NIH Training Grant

Gloved hand holding test tubes

NIH support of graduate training in Biology

We are grateful to the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) for Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 support of our biology doctoral training program “Pre-Doctoral Training in Biological Sciences,” award 5T32GM007287.

Program overview

The goal of our NIH-sponsored training program is to prepare the next generation of biological/biomedical scientists to be innovators and leaders in research and education.

Our training activities are designed to educate our students to:

  • Understand the fundamental underlying principles of modern biology including genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and quantitative data analysis
  • Be ethical decision makers
  • Flexibly adapt to the rapidly changing modern biomedical sciences landscape
  • Become creative, effective, rigorous researchers
  • Become excellent communicators of science
  • Become thoughtful teachers and mentors

We seek out, recruit, and train talented students from majority, underrepresented minority, disadvantaged, and disabled populations, and help them initiate successful research careers. Trainees admitted to our program have outstanding undergraduate academic records and have demonstrated strong motivation to pursue research.

A key feature of our program is an intensive, focused curriculum required of all first-semester students. Students work together in lecture and discussion-style courses taught by dedicated faculty to master a fundamental set of approaches that underpin all modern molecular biological science. The training program exposes students to the research interests of all faculty members in the Biology Department prior to the choice of a thesis lab and topic.

Responsible conduct in research is taught in three phases, including an intense mini-course for 2nd year students.

The complete PhD program takes trainees approximately 6 years to complete. Students’ progress through the program is monitored in regular thesis committee meetings with faculty members, with oversight provided by the graduate committee. Our students perform research of outstanding quality, and most trainees go on to careers in biomedical research. Many of our former trainees are now leaders in their chosen fields.