NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

The University of California, Davis -- home to the largest number of biologists on a single campus in North America -- is proud to offer support to outstanding underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged students entering doctoral programs in the biomedical sciences through the National Institutes of Health-Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (NIH-IMSD). The overall goal of this program is to diversify the biomedical research workforce.


During their first year as a Ph.D. student, each NIH-IMSD Fellow will receive a stipend for living expenses plus all tuition and student fees. This stipend will be provided in partnership with their graduate program. An additional four years of support will be available through a variety of resources including research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or other forms of graduate student support, assuming satisfactory progress is being made toward earning the Ph.D. degree.


The IMSD program builds connections between IMSD Fellows and other student and faculty colleagues in the life sciences. During a summer bridge program, which starts in August preceding the first year of graduate school, Fellows will spend seven weeks conducting research in the laboratory of a faculty member and meeting weekly as a group. A seminar class is taught during the academic year by a faculty member on the program's steering committee. It includes activities focused on enhancing scientific writing and oral presentation skills, instruction on computer and library search techniques, experimental design, and modern issues in biomedical sciences.

The UC Davis Campus

Established in 1908, UC Davis has vastly broadened in scope. Today, campus programs encompass the biological & environmental sciences, arts & humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Additionally, professional degree and credential programs are available through the School of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Law, Graduate School of Management, and Division of Education. The campus offers graduate students an especially rich array of resources in the biological sciences.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Members of underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged groups are especially encouraged to apply.

How to Apply for the IMSD Program

When you apply for admission to the Graduate Group of your choice [e.g., Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology; Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology; Biomedical Engineering; Biophysics; Immunology; Integrative Genetics & Genomics; Microbiology; Neuroscience; Nutrition Science; Pharmacology; Psychology], you should also email the IMSD Program Director, indicating the Graduate Group to which you have applied and your interest in the IMSD program.

For More Information

For more information contact:
Program Director, Professor Barbara Horwitz
Department of Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior
College of Biological Sciences
530-752-0169
bahorwitz@ucdavis.edu