Doctoral Fellowship Program 2022


Please consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for answers to any queries you might have prior to preparing an application. If you have any questions that are not listed in the FAQ, please contact the Barrie Foundation.


1. I am currently in my last year of an undergraduate degree program. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. Students in the final year of an undergraduate degree program are eligible to apply. However, they must complete their undergraduate degree in life sciences from a Spanish accredited educational institution before the start of the Doctoral Fellowship Program.
2. Can I apply to the Doctoral Fellowship Program if I only have a Bachelor's and no Master's degree?
Yes. We do not require applicants to have a Master's degree in order to apply to the Program.
3. Do I need to find a Ph.D. Advisor to apply?
No. You should apply first to the Doctoral Fellowship Program. During the first two weeks upon entering the Program, you will be introduced to ongoing research projects. After these meetings, you will select three faculty members for laboratory rotation. These rotations will allow you to gain first-hand knowledge of the research in these selected laboratories and serve as a basis to choose your Advisor. The selection of the Advisor will be made after you complete the laboratory rotations by the end of the first year and provide the Department Head with a letter in which choices for the faculty Advisor are listed. Every effort will be made to place you in the laboratory of your choice provided the faculty member is agreeable and space and funds are available to support your research.
4. Is the Doctoral Fellowship Program limited to students of specific academic disciplines?
Yes. Only students enrolled in a degree-granting program in any of the following fields of study are eligible to apply:
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology / Molecular Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Veterinary Sciences
5. I am a Spanish citizen with Galician origin enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at a foreign-based university abroad. Am I eligible to apply?
No. Applicants enrolled at foreign-based universities abroad are not eligible to apply.
6. I am a Spanish citizen with Galician origin studying abroad this semester or for the entire academic year. Am I eligible to apply?
If you are still enrolled as a degree-seeking student at an accredited Spanish university, you are eligible to apply.
7. Do I take the GRE General Test or the GRE Subject Test?
The GRE General Test is required, not the GRE Subject Test.
8. Can I send GRE scores after I submit my application?
Yes. You can send GRE scores after submitting your application. When the Barrie Foundation receives them, they will be added to your application for the selection committee to view.
9. What is the minimum GRE score?
Please check with your program of interest. GRE score requirements vary with the Ph.D. program. Minimum GRE score requirements are 150 in the verbal and quantitative sections. The average GREs for candidates are Verbal 159, Quantitative 165, and Analytical 4.5.
10. My GRE score report is valid when I submit my application but expires before the Program starts. Should I submit a new GRE score report?
If you have taken the GRE five or more years ago, you must probably re-take the test.
11. Can I submit my application before I have received my English language test results?
Yes, you can send your application without providing your English language test results. However, you must submit proof that you have scheduled a test date.
12. My TOEFL iBT / IELTS score is below the minimum English requirement, can I still apply?
Yes, you can apply. However, you will need to provide copy of your English language test results before the Program start date. The following scores set are required for all candidates:
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT.) Minimum score of 80; or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS.) Minimum score of 6.5
13. My TOEFL iBT / IELTS score report is valid when I submit my application but expires before the Program starts.. Should I submit a new TOEFL iBT / IELTS score report?
TOEFL iBT and IELTS scores are valid for two years. If you have taken the TOEFL iBT / IELTS two or more years ago, you will need to submit new scores.
14. Can the English language requirement be waived if I have lived or studied in an English-speaking country?
Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS test. You may request a TOEFL iBT or IELTS waiver only if you have earned an undergraduate or master’s degree (or will receive the degree by June 2022) from an institution in which English is the language of instruction. Unofficial transcripts indicating language of instruction must be provided by your university to support your claim. Official letters, sent directly from the Registrar's Office, verifying that all subjects are taught in English are also acceptable.


