IMSD @ Rutgers New Brunswick

Dedicated to increasing the diversity of outstanding PhD scientists

IMSD @ Rutgers New Brunswick

Fostering your success in grad school and beyond

The mission of the IMSD program @ Rutgers-New Brunswick is to bolster the success in the biological/biomedical sciences of PhD students who come from historically underrepresented and diverse backgrounds. We aim to provide all our trainees with the knowledge and skills to succeed in research-related and other careers. The program fosters a supportive and nurturing community centered around the program trainees and is open to all PhD students from under-represented or diverse backgrounds across the Rutgers-NB campuses.

Funded by grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1996, the IMSD training program at Rutgers provides financial support, mentorship, an interdisciplinary and exciting environment for scientific training, and opportunities for professional and personal development. We partner with other Rutgers student development programs, such as the Rutgers iJOBS program that provides extensive opportunities for career awareness and preparation. Eligible PhD applicants are nominated for the IMSD through our partner graduate programs, as described below. We take great pride in our current students and in the success of our many alumni in their diverse career paths.

The IMSD @ Rutgers-New Brunswick program is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Grant # 1T32GM139804-01.

Congratulations to the winners at the MBGSO Graduate Student Symposium. We are proud of all of our presenters. Many thanks to the MBGSO board for organizing this amazing event!


Special congratulations to our fellows Gregory Marshall, second place winner for oral presentation, and Leela Biswas, second place winner for her poster. Our fellow, Nathalie Groot, MBGSO board member and program organizer is first on the right. Well done everyone. 

Congratulations to Leela Biswas, winner of the 2022 American Medical Association's (AMA's) Research Challenge

To hear Leela describe her research go to:


2022 IMSD Winter Social Jubilee

winter social


IMSD @ Rutgers New Brunswick Welcomes the 2022 Class of IMSD Fellows and Associates

2022 IMSD class


Congratulations to Khea Wolff on defending her PhD thesis



Congratulations to Sandra Tetteh on defending her PhD thesis


Sandra's PhD Thesis title is: " Regulation of TRPM7 by CNNM2 and Interacting Partners". Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Loren Runnels

Congratulations to Stephania Guzman on defending her PhD thesis

Stephania Guzman

Stephania's PhD Thesis title is: "Targeting Hepatic Kisspeptin Receptor Ameliorates Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease". Thesis Advisor: Dr. Moshmi Bhattacharya.

Financial Support & Eligibility

The IMSD @ Rutgers-New Brunswick offers five fellowships per year to eligible outstanding candidates who have the potential to contribute and have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the nation. These competitive fellowships cover two years of financial support.

Eligibility criteria are set by NIH. IMSD trainees must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Predoctoral trainees must be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in a biomedical discipline.  We strongly encourage the participation of trainees from underrepresented groups (see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity) in our program.

Visit the NIH Website for more details

Our IMSD @ Rutgers-New Brunswick fellowship includes a stipend that is in line with your graduate program, full tuition, and health insurance. Funding for the second year is contingent upon good progress as determined by your graduate program. The fellowships also provide funding for attendance at a scientific conference ($1,000 in total).

IMSD @ Rutgers-New Brunswick does not accept students directly. Outstanding eligible students admitted to one of the 14 IMSD @ Rutgers–New Brunswick partner graduate programs can be nominated for an IMSD fellowship by their individual program. The IMSD program directors review the applications, meet the candidates, and accept students to the program.

Our partner graduate programs are Biochemistry; Cell and Developmental Biology; Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology; Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; Physiology and Integrative Biology; Biomedical Engineering; NeuroscienceMicrobial BiologyNutritional SciencesPlant Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences, and Toxicology.


Since 1996, our program has supported the training of more than 100 Ph.D. students from underrepresented groups. Our alumni have gone on to successful careers in academia and in a variety of biomedical disciplines, including the pharmaceutical industry, science & health policy, intellectual property, clinical trials, and regulatory affairs, science writing and communication, and many more.Key to this success has been the sustained and dedicated personal mentorship offered by the IMSD @ Rutgers–New Brunswick program directors, Dr. Loren Runnels, Dr. Tracy Scott, and Dr. Jerome Langer, and the support they offer students through the critical milestones of their academic training and beyond.


Scientific Training

This is an exciting time to embark on graduate studies in the biomedical- and life sciences. IMSD @ Rutgers–New Brunswick partners with 14 Rutgers graduate programs that offer cutting-edge training in a wide range of fields, interdisciplinary topics, and feature faculty who are committed to mentoring. 

Professional Development

The IMSD @ Rutgers-New Brunswick program, the Rutgers iJOBS Program and the numerous Academic Enrichment Activities available to Rutgers predoctoral trainees are all designed to promote your success in grad school and prepare you for a competitive position post-graduation. As an IMSD @ Rutgers-New Brunswick fellow, you will be expected to participate in several of these activities throughout your Ph.D. training.


The Maximizing Student Development (MSD) Course is offered by IMSD @ Rutgers-New Brunswick program directors (Course Number 16:718:582). This is a 1-credit Pass/Fail course that meets six times each semester. Our fellows are required to take the course for four years. Click to see the course description.


Graduating with a Ph.D. is the entry point to an exciting career in biomedical sciences. But, what if you do not know which career you want to pursue? The iJOBS Program was designed to expose biomedical pre-and post-doctoral trainees to a variety of non-academic career options and empower them to pursue their career goals.

Discover more about iJOBS

As a trainee in a biomedical discipline, you will complete Responsible Conduct of Research Training and Rigor and Reproducibility Training in year one. In year two, IMSD fellows are encouraged (and funded) to attend a regional or national scientific conference. In years two or three, IMSD fellows complete a writing and/or grant writing course or workshop. In year three, IMSD fellows, under the direction of their research mentors, apply for a fellowship. In years three through four, IMSD fellows participate in the career exploration/preparation program offered through the Rutgers iJOBS Program. After year five, IMSD fellows continue to meet with IMSD program directors and participate in the annual research symposium. 

View all of our Academic Enrichment




As an underrepresented minority in the sciences, it can be challenging to find a community of students and faculty that are committed to supporting your academic and career success. We bring our trainees together to celebrate each other's successes and to be there for each other when challenges arise. Throughout the year we hold community IMSD events to build and sustain our community.