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Vivien Thomas PhD Scholars

The Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative (VTSI) is dedicated to nurturing, mentoring and connecting the exceptional diverse talent that exists at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority serving institutions (MSIs) to STEM graduate education and future leadership in STEM careers.

VTSI Provides:

Exceptional Research Training

As the nation’s first research university and the nation’s leader in annual federal research funding for over 40 years, Hopkins is a great place to learn, do science, and grow in STEM. Our Hopkins faculty and students together do phenomenal research, giving rise to extraordinary discoveries that have positively transformed our nation and our globe. VTSI scholars will join one of our exceptional STEM PhD programs for their own graduate journey of discovery, working closely with the world’s leading scholars and scientists.

Excellent Advising and Mentorship

Providing students excellence in mentorship is an absolutely core value for our Hopkins graduate programs. VTSI scholars will work jointly under the guidance of outstanding STEM program faculty mentors and dedicated VTSI mentors alike, with whom VTSI scholars will meet regularly for individual check-ins and complementary advising, mentorship and sponsorship, all dedicated towards ensuring that VTSI scholars fully thrive personally and professionally along their journey at Hopkins and beyond.

Professional and Career Development Activities

The VTSI is fully committed to ensuring that as its scholars advance to take on the mantle of future leadership in STEM, that they are able to do so in ways in full alignment with their own individual life aspirations, fully attentive to their own internal voice. In synergy with Hopkins STEM graduate programs, the VTSI will provide and support professional, career, and experiential life design opportunities to provide a robust foundation for VTSI scholars to soar in their future STEM careers.


Our Hopkins students are phenomenal in many ways – they do amazing science, their diverse histories, identities and life journeys bring exceptional community and much richness to the Hopkins space, and they are devoted in service to Baltimore, the broader national and global community, and those coming in the path behind. VTSI scholars will belong to and be embraced within this outstanding community of scholars at Hopkins. VTSI scholars also will come together regularly for dedicated VTSI social and community activities that will extend across the entire course of the Vivien Thomas STEM PhD scholar’s journey at Hopkins.


Vivien Thomas PhD Scholars will receive an annual stipend plus full tuition, health and other benefits.

Who Should Apply

How to Apply

Vivien Thomas PhD Scholars Applicant Checklist:

  • Confirm you have attended a VTSI-eligible undergraduate institution.
  • Review the list of eligible JHU PhD programs.
  • Apply to the individual JHU PhD program.
  • Complete the VTSI Supplemental Application materials.
  • Submit both JHU PhD application and all VTSI supplemental materials by December 1, 2023.
  • Ensure your letters of recommendation are submitted by December 1.

To be considered for the VTSI, you must complete and submit all components of the individual PhD program application, and the VTSI supplemental components by December 1, 2023. All supporting materials including letters of recommendation also must be received by December 1.

Application Instructions & Fee Waivers

For Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering and School of Medicine Programs: 
  • Follow the instructions for the individual JHU PhD program to which you are applying.
  • Include all VTSI supplemental application components in the program application.

All VTSI applicants will receive a waiver of the JHU application program fee. Fee waivers will be granted through the program application portal.

For Bloomberg School of Public Health Programs: 
  • Follow the instructions for the individual JHU PhD program to which you are applying.
  • Include all VTSI supplemental application components in the program application.

For application fee waivers, VTSI applicants should contact the individual Bloomberg School of Public Health PhD program office before November 15 and prior to submission of your SOPHAS application. Please refer to the individual program home page on SOPHAS for more information.

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