the fellowship. The following years your insurance is covered by your research mentor, the department/program, or your own pre-doctoral fellowship that students are encouraged to apply for.

Q. Who is required to participate in the Summer Bridge Program?
A. All students that have accepted the fellowship are strongly encouraged to participate in the Summer Bridge program.

Q. What type of travel is covered by the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship?
A. Travel funds are provided for students in the 2nd—4th year of graduate school to attend scientific conferences to present their research findings. Students are also encouraged to compete for travel awards to offset the expenses of their trip.

Q. How can I contact current Fellows in my discipline?
A. Students may contact Justine Johnson, associate director, and she will assist them in an introduction to current students.

Q. Who should I contact with questions about the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program before accepting the fellowship?
A. Feel free to contact the Director of the Program, Dr. Michael F. Summers at summers@hhmi.umbc.edu or Associate Director Justine Johnson at j.johnson@umbc.edu or 410-455-3124.

The Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program not only serves as a great support system for transitioning into and being successful in graduate school, but it also provides an opportunity to network with other students and professionals. The program is truly invaluable!”

Shannadora Hollis,
Molecular Medicine

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