Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)

The Graduate College offers the prestigious National Institute of Health  (NIH) Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Graduate Study Awards to outstanding underrepresented students who are admitted to one of the participating Ph.D. biomedical programs at the University of Arizona (UArizona).  Established in 2001, the UArizona IMSD program has served as a catalyst in increasing diversity in the biomedical sciences by using inclusive recruitment and retention practices to create a welcoming campus climate for diverse students. The mission of the UArizona IMSD Program is to train a cohort of research-oriented professionals with the technical, operational, and professional skills needed to succeed as biomedical scientists, thereby diversifying the biomedical workforce.



Applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • From a racial or ethnic group underrrepresented in health-related sciences, a student with a disability, or low income, first generation (disadvantaged background)
  • Accepted into one of the participating University of Arizona Ph.D. programs

Program Attributes

There is no IMSD application. Participating programs nominate students for this award. 

Year One, NIH/IMSD Scholars will receive:

  • A $30,000 stipend
  • Full base tuition paid (In-state and out-of-state main campus tuition, mandatory fees are not included)
  • Individual Student Health Insurance
  • Experience in 3-4 laboratory rotations prior to choosing a research mentor
  • colloquium course designed to teach graduate school survival skills
  • Travel funds to defray the cost to attend a national scientific conference
  • a cohort of likeminded peers

The NIH/IMSD Scholars' subsequent 4 years will be funded by their department in the form of research and/or teaching assistantships or a training fellowship at comparable levels depending on the program.