School of Medicine
Nazarbayev University’s School of Medicine (NUSOM) is the first school in Kazakhstan’s history to offer all of its programs in English, following a U.S.-style curriculum by collaborating with expert medical clinicians and biomedical scientists recruited from the global healthcare network. NUSOM was created to enhance the quality of medical education in the Republic of Kazakhstan and generate a transformative health care system that meets the challenges of health care reform in Kazakhstan.
NUSOM’s programs offer state-of-the-art technologies that transform our students into expert medical professionals. Candidates for the School of Medicine undergo a rigorous application process and are accepted at the discretion of the SOM admissions department.
About the program
Our four years Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences has been designed to generate a new generation of researchers, who will shape research in Kazakhstan and on the international level. It addresses highly motivated students, who want to be part of a research community working on finding causes and treatments for a variety of different diseases. Our School has strong ties to the hospitals around Nur-Sultan and is therefore in an ideal position as a link between bench and bedside. Our researchers are working on various topics among them cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases.
The program provides broad training in topics necessary for good research as well as a focus on one specific area you are interested in. This program will prepare you for a career in either academia as well as in an industrial setting.
Campus: Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Delivery mode: Full time, on-campus
Duration: 4 years
The Ph.D. degree at Nazarbayev University is a four-year full-time lab-based program according to international standards. It is offered within the School of Medicine and open to Master students of Life Sciences as well as MD students having completed a graduate program. The School of Medicine is in a unique position to offer this program as it has laboratory facilities as well as close links to the clinics in Nur-Sultan. This program aims to bridge the gap between basic science and medicine.
Students graduating from the International Ph.D. Program of Biomedical Sciences at the School of Medicine at the Nazarbayev University will be trained to independently conduct scientific research in the field of biomedical sciences in an academic or industrial environment. Biomedical scientists may use their knowledge of biomedical research to:
Be part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists to solve problems of different illnesses
Direct a research lab and conduct cutting-edge research
Translate discoveries and inventions from the fundamental level to application in an industrial setting
Manage and coordinate large scientific projects (national and international)
Teach at national and international universities
Work in government advising policymakers about scientific matters related to health and disease development
The core element of the program is a biomedical Ph.D. thesis. In addition, Ph.D. students are offered a variety of key competence seminars (see the section CURRICULUM for more information). Each Ph.D. project will be supervised by one faculty member with the project lying in his/her area of research. A second co-supervisor will be allocated to each Ph.D. student.
The Ph.D. program will teach you an important aspect of research such as grant writing, writing of papers for publication, giving presentations on your research and getting ethical approval.
Assessment of your progress will be done via annual reviews and progress reports as well as presentations of the work at NUSOM and conferences worldwide. At the end of your fourth year, you will concentrate on writing your Ph.D. thesis, which together with a thesis defense at the end of the fourth year will comprise your final grade.
Admission to the Ph.D. program is highly competitive and will be handled on a case-by-case basis evaluating candidates’ undergraduate curricula, master thesis or grades in MD program, English-language proficiency, motivation, and references. Admissions decisions will be based on consideration of evidence provided by the candidate for the following areas:
Completion of the Ph.D. degree application form by the applicant on admissions.nu.edu.kz. Registration fee: 5000 tenge
Evidence of successful completion of either:
1st and 2nd cycle of higher education in a relevant discipline (including completion of a two-year masters degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale)or
completion of an MD program or equivalentor
Evidence of any professional and/or voluntary experiences related to laboratory work enabling them to perform technical-scientific experiments with precision and accuracy
Sufficient English language skills to be able to function effectively at the PhD level, English-language environment, provided by
Proof of a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS test with no less than a 6.0 in any subject or the TOEFL equivalentor
Proof of completion of an academic degree in a university taught in the English language
A project proposal for the Ph.D. in biomedical sciences including a support letter of your potential future supervisor
2 reference letters
Before applying to our program you should contact those faculty members working on topics of interest for you. Personal communication will be very important in the course of your Ph.D. If you have decided on a topic asks the faculty member offering it for a letter of support.
The final recommendation of the Ph.D. Admissions Committee for admission into the Ph.D. program will be based on a holistic consideration of all areas listed above. Selected applicants will be invited for personal interviews with members of the Ph.D. Admissions Committee on campus or via Skype. During the interview, they are expected to give a short presentation of their future project. All students will also be expected to demonstrate knowledge of core subjects of Molecular Medicine and demonstrate the knowledge and skills to translate scientific findings to medical treatments or integrate basic scientific concepts with clinical reasoning.
Work after graduation
After having graduated from our program you will be able to choose from a variety of different pathways. Our main objective will be to teach you to become an independent scientist enabling you to work as a postdoc in national and international laboratories gaining experience to ultimately set up your own research group anywhere in the world.
This is, however, not the only path you can take. Scientists with a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences are also sought after by centers of translational medicine as well as pharmacological and biomedical companies. You can also go into the health services working in and managing diagnostic laboratories. You can go into academia and become a university professor while doing research at the same time.
Or you can completely change track, become an employee of the government forging future research in Kazakhstan or join the editorial board of a scientific journal. There are many possibilities- it is up to you to choose, which path you will follow.
Possible future employers are:
Universities and Research Institutes around the world
Pharmaceutical and Biomedical industry (Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi, Roche, etc.)
World Health Organization (WHO)
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA
Other strategic partners of Nazarbayev University
Duke University, Fuqua School of Business (USA)
The National University of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Singapore)
The University of Pennsylvania (USA)
The University of Cambridge (UK)
Colorado School of Mines (USA)
The University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA)
The Oak Ridge Associated Universities (USA)