Medical Research Fellowship Program

Students in the Medical Research Fellowship Program


The Medical Research Fellowship Program (MRFP) at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) provides international medical graduates with the opportunity to enhance their research and clinical skills, preparing them to be strong candidates when applying for U.S. residency programs in the United States. Since the MRFP launched in 2012, 86% of research fellows have successfully matched into U.S. residency positions after completion of the program.

We are now accepting applications for the next program that begins in May 2024! Please refer to the information below for more details.


The goals of the program include providing opportunities for research fellows to:

  • Develop a rich and longstanding relationship with a GW faculty member
  • Create a network of professional contacts for future support in international medicine
  • Develop critical thinking, analytical, and practical inquiry skills utilizing the latest approaches in U.S. healthcare and medical research
  • Build a foundation for utilizing evidence-based medicine
  • Increase skills in critical appraisal, research design, and understanding of the entire medical research process
  • Publish articles or abstracts in peer-reviewed journals and present research posters or papers at conferences
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of the U.S. healthcare delivery and medical education system
  • Develop personal and group leadership skills necessary for advancement in clinical practice and research
  • Develop strategies for communicating clinical research and medical information in spoken and written English
  • Gain broad public speaking and presentation experience and participate in at least one professional conference in field of interest


Research: Research fellows attend weekly critical appraisal sessions to increase their knowledge of research methods, analyze the latest in medical publications, and publish letters to the editor. Research fellows also participate in individual and group research projects alongside their faculty mentor aiming to present at a national conference and publish in a peer-reviewed journal.

Clinical observation: Research fellows actively and successfully participate as members of a clinical team. While direct, hands-on patient contact is not permitted, the research fellow engages with the team in all other clinical activities. 

One-on-one mentorship: Each research fellow is matched with a GW faculty mentor in their specialty of choice. Research fellows join the faculty mentor and are integrated into the clinical team, which includes faculty, residents, and students. The faculty mentor provides counseling and guidance through weekly meetings.

U.S. residency application preparation: Research fellows are supported by IMP staff and the Program Medical Director who provide residency preparation interviews and review of curriculum vitae and personal statements. Research fellows can obtain detailed and personalized letters of recommendation from GW faculty members when appropriate. 

Professional development: Research fellows attend regular clinical department grand rounds, conferences, and lectures with their team of faculty, residents, and students. Research fellows are key members of the team and fully participate in department activities. 

Application Process

Research fellows can participate in the program for a duration of 6 months or 12 months and the recommended start date is in May. Earlier or later start dates are also considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Applicants should submit the following required documents to the Office of International Medicine Programs (IMP) at

  1. Headshot photograph
  2. Curriculum vitae 
  3. Personal statement (1 page)
  4. Medical school degree
  5. Medical school transcript
  6. Three letters of recommendation
  7. USMLE Step 1 and 2 score reports (if available)

Contact with any questions or to request additional information about the program fees.