Application Process

Do you have what it takes to be a part of the SDSU MHIRT program?

The SDSU MHIRT Program is always interested in receiving applications from exceptional candidates. In addition to meeting the below criteria, we are looking for applicants with a high level of emotional maturity, professionalism, and dedication to improving the research and outcomes of populations affected by health disparities post matriculation. To be eligible for the MHIRT program you must, at minimum, meet the following criteria:
  • You must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must come from an NIH specified minority group underrepresented in biomedical research. (Please visit our Program Overview page for more information).
  • You must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Undergraduate applicants must have junior or senior class standing at your institution. Previous undergraduate research experience is highly recommended.
  • Master’s students must have previous research experience in the area of our MHIRT training programs.
  • You must show a commitment to pursuing a career in research, public health, or another field, focused on health disparities.

Important Dates to Keep Track Of

If you believe you meet these requirements, please continue to read below the important dates and deadlines of the program to ensure you are able to participate in all activities during your tenure with the MHIRT Program.
Monday, October 2, 2017: Application period opens
Applications will be made available online.
Friday, December 15, 2017: Application period closes
Application deadline. Your complete application [application form, transcripts, personal statement and letters of recommendation] must be received by midnight on December 15, 2017. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. You can send an unofficial transcript with your application, but the official transcript must arrive by January 13, 2018.
Thursday, February 1, 2018: All applicants notified of the status of their application
Acceptance announcements and packets sent out.
Thursday, February 15, 2018: Formal acceptance of MHIRT fellowship
Accepted trainees must return their acceptance package, including travel insurance and stipend forms. All fellows without a passport valid for 6 months past September 2018 must either apply for their passport or renew their current passport at their own expense. Accepted fellows must return completed acceptance packet or forfeit fellowship offer.
Monday, March 5, 2018: Ethics course begins
Accepted fellows are required to complete an online, 6 week, ethics in research course with MHIRT Director, Dr. Dena Plemmons. This course is required before your departure. Failure to complete this course or unsatisfactory participation is grounds for dismissal from the program.
April-May, 2018: Fellows receive pre-travel packets; pre-travel arrangements are made
Pre-Travel Packets with information on visa and vaccination requirements will be sent out. You must ensure you have a valid passport, have obtained all necessary vaccinations and clearances before you go abroad. MHIRT office will make travel arrangements; roundtrip travel is covered by MHIRT funds.
Late May - Early June 2018: Pre-departure training
Your SDSU Mentor will have earlier sent you a brief assignment to complete before pre-departure training. These assignments will be part of your training while in San Diego.
Early June 2018: Depart for international research site from San Diego
The international research experience begins. Through the MHIRT program, you will receive a modest stipend which is meant to support you while at your research site and housing/per diem allowance (which will be reimbursed to you upon return).
Mid-August, 2018: Return from international research site
The international research experience concludes, and fellows return to their home campuses.
September 1, 2018: Reimbursement paperwork and receipts due
All receipts and necessary reimbursement paperwork must be received by this date.
September 15, 2018: Scientific paper and cultural paper both due
Detailed instructions for the reports will be provided with other pre-departure information. Fellows will also be encouraged to submit their work to a national conference (for oral or poster presentation); SDSU students are expected to submit a presentation to the SDSU Student Research Symposium. Travel funds are available for those students whose submissions are accepted for presentation.
November, 2018: Final reimbursements dispersed

To complete the online portion of the application you will need to have ready:


Letters of Recommendation Contact Information


The name, title, institution, address, phone, and email of at least 2 persons who will be submitting a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Those recommending you should be able to attest to your academic and research abilities (in a lab or otherwise), your professionalism, and your character/temperament (for instance, your ability to handle the stressors and limitations of working in a foreign laboratory or field setting and living abroad for some months: Adaptability? Flexibility? Problem-solving skills? Tolerance for and appreciation of cultural differences?) Please inform those writing letters on your behalf that those letters need to be received in the MHIRT office by no later than the application deadline date (posted above) or you will be considered ineligible for the MHIRT Program.

Personal Statement


This statement should address your academic and professional readiness to be a MHIRT fellow and your future career goals. Some questions to think about that we encourage you to answer in your statement include:
  • Why are you applying to the SDSU MHIRT program?
  • What sort of experience, training, and/or coursework do you have that prepares you for participation in the SDSU MHIRT program at the research site(s) of your choice?
  • How do you anticipate the experience of conducting research at an international site might help your educational and career development in clinical/biomedical/behavioral health sciences research?
  • What plans do you have for continuing your education and research once you return from the MHIRT experience?
  • How do you plan to help advance the goals of the MHIRT program?

Unofficial Transcript


You are required to submit an unofficial transcript with your application. Official transcripts are also required and must arrive to our office no later than the due date posted above. You will need to contact the Registrar at your school and request that an official copy of your transcript be sent to the SDSU MHIRT Program to the address on the “Contact Us” page. Any applicant without official transcripts delivered to the MHIRT office by this date will not be considered for participation in the MHIRT program.

Begin Filling out the Application Online


If you’re ready to begin the application process please click the “Apply Now” button below.  Thank you.

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SDSU MHIRT Program
5500 Campanile Dr.
San Diego, CA 92182-1016

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