About the Program

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development at Brown University (IMSD@Brown) provides research training support for students in underrepresented groups to significantly increase the participation of these groups within the fields of biomedical, behavioral and physical sciences. IMSD@Brown strives for Community, Collaboration, and Excellence in an innovative interactive learning environment. Participants are identified from incoming and early stage PhD cohorts spanning 22 graduate programs across the University.

Trainees receives a unique advising plan and support structure, continuing throughout their graduate career at Brown. Skill- based training modules are designed to foster academic achievement and personal success in graduate school. These training modules focus on areas such as scientific writing, demystifying the PhD experience, statistical analysis of data, and designing and delivering scientific presentations; areas that may not have been fully developed at undergraduate institutions. Modules are open to other graduate students, as necessary, to not only enhance the training environment of the direct participants, but also to impact the entire Graduate community.

IMSD@Brown program has also established formal partnerships with several Minority-Serving Institutions to encourage and increase opportunities for minority students in biology and public health graduate training fields and to promote graduate student development across the Brown campus. Through these multiple strategies, IMSD@Brown seeks to build leverage in order to achieve success with participants reaching their full potential at the end of their graduate career. The program is funded by grant T32GM144926​ (previously R25GM083270) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health since April 2008.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students don't apply directly to the IMSD – they are nominated by their program.  Students must be matriculated into a Brown PhD program to be considered for support by IMSD at Brown.

No, Support from IMSD is only available to students in doctoral programs.

IMSD Scholars receive equivalent support to any other PhD student in their program.  Students at Brown are guaranteed 5 years of support which include stipend, tuition, health services fee, and health insurance.  The baseline stipend is $34,180 per year but some programs offer higher stipends. You can contact your graduate program for more information.

  • Brown Students enrolled full-time in IMSD Partner PhD programs
  • Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident of the US
  • Are from groups considered to be underrepresented in the biomedical sciences:
    • Native Americans/Alaska Natives,
    • Hispanic Americans,
    • Hawaiian Natives/U.S. Pacific Islanders, and
    • African Americans
    • People with Disabilities

Most students will be appointed to the IMSD programs during their 1st or second year in their PhD program.  Students are typically appointed for 1 to 2 years.