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Sarnoff Fellowship

The Sarnoff Fellowship Program offers medical students enrolled in accredited U.S. medical schools the opportunity to spend a year conducting intensive work in a biomedical research facility in the United States.

We strongly encourage students to spend the Fellowship year at an institution in the United States other than their medical school, but recognize that, for some, leaving their home institution could present a significant hardship. Requests for exceptions to this policy will be considered based on personal reasons and availability of suitable laboratories, but must be stated at the time of application.

During the year in the laboratory, the Sarnoff Fellow will undertake his/her own research project and assume responsibility for it from inception to completion. The Fellow is expected, with guidance, to develop the hypothesis and specific aims of the project, to participate in the experimental design, to carry out appropriate experiments, to interpret the data with the help of his/her Preceptor, and to prepare an original manuscript for submission to an appropriate peer-reviewed journal. Each Fellow presents his/her results at the Sarnoff Foundation's Annual Scientific Meeting, as well as at appropriate national meetings.

Fellows are selected on the basis of a national competition. Sarnoff seeks individuals with demonstrated intellectual and academic achievement, as well as leadership ability.

Stipend and Benefits

  • $42,000 stipend
  • Allowances up to $8,000 for:
    • travel to select a Preceptor and Fellowship laboratory
    • moving expenses
    • health insurance
    • financial support to attend the Sarnoff Annual Scientific Meeting and American Heart Association Scientific Sessions
    • travel to present a paper, based on Fellowship research, at two national conferences

Selection of Preceptor

The Preceptor provides an appropriate research project and oversees the Fellow's research training. It is not necessary for the applicant to have developed a research project or to have identified potential Preceptors at the time of application.

The Fellow is assigned an Advisor from the Sarnoff Scientific Committee. The Advisor assists the Fellow in selecting a Preceptor who can direct a project in the area of the Fellow's interest, which must be broadly within the cardiovascular or cerebrovascular sciences.

Fellows are encouraged to visit several laboratories and to meet with several prospective Preceptors prior to selecting the Preceptor. The Scientific Committee Advisor approves the Fellow's choice of laboratory and takes an active role in monitoring the Fellow's progress during the research year. This includes a site visit to meet with the Fellow and the Preceptor once the research is underway.

Fellow Evaluation and Selection

The Sarnoff Foundation seeks individuals with demonstrated intellectual and academic achievement, as well as leadership potential. The Scientific Committee places major emphasis on:

  • The applicant's interest in a career in research, as documented by a personal statement;
  • The quality of the applicant's essay and the ability to discuss the research topic;
  • Likelihood of providing the applicant with an intensive, rewarding research experience; and
  • Letters of recommendation.

For more information on the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation, please visit

How to Apply

Application Schedule and Information

Competitions are held annually. The application deadline for the 2025-26 Sarnoff Fellowship Program is January 8, 2025.

Each applicant must submit the following:

  • An up to two page essay (1/2 inch margins and Arial 11 font) summarizing a question you find interesting related to cardiovascular disease. How might you go about answering that question through scientific research?  This should be an idea you generated through your experience in medical school and review of the literature, not a project you have worked on in the past.  Also, the text should be developed by the applicant independent of direct input from a mentor.
  • A half page describing your motivation to pursue a year of dedicated research in cardiovascular disease.
  • Completed application form and signed statement of confidentiality
  • Official medical school transcript
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Recommendation from the applicant's Sponsor
  • Two additional recommendations
  • Any other material that the applicant determines is appropriate to support the application
Once you have completed the online application form, you will be matched with a Sarnoff mentor who can provide any guidance you may need on your essay.

If you require assistance or additional information, please contact

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Contact Us

Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation
1390 Chain Bridge Road, PMB 50051
McLean, VA 22101
Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation


Application Open: July 1, 2024
Application Close: January 8, 2025
Finalists Notified: February 14, 2025
Finalist Interview and Selection Process: (Virtual) February 28 - March 1, 2025
Awardees Announced: March 14, 2025
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