How do I know if I am considered a minority?
Applicants are asked to self-identify. For the purposes of this program, minority is defined as individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related sciences in the United States and Canada, including American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, African Canadians, Innuit, and First Nation Peoples. Thus, applicants must self-identify, and participants are drawn from this pool.
What does ‘early years of medical school’ mean?
The MMSAP is open to medical students in their early years of schooling. Typically, most of the applicants are first year medical students because the summer between first and second year of medical school provides enough time to complete an eight- to -12 week research experience before classes begin in the fall. However, the MMSAP program has received, and funded many second year medical students as well. In addition, students applying for a second research experience have applied in their third or fourth year, but the experience takes longer to complete due to medical school course requirements. If an applicant is not able to complete the eight- to 12-week experience during the summer, he/she will be asked to explain in the application the plan to complete the research experience.
Do I need to have prior research experience?
While it is not required, the review committee does take into consideration past research experience. However, if you do not have past research experience, but have a strong track record of leadership, service, and are in good academic standing then you will be considered favorably.
I am not currently a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, but my residency application is pending and I anticipate a decision regarding my residency after the application deadline, am I still eligible to apply?
No. All eligibility requirements must be met by the application deadline – March 8, 2013. If you do receive permanent residency, ASH encourages you to apply next year.
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Do I need to submit my undergraduate and medical school transcripts?
No. Applicants are not required to include their transcripts from their undergraduate institution or their medical school. For those applicants that do submit transcripts, please know that they will not be considered during the review.
How do I know if my research mentor is an ASH member?
Ask your mentor. The Society encourages you to build a relationship with your research mentor, and this is a great way to begin that relationship. Otherwise, applicants should email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm their research mentor’s ASH membership status.
Please note ASH will not provide applicants with a list of ASH members.
Who should the letters of recommendation be addressed to?
All letters of recommendation must be included with your application packet. All applications must be submitted electronically to email@example.com. ASH will not accept letters sent by mail. For those who want to include an address on the letters, please address the letters to:
The Committee on Promoting Diversity
American Society of Hematology
2021 L Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
What is the review committee looking for in the letter from my academic advisor/instructor?
This letter is meant to serve as a personal reference for the applicant. Applicants are encouraged to identify someone who knows you reasonably well both as a student and as an individual. While the review committee does not have a specific set of criteria for what these letters should include, the letter may emphasize qualities that make you a terrific candidate for the MMSAP, particularly those qualities that are not articulated elsewhere in your application.
In the application, it asks us to describe our role and responsibilities in the project. What should this entail?
The committee wants to know if you understand what you will be doing in the lab. You should be able to understand and describe your role in the research project before showing up on your first day, and being able to articulate the research you will be involved in is the first step of your research experience. The committee recommends sitting down face-to-face with your research mentor a few times before submitting your application. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, then at least a few phone conversations. Part of the research experience is being able to communicate with and build a relationship with your research mentor – this begins with the application stage.
Do I need to include a timeline in my research project proposal?
It is encouraged. The Committee recognizes that you may not have the specific dates finalized yet; however, the committee would like to have a general idea of how many weeks you’ll be in the lab and when you anticipate starting and finishing the experience.
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I missed the deadline to request a mentor but I still want to apply, how can I find a research mentor?
ASH recommends starting with your medical school, specifically faculty in the department of hematology/oncology, or the hematology course director. If you are unable to locate a mentor at your own medical school, research other institutions in the area.
Applications submitted without a research mentor identified will not be reviewed.
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