1. Do I have to complete my application all at once?
You may work on it in multiple sessions, though you will need to save your work after you finish each section of the application by clicking on either the “Save” or “Next” button. Once you have submitted the application, you cannot work on it again.
2. Can I submit my application in Spanish?
The Selection Committee members come from Spain and the United States, and English is their common language. If an application is completed in any language other than English, we cannot guarantee that the content will be read and/or understood for its original meaning.
3. Can I submit supporting documentation after I submit my application?
Yes. Supporting documentation submitted after the system is closed will be considered.
4. My passport is expired. Do I need to renew my passport before I submit my application?
Applicants are not required to hold a valid passport at the time of application. However, selected candidates will be required to have valid passports in order to participate in the Program. If you are offered an award and do not have a valid passport at the time of notification, you will need to expedite a new passport by late March, at the latest. Please note that passport application fees, including the cost of expediting a passport, are the responsibility of the applicant.
5. Do I need to submit official transcripts, or are unofficial transcripts acceptable?
You may upload an unofficial or downloaded transcript from your university portal or system. Official Transcripts will only be required if selected to the Program.
6. What if my university is unable to provide me with an English transcript?
Official transcripts not issued in English must be translated by the relevant issuing body of the original document or a professional certified translator. If your university is unable to provide you with an English transcript, you may translate the document yourself. If selected to the Program, you will need to provide before the Program start date, a professional certified translation. Please submit both the original non-English transcript and the translation. Both documents must be uploaded to the same file on the application portal. Any non-English transcripts you upload to your application without a translation will be rejected.
7. I am currently studying abroad (or have in the past) as part of an International Exchange Program. Do I need to submit the unofficial transcripts from my Spanish University as well as my study abroad institution?
Yes, you should provide both an unofficial transcript from your Spanish University and an unofficial transcript from your study abroad institution. You can submit these transcripts by merging them into one PDF; if you have difficulty with this, please contact us.
8. Who can be a referee?
At least one of your referees should be an academic tutor who has good experience of your work at Bachelors or Masters level. You can also include references from employers or others who can speak to your general character and achievements.
9. Can I provide extra references?
Only three letters are required. The references must correspond to the referees reported in your application. Additional reference letters will be accepted.
10. What happens if the reference letters arrive after I submit my application?
References arriving after application submission will be considered.
11. What happens to my application if reference letters are missing?
Your application may be considered without references but remember that references play an important part in the selection process. Please note that reference letters can be submitted by the registered referees even after you have submitted your application.
12. Can I access the reference letters submitted by my referees?
No. reference letters, provided directly by the referees, are confidential and not accessible to candidates.


1. When will I be informed of the outcome of the screening stage?
Please see our guidelines for further details about when you should expect to receive an update on your application. Candidates will be notified via email, so we recommend that you check your junk or spam folders.
2. What documents do I need to take with me to the interview?
You will need to take your passport or national ID. In your invitation to interview, you will be told whether you need to bring additional documentation.
3. I am not able to attend an interview on the date or time provided. Can I be interviewed on a different date in the interview period?
You will need to contact the Barrie Foundation in this case, but please note that only in exceptional circumstances will an additional appointment be made available. Failure to attend the interview may result in your withdrawal from the competition.
4. Is there an option for my interview to be conducted via videoconferencing?
Applicants are required to attend in-person interviews at the Barrie Foundation headquarters in A Coruña. Only in exceptional circumstances are virtual interviews permitted. Such instances are considered on a case-by-case basis and a decision is made following consultation with LSUHSC-S.
5. What questions will be asked at the interview?
The interview will be an opportunity to discuss some of the information you provided in the application form. The panel will ask questions that will enable you to fully explain your career aspirations and how the Ph.D. program can facilitate these goals for you.
6. How will the interview be assessed?
The interview panel will ask a series of questions and your answers will be evaluated in accordance with a number of set criteria.
7. How selective is the process of being admitted?
The admission process is extremely selective. The success rate is less than 5%.
8. Will I be notified if I am not selected after my interview?
Yes. All candidates will be notified about the outcome of their interview. You can find out more information about when you will receive interview results by checking the fellowship guidelines available at the Barrie Foundation’s website.
9. I have been conditionally selected for an award, what happens now?
You will be asked to provide additional information (e.g., copy of original English language test results, etc.) by a given deadline. Should you respond in a timely way with the requested information, the conditions will be removed, and you will be awarded the fellowship.
10. What does it mean if I’m a reserve candidate?
If you have been selected as a reserve candidate, it means that you may be able to take up an award should another applicant withdraw.
11. My application has been rejected. Can I receive feedback?
Individual feedback will be provided upon request to candidates shortlisted to interview only.
12. If I apply for the Doctoral Program this year and I am not offered a Fellowship can I reapply?
Only if you meet eligibility requirements for the active competition.

