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What is the AMC21 Scholar Program?

The AMC21 Scholar Program is a program designed to attract the top graduate student applicants to UAB. Up to 8 awards are given per year to recruit the top candidates to the GBS.

What are the goals of the AMC21 Scholar Program

  • Recruit students that have exhibited high-achieving scientific experience and potential.
  • Increase their competitiveness.
  • Provide them with funding and opportunities to advance their research careers.
  • Serve as a networking platform to boost their careers.

What does this Program mean to you?

  • As and AMC21 scholar, you will receive $5,000/year for two years ($10,000 total) in scientific discretionary funds. These discretionary funds, which will be available to you throughout your graduate career at UAB, are provided to supplement your training and education opportunities, allow you to network with scientists at other institutions and help you to reach your short and long-term career goals. Under current UAB guidelines, you can use these funds to attend scientific meetings of your choice, take courses to advance your education, to learn a new technique in another lab, travel to another institution to give a lecture, and/or purchase a computer and software for your research. 
  • You will receive 2 years of a scholarship that can go toward your stipend support ($10,000/year), beginning after the GBS stipend support finishes (approximately 16-18 months after entering the program). What this means in a practical sense is that you’ll be bringing a substantial scholarship to the lab that you choose. This will make you very competitive for the top lab of your choice and will give you the flexibility to select a lab that may have a limited number of available slots.
  • You’ll be assigned to an AMC21 scientific mentoring committee. This committee will commit to reading and critiquing any fellowship applications that you write while at UAB. This will increase your likelihood of success in obtaining those highly competitive fellowships that can propel you into the best post-graduate positions. The AMC21 mentoring committee members will be there for you when you need advice and those critical letters of support as you advance in your career.
  • The AMC21 scholars will be invited to the annual UAB AMC21 symposium and will have an opportunity to meet and have dinner with the external AMC21 speakers. The senior AMC21 scholars (4th year and above) will be invited to present their research in an annual AMC21 symposium.
  • Upon arriving at UAB, AMC21 scholars will be invited to an annual reception with the Dean and have the opportunity to meet faculty members from across the campus.
  • A prestigious award that can go on their CV and will make them more competitive for fellowships and post-doctoral positions
  • New AMC21 scholars will be announced in the UAB School of Medicine News at the time of enrollment to UAB.  
  • The AMC21 mentoring committee will also provide letters of recommendation for grant and post-doctoral fellowship applications. 
  • All students will be coming to an institution that is actively investing in graduate education, recruiting/retaining top scientists, and research initiatives.

Why should you take the AMC21 Scholarship and select UAB for your next step toward your career?  There are many reasons – but here are just a few.

  • First, the AMC21 Scholar program was developed by the UAB SOM specifically to support the education and training mission of the school. The UAB SOM, unlike many other institutions you may visit, is investing significantly in the academic mission of the school.  Graduate education is a priority here and not an afterthought.
  • Second, UAB provides an outstanding educational experience, gives you the freedom to identify the scientific questions that are most interesting to you and has an extraordinary and diverse group of faculty who are great mentors and looking forward to welcoming you to their labs. 
  • Third, unlike many universities that are struggling to maintain their research portfolio, UAB is in a period of historic growth. Over the last five years the UAB NIH-funded research portfolio has expanded by >40%, making UAB second in the nation for growth of the academic research enterprise.  We are ranked #7 amongst all public medical schools in the country based on NIH-funded research dollars and we have >300 NIH funded labs for you to join for your dissertation research, including approximately 60 groups that arrived within the last 3-4 years. As a top 10 NIH-ranked public research institution, we believe that we can offer you an outstanding education and cutting-edge research training.  Most importantly for you, research at UAB is powered by graduate students and the training environment is designed to help you achieve your research and career goals.  As a funded AMC21 Scholar, you’ll be able to select the research lab that best fits your scientific interests and will be exposed to unique opportunities to interact with UAB and visiting scientists.  The UAB SOM is committed to this program and excited to support the training of the very best next generation of scientists. 
  • Fourth, UAB is an exciting place to work and a great launchpad for students aspiring to a multitude of careers in science.  Most importantly, our students receive outstanding training at every step and are highly competitive for the best jobs and post-doctoral fellowships. 


  • The continued funding of the scholarships is contingent on the students maintaining a good academic standing, identifying a lab for their dissertation project, successfully completing their qualifying exam, and continuing to make progress toward their degree. 
  • The I3 scholars are expected to write an NIH (or foundation) fellowship application by the end of their scholar-funding period (typically by the beginning of their 4th year). 

If you have any additional questions regarding AMC21, please contact the co-directors of the AMC21 Scholar Program:

Andre Ballesteros-Tato:

Beatriz Leon-Ruiz: