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Are there scholarships for attending medical school?

Can I apply for a fellowship if invited to visit a university in the States?


Dear GrantDoctor,Are there any scholarships for nurses from other countries or minorities who would like to continue their education in the States and become doctors?


Dear Reader,

There are funding programs available for nurses, but I think you need to back up a couple steps and ask yourself a more basic question: What financial assistance is there for non-U.S. students who want to go to medical school? (I gather that by "doctor" you are referring to becoming a medical physician--an M.D.--and not a research Ph.D.).

Check out this link to medical scholarships and fellowships for information on grants that might be open to you. It includes lists of funding opportunities available for minorities in medicine and health. You also will find a list of agencies that support financial aid for medical research here.

I spoke with a representative at the U.S. Department of Education's Student Financial Assistance (SFA) office who suggested that the best thing you can do is to call them (1-800-4-FED-AID if you're in the U.S., or 1-319-337-5665--not toll-free--if you're outside the U.S.) to get personal help clarifying your eligibility requirements for federal aid.

Also read the SFA's Student Guide, which is full of information about grants and funding.

Another organization that might be of use to you is the National Student Nurses' Association, which deals with all sorts of nursing issues. They may be able to direct you to sources of funding or give you more specific educational and career advice.

You might also wish to search GrantsNet, a free database of funding opportunities and source of grant information jointly hosted by Next Wave and the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes. I searched the database for awards for medical students who are not U.S. citizens and found 44 grants!

And finally, no matter where your interests lie, you must meet certain conditions if you wish to study in the U.S. Read the U.S. government's Fourteen Steps to Study in the United States to make sure you're aware of all the necessary rules and regulations.

Good luck!

--The GrantDoctor

Dear GrantDoctor,I'm an Argentinean Ph.D. student. I'm a chemical engineer of 25 years and my thesis is in the biotechnology area. I have a formal invitation to do some research at MIT. That would help me very much in improving my thesis work, because MIT has the equipment I need. This invitation is for January to May 2001. I would like to know if I am able to apply for a fellowship.

Sincerely yours,

Ana S.


Dear Ana S.,

Yes, there are grants and fellowships for which non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. nationals can apply. But finding those fellowships can be tough. I would first suggest you search GrantsNet for fellowships that are applicable to you and your situation. You might also want to read my response to this column's previous reader for more general advice on studying in the U.S.

I would also recommend that you get in touch with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Office of Sponsored Programs to explain your situation. Find out whether the institute has in-house funds for which you can apply, and ask about any other options they may suggest. Their Web site provides a list of links to funding sources routinely used by MIT students.

It seems as though your stay in the U.S. will be for a relatively short period of time. If this is true, I would suggest that you look for short-term fellowships that might be funded by associations and organizations in your field of research.

Finally, your home institution in Argentina should recognize that your spending time in the States to complement your Ph.D. research would benefit everyone, including your supervisor and your department. Perhaps they might be able to fund part, if not all, of your visit.

Good luck!

--The GrantDoctor

Due to the high volume of questions received, The GrantDoctor cannot answer all queries on an individual basis. Look for an answer to your question published in this column soon! Thank you!