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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the research training only for doctoral students?
Yes. Students must be enrolled in a biomedical, health, or behavioral sciences doctoral degree program from one of five Mississippi universities: Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, University of Mississippi Medical Center, or University of Southern Mississippi.

Are undergraduate students eligible to apply?
No. Undergraduate students do not meet the requirements to apply for this program.

Where can I find the application?
Thank you for your interest in our program. Email the GTEC office staff to receive the Robert Smith, MD Graduate Scholars Program application.

What are the dates of the Summer Institute?
The Summer Institutes are typically held during the months of June or July each year. Specific dates for each year are given to selected scholars by the UMMC-GTEC administrative office.

What types of research do Smith Scholars conduct?
Scholars selected for this program conduct an individual project in cardiovascular health epidemiology, including data analysis using the Jackson Heart Study data.

What level of commitment is expected to be successful in this program?
The 2-year program is intentionally designed to be an intensive research and training experience. Selected Scholars will commit to attending a 4-day summer training institute for two consecutive summers, a mid-year meeting in early January, and participate in quarterly webinars. Additionally, selected scholars can expect continuous interaction with senior researchers and mentors throughout the 2-year program. 

Do students typically publish their work while participating in the program?
Smith Scholars are guided through the program by trained senior research mentors. As a part of the program, Smith Scholars are required to develop a manuscript for publication and one abstract that will be presented at a national conference.

Do students receive academic credit hours or financial aid under this program?
No. The Robert Smith, MD Graduate Scholars Program at UMMC is a research training and mentoring program. Academic credit hours are not conferred, and tuition is not charged; therefore, financial aid for this program does not apply under Title IV. Students selected for this two-year research training program will receive a stipend of $7,500/year.

Who is responsible for funding this program?
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN268201800012I.

How does the program ensure the protection of each student’s privacy?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 prohibit the release of educational information or personally identifiable information other than directory information about the students without their written consent except to specified agencies and persons such as school officials and certain federal or state offices as defined in the law. For more information about FERPA, visit the U.S. Department of Education.