How to Apply

How To Apply to the Combined Diagnostic Pathology and Biomedical Research Graduate Program

Admissions Advice
Some common characteristics sought after in our CBSTP applicants:

  • Highly motivated, well-rounded veterinarians with accomplished backgrounds who share a vision of integrated clinical and research training in preparation for a career in biomedical research as a pathologist and comparative biomedical scientist.
  • Students who have had one or more pathology training and/or research experiences, have given presentations (poster or oral) at regionally or nationally attended meetings, and who may have published manuscripts in scientific and/or veterinary journals.
  • Students with outstanding recommendation letters, particularly those from mentors who have supervised an applicant's laboratory projects and pathology activities.
  • Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher (in both undergraduate and veterinary school) and GRE scores in the 70-96th percentile.
  • Students capable of effectively communicating their research interests, reasons for seeking training, their specific interest in seeking training in the CBSTP, and what they plan to do with the training once obtained.
  • Students with a passion for pathology investigation and for seeking an understanding of disease mechanisms by taking the problem solving beyond the first tier.

Consideration for admission to the program requires application filing and acceptance by both the NIH and one or more university partners. Applicants should indicate university preferences in their cover letters of their NIH applications. Only the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) application is required initially to be considered for admission to the NIH Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program (CBSTP). NIH GPP applications are shared with University partners during initial trainee evaluations. However we do encourage applicants to investigate our university partners directly as this will help familiarize applicants with the various offerings at the universities and allow the universities to become acquainted with the applicants. Trainees will need to apply separately to each university they want to be considered by. Formal application to universities should follow the advice of each college. Deadlines for graduate school applications are typically after CBSTP decisions are made, however this must be verified by the candidate. (The final match of a student with a university is made by the CBSTP, taking into consideration the student’s choice, the ranking of the student in the university evaluation, and program needs.)

Application Components

  • Create Login
  • Partnership Selection - Select "Consortia of Universities - Molecular Pathology/NCI"
  • Academic Information - Self-reporting of grades, GRE results 
  • CV/Resume Section
    • Research Interests
    • Research Experience
    • Publications and Presentations
    • Awards and Honors
    • Extracurricular Activities
    • Personal Statement*
    • Additional Information 
  • References - Three required

Special Instructions

The Personal Statement*
Take care when creating your personal statement. It is an important part of your application and should include:

  1. Academic interests and career goals.
  2. Scientific research experience, pathology experience and other relevant professional, educational, and volunteer experiences.
  3. Reasons for applying to the NIH Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program.
  4. An indication of which partnership universities are of interest.
  5. Perspective on your plans for what you will do after obtaining your training.

It may be best not to submit a generic personal statement developed for other schools or programs.

Application Time Line:

  • August 1 – Application website open to receive applications
  • August 20 - Deadline for early decision applications
  • September 3 – Deadline for complete application (for full consideration) – Application evaluation begins
  • September 11 – November – On-site Interviews – Program covers transportation, lodging, and meal costs

NOTICE:  NIH CBSTP fellowships include fellowship support from the NIH and enrollment in a partnership university graduate school along with training as a diagnostic pathologist, for a training experience on both NIH and university campuses.  CBSTP extends fellowship offers in accordance with NIH policies and through an admissions process that entails independent admissions decisions by our multiple NIH institute sponsors and our university partners.  The admissions matrix created by virtue of this multi-institutional consortium is a complex process.  The number of training slots varies from year to year.  In order to accomplish the involved multi-institutional recruiting and placement process, the NIH CBSTP application timelines are among the earliest of all post-DVM training programs.  As a consequence of the multi-institutional partnerships, we are unable to adhere to a uniform candidate-acceptance date.  While this may be viewed as regrettable, with applicants in some cases asked to make acceptance decisions about NIH fellowship offers unaligned with a mid-November timeframe for uniform acceptances, the CBSTP hopes that it’s unique multi-institutional consortium recruiting calendar provides opportunities benefiting the profession that outweigh this necessity.  

Questions about application technical issues should be directed to Dr. Pat Wagner (, GPP Director of Admissions and Registrar.

Questions related to the CBSTP and applications to the CBSTP should be directed to the program's Director, Dr. Mark Simpson and the administrative team at

For instructions on applying through the GPP online application portal Click HERE. You may also find the GPP's information for applicants to all NIH Graduate Partnerships useful.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ONLINE APPLICATION Make sure you click on the “Applicants” link, and then click the box for “Institutional Partnerships”. The CBSTP is listed as “Consortia of Universities –Molecular Pathology / NCI”.

University Partner Applications can be found at the following links:

How To Apply to the Summer Internship/Externship Program

For Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (8-12 weeks, May-August)
(Online Application process opens in mid-November the previous year)

Fill out online application at: OITE Summer Internship
Note: Select graduate school for university level and include keyword “veterinary” in application.

Also send an email with your intent to apply

Items required for application:

  1. Self-reporting of all courses and grades or transcripts from all universities, including all undergraduate and graduate studies
  2. Letters of recommendation
  3. Personal letter of interest and curriculum vitae

Application Time Line:

  • Mid November – Application website open to receive applications
  • February 1 – Early deadline for complete application (for full consideration)
  • February and March – Telephone interviews
  • March and April – Offers for summer internship

For Externships (2-6 weeks), to be scheduled during the the rest of the calendar year,
send an email to and you will receive further instructions for applying.