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VT-IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Student Development) Program

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The mission of the VT-IMSD Program is to use developmental and experiential learning activities to support doctoral as well as undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups who want to pursue a Ph.D. and a research career in biomedical or behavioral fields in science or engineering.  

IMSD Undergraduate Program       IMSD Graduate Program



Graduate Students


Description of IMSD-Doctoral Program

VT-IMSD is supported by the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. IMSD provides a minimum of 12 months of full financial support for students enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech. Students participate in hands-on, bench research projects under the supervision of a PI and are expected to participate in research lab activities up to 20 hr/week during the academic year and 40 hr/week during summer. Eighty-five percent of IMSD alumni have received a postdocs or a positions at Research 1 University.

Scholars Publications 

Please click the publications link to view a list of pubs from our scholars - Publications 

IMSD Handbook 

Please read the IMSD Handbook 2011 (DOCX | 43KB) for further program description


  • Identify and train the next generation of research leaders and innovators in biomedical and behavioral sciences
  • Increase the number of underrepresented students in biomedical and behavioral science graduate programs
  • To impart rigorous academic preparation through sustained academic support, career development activities and research opportunities
  • To help define career goals and research interests, while developing professional skills necessary to achieve their academic and professional ambitions
  • To offer information, counsel, and assistance to departmental faculty administrators, and advisors on effective practices and policies that promote student success/retention
  • Increase the number of faculty members at major U.S. universities from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds and from minority groups that are underrepresented in science

Dr. Emmitt Jolly & IMSD

Benefits of IMSD-Doctoral Program

  • Up to $27,000 annual stipend
  • Tuition Scholarship
  • Travel support to attend and/or to present at a scientific meeting; potential for travel money to attend a workshop for training in the degree field.
  • Desktop Computer


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Stay tuned for Fall's Forum schedule 

VT-IMSD Contact


  • Ed Smith, IMSD Program Director  Director
  • David Bevan, IMSD Program Co-Director
  • Alex Aning, IMSD Undergraduate Program Director
  • Anne McNabb, General Advisor and Ombudsperson
  • Leemar Thorpe, Program Manager
  • Regina Wallace, Program Assistant