NIH R25 scholars award

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided Meharry Medical College with five years of funding to support three graduate students in a prestigious summer research opportunity in biomedical data science.

The NIH R25 scholars will participate in 10 weeks of summer training and research in biomedical data science. They will have access to NIH resources, faculty mentorship, and joint training with Fisk University School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Department of Biomedical Informatics at VUMC.

Dates of 2024 Summer Program:

May 28, 2024 – August 2, 2024
The research and training will take place in person in Nashville during the day from Monday to Friday.

SACS graduate students selected as NIH Scholars will receive:

  • $10,000 stipend
  • Free on campus housing or possibly a housing allowance if you live in Nashville
  • Funds for travel to a science conference
  • Title of NIH Scholar (Prestigious)

The summer program will involve research and mentoring, training in technical and professional skills for the summer research activities and a summer seminar series.  Seminars include education and career pathways, research topics and methods, professional skills and latest advances in biomedical data science.

Qualification: Applications must (1) be enrolled in Meharry’s School of Applied Computational Sciences in good standings and (2) be US citizens or permanent residents.

How to apply

Interested students should complete an application. A faculty committee will select the three participants. The application deadline is March 29, 2024.

Questions?

Contact Todd Gary, director of community and external R&D partnerships, at tpgary@mmc.edu or David Lockett, grants proposal development and awards management specialist, at dlockett@mmc.edu.

As an HBCU, Meharry Medical College is committed to increasing the diversity of biomedical data scientists and bioinformatics professionals. We believe that goal is critical to ensuring that issues affecting health equity are not overlooked in our field. In forming the NIH R25 Scholars program, we have joined with two prestigious, like-minded partners, Fisk University and the Bioinformatics Department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). 

The NIH R25 Scholars program is made possible through a grant awarded to Meharry, Fisk and VUMC from the National Library of Medicine, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Meharry is the principal on the grant, the only HBCU to serve as lead on an NIH R25 grant. 

Building a diverse pipeline to the future 

The NIH R25 Scholars program enhances the curriculums at Meharry School of Applied Computational Sciences (SACS) and Fisk with a meaningful summer research experience. From 2023 to 2028, scholars representing both institutions will participate in 10 weeks of summer training and research. They will have access to NIH resources, faculty mentorship, and training with Meharry SACS, the Fisk University School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Department of Biomedical Informatics at VUMC. 

The summer program will involve research and mentoring, training in technical and professional skills for the summer research activities, and a summer seminar series.  Seminars include education and career pathways, research topics and methods, professional skills and the latest advances in biomedical data science. 

Our purpose is clear, to prepare students who are underrepresented in biomedical data science and bioinformatics to excel in future educational and career opportunities. 

Leading biomedical data science research 

The partnering institutions for the NIH R25 Scholars program combine excellence in biomedical data science and bioinformatics with a passion for addressing health disparities. Fisk and Meharry are HBCUs with a high proportion of students from groups who are underrepresented in biomedical informatics and biomedical data science. VUMC provides substantial expertise in successful summer research experiences through the Vanderbilt Biomedical Informatics Summer Program. Each institution is in Nashville, Tenn., and enjoys a history of successful collaborations.  

Program at a Glance

Highlights

  • Close guidance from research mentor 
  • Seminars, workshops, meetings and presentations 
  • Free on campus housing or possibly a housing allowance if you live in Nashville 
  • Funds for travel to a science conference 

Length  
10 weeks 

Dates 
May 28 – Aug. 2, 2024 
The research and training will take place during the day, Monday – Friday. 

Stipend 
$10,000 

Funding
We are grateful to the National Library of Medicine — of the National Institutes of Health — for the NIH R25 funding. 

I invite you to further explore the NIH R25 Scholars program. We will share highlights of student work from the summer, and if you are interested, applications open each fall. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Todd Gary, director of community and external R&D partnerships, at tpgary@mmc.edu or David Lockett, grants proposal development and awards management specialist, at dlockett@mmc.edu

Best, 

Fortune Mhlanga signature

Fortune S. Mhlanga 
Dean, School of Applied Computational Sciences
Senior Vice President for Enterprise Data and Analytics


NIH R25 Award Scholars 

The following Meharry SACS students will participate in weekly seminar series and collaborate on research with their faculty mentor. They will present summer research results at a R25 research symposium on August 4, 2023.  

2024 NIH R25 Scholars

Jean-Hus Theodore 
M.S. Biomedical Data Science 
Mentor: Vibhuti Gupta, Ph.D., Meharry SACS  

Micaiah McDonald 
M.S. Biomedical Data Science 
Mentor: Aize Cao, Ph.D. 

Dodji Kuwonu  
M.S. Biomedical Data Science 
Mentor: Aize Cao, Ph.D. 

2023 NIH R25 Scholars

See what the 2023 NIH R25 Scholars had to say about their experience.

Aleesa Mann 
M.S. Data Science Student 
Mentor: Vibhuti Gupta, Ph.D., Meharry SACS 

Ndidiamaka Obi 
M.S. Biomedical Data Science 
Mentors: Zhijun Yin, Ph.D. and Kim Unertl, Ph.D. 

Bradford Patton 
M.S. Data Science 
Mentor: Bishnu Sarker, Ph.D. 

Noah Whittenbarger 
M.S. Biomedical Data Science 
Mentor: Aize Cao, Ph.D.