SDSU MHIRT Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers.

This is the SDSU MHIRT frequently asked questions section. If you have any questions regarding the MHIRT program please see this page first. This is a collection of common questions or concerns we hear from prospective applicants. If you have a question that’s not listed or would like an expanded answer please don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact form. There’s two different sections to the FAQ’s one for the general questions and the second section is meant for students who have already been accepted to the program. Keep in mind, if there are any questions you may have and are still not addressed, please let us know through our contact form, we will happily answer your questions.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for the 2014 summer program is January 31st, 2014.  Most students perform research at their sites in the summer, so applications are primarily reviewed in the previous spring.

Are medical students students accepted into the program?

Yes, but only a few are accepted. The program is geared towards undergraduates. Medical students should demonstrate in their application why they feel they need the additional research experience that is provided by the MHIRT program.

Do you have to be a student of the consortium schools to be accepted?


What schools are part of this consortium?

San Diego State University (SDSU) in California and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), with the University of Minnesota at Duluth (UM-Duluth).

What dates do the students travel?

This varies according to the site and the coordination with the international mentors. Primarily, students travel in the summer and not during the school year.

Who should complete my Faculty Recommendation Form?

Your recommendation should be written by a professor who knows you and can write a recommendation based on your research abilities and experiences. Please note that we will eventually ask for a letter from a potential mentor who would oversee your research experience if you were accepted into the program.

How do I find a mentor?

You can find a mentor by first deciding on your research interest and then browsing. Please feel free to contact Dr. Dena Plemmons, the director of the MHIRT program, or call the SDSU MIHRT office. They can assist you by suggesting various mentors based on your research interests.

What should the letter from my potential international mentor say?

Please have the potential mentor write a letter on letterhead which includes:

  • who they are
  • where they work
  • their field
  • their interest in having you in their lab
  • their complete contact information

They should also describe the research that you will be conducting in the lab. They can call us with any questions.

Why should I find a mentor?

You don’t have to. Again, if you are having trouble, feel free to contact the SDSU/UCSD MHIRT office and we can help you. After speaking with the directors of the SDSU MHIRT, we encourage all applicants to reach out to potential mentors, which is great practice for graduate school and ensures that students work with an appropriate person with whom they feel comfortable. Also, you want to make sure that the potential mentors have room in their labs for you.

Does the program cover laboratory supplies for my international site?

Yes, the MIHRT covers $1000 per month per trainee for laboratory supplies. The program also provides support for attending scientific meetings.

What is the stipend? What other funds will I receive if accepted on the MHIRT?


Does the stipend vary by site?