Doctoral Program

1. How long does it typically take to complete the Ph.D. program?
For the Ph.D. degree, it is expected that a minimum period of three years be devoted to full-time study, including dissertation research and defense.
2. How many students are enrolled in the Ph.D. program?
Between 20 and 30 graduate students are enrolled in each department during a calendar year. However, admission does not imply automatic clearance to continue graduate studies toward the Ph.D. degree. Second-year students must pass the Departmental Qualifying Examination in order to work toward the Ph.D. degree.
3. How many different research programs are there?
LSU Health Shreveport’s School of Graduate Studies prepares students to become biomedical scientists contributing to advances in healthcare and biotechnology, as well as educators equipped to train future generations of basic scientists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. The School of Graduate Studies offers PhD degrees in five programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Cellular Biology & Anatomy; Microbiology & Immunology; Molecular & Cellular Physiology; and Pharmacology, Toxicology, & Neuroscience.
4. How can I figure out which faculty members I may want to work with?
We encourage all applicants to contact LSUHSC-S to obtain specific information on current research and available technical facilities and to speak with LSUHSC-S researchers working in their areas of interest. To browse faculty and researchers, please visit LSUHSC-S website.
5. Should I contact faculty members directly prior to submission of my application?
Contacting faculty prior to or during application is not required for applicants, however it is encouraged. Please feel free to contact faculty members with research that pertains to your own interests. We also recommend including the names of faculty that you would be interested in working with on your application. To browse faculty and researchers, please visit LSUHSC-S website. Not all faculty will respond to inquiries, but if you have a strong interest in a particular lab you should persist. Do your homework – be explicit about what in relation to their lab or research appeals to you and how that might align with your own research interests. Keep emails professional, friendly, and concise.
6. How do rotations work?
Ph.D. students rotate through three research labs during their first year. During the first two weeks upon entering the Program, fellows will be introduced to ongoing research projects. After these meetings, each fellow will select three faculty members for laboratory rotation. The purpose of these rotations is to offer a relaxed intellectual atmosphere in which graduate students can be introduced to research, exposed to a laboratory environment, and become familiar with various experimental techniques and philosophies. The rotations also help students identify a laboratory and Advisor for their dissertation research.
7. How do I choose an Advisor?
The selection of the Advisor will be made after fellows complete the laboratory rotations by mid-December of the first year and provide the Department Head with a letter in which choices for the faculty Advisor are listed. Every effort will be made to place fellows in the laboratory of their choice provided the faculty member is agreeable and space and funds are available to support the fellow's research.
8. What is the core curriculum like?
The core curriculum is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of study for all first-year graduate students. The goal of the core curriculum is to provide a broad foundation in biomedical sciences and serve as a framework for advanced study in more specialized areas. The core curriculum covers topics in General Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Immunology, Virology, Bacteriology, Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases, Genetics, Molecular Methods, and Biochemistry.
9. How much time is spent in the lab?
The emphasis of the doctoral program is research, and time available for research will increase each year. First year students will attend class each morning and are expected to spend each afternoon in the laboratory. The time spent in the lab depends on the expectations of the Advisor, as well as the efficiency and productivity of the graduate student. Research should be considered a full-time job if you expect to complete your graduate work in a reasonable amount of time. LSUHSC-S does not have a part-time Ph.D. program.
10. What are the completion requirements for the Ph.D. program?
The Ph.D. program requires 60 credit hours of course work, including 30 hours of graded courses; Qualifying Examination; Preliminary Examination; dissertation; participation in a Departmental or Center of Excellence Journal Club; and teaching requirements, as approved by the faculty.
11. Why are students required to take the Qualifying Examination?
The qualification exam is administered to all second-year graduate students to ascertain whether the student is prepared for Ph.D. level research. The examination consists of both an oral exam and a written grant proposal. During the oral exam, the student will demonstrate their knowledge of program material, with a focus on, but not exclusively related to their proposal, and their problem-solving and scientific skills. The Examining Committee consists of at least five faculty members selected by the Program. Only two grades are possible: Pass or Fail. If the student passes, they become a Ph.D. candidate, and may proceed with dissertation research in the graduate program. If the student fails, the committee may provide the option to retake the exam. If the committee does not provide the option to retake the exam, the student may continue in the program to obtain a MS degree. The option to re-take the exam after the completion of a MS degree may be provided after discussion with the mentor, department head, and exam committee.
12. When are students required to take the Preliminary Examination?
The Preliminary Examination must be taken by the end of the third year of graduate studies, barring extreme extenuating circumstances. The preliminary exam must also be passed at least one academic year (3 consecutive semesters) before the final defense examination and graduation. The focus of the examination will be on the proposal based on his/her own dissertation project.
13. Will I earn a Master's degree on the way to completing the Ph.D. program?
The Department does not enroll students specifically for the study of the MS degree, however in certain circumstances the MS degree in Biomedical Sciences can be conferred to students enrolled in the graduate program. The requirements for this program are available through the School of Graduate Studies.
14. How will I be supported financially?
Selected candidates receive financial support in the form of a Research Stipend starting at $26,000, plus an annual living allowance of €6,000 for the duration of the Program. These funds are paid in equal monthly installments and can be used for relocation and moving costs, as well as for basic living expenses, and research costs. Funding is provided in one-year terms renewable for up to five years.
15. Is health insurance provided?
Selected candidates will receive temporary health insurance to cover medical emergencies that may occur between the time of departure from their home country and the start date of the LSU Medical Coverage, which can take up to two (2) months. After entering the graduate program, you have access to the same choices for excellent and comprehensive health care as do faculty and staff.
16. How much does it cost to live in Shreveport? What is it like there?
Quality of life in Shreveport is high, but cost of living is low. There are many interesting things to see and do in the area. For more information on LSUHSC-S and living in Shreveport, please consult this website designed for future potential graduate students at LSUHSC-S:
17. Can I apply for new grants while participating in the program?
The award requires that fellows be fully involved in the research opportunity offered by LSUHSC-S and the Barrie Foundation. During the appointment, doctoral fellows may not accept additional awards without the written consent of the Barrie Foundation nor provide services for compensation to a third party.