Graduate Students

Learn from National Research Experts

We are shaping the next generation of leaders in medical research. Each year, we accept new students to perform their graduate research at Sanford Research through applications to the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University.

Academic and research benefits

  • Train with national research leaders with expertise in vast disciplines including biochemistry, cellular biology, developmental biology, neuroscience, genetics and more
  • Complete three laboratory rotations during your first year before selecting a thesis advisor
  • Complete elective courses on-site at Sanford Research
  • Explore a variety of science careers through career development workshops; past topics have included biotech, pharmaceutical industry, undergraduate teaching, clinical laboratory directing, science policy and technology transfer
  • Engage in K-12 outreach activities through Sanford PROMISE
  • Host and learn from prominent guest speakers; past speakers have included Nobel laureates and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators
  • Learn in our 300,000-square-foot facility with over 200 research employees, state-of-the-art equipment and a 130,000-square-foot open collaborative space

Location benefits
As a Sanford Research graduate student, you’ll get to live in Sioux Falls, SD – a city that is small enough to nurture Midwest values, but big enough to offer an abundance of dining, shopping and entertainment options. With sporting events, theater, concerts and a vibrant night life, there’s something for everyone. This “big small town” also is within driving distance of USD and SDSU.

Graduate Opportunities

Basic Biomedical Sciences Program (PhD)

You will learn in the classroom and laboratory – participating in laboratory investigations, developing original research, pursuing an interdisciplinary graduate education and more. With the Basic Biomedical Sciences Program, you will work alongside our researchers as you further our understanding of human disease and translate that knowledge into novel approaches for diagnosis, treatment and therapeutics.


Physician Scientist Program (MD/PhD)

Collaboration between researchers and doctors has led to the most extraordinary advancements in medicine, and the Physician Scientist Program allows graduate students to gain experience as both. By blending the two disciplines of MD and PhD, you will perform translational research and develop a unique integration of skills that prepare you for a physician scientist career.


Biochemistry Program (PhD)

The skills needed to pursue a cutting-edge career await graduate students in the Biochemistry Program. Besides developing a solid biochemistry foundation, you will gain hands-on experience in a variety of learning formats to develop your laboratory skills. Through your research projects, you have the opportunity to understand human diseases and translate basic science findings into clinical treatments that impact patient care.


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