Training Program Fellowship

The Training Program provides funding for nine Ph.D. candidates annually. The Training Program fellowship covers full tuition and provides a stipend annually for two years for training related expenses- this does not include expenses related to research projects. Women and minority students as well as students with disabilities and/or disadvantaged backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Fellowship Application Form

 

Eligibility:

  • U.S. citizens, noncitizen national or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Incoming Ph.D. students or Ph.D. students with less than three semesters in the Ph.D. program of one of the participating departments at Rensselaer: Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Students that have selected an advisor that is a member of the Training Program faculty
  • Students that have selected a co-advisor from outside their department. University at Albany Faculty Trainers may act as co-advisors
  • Students that demonstrate a strong interest and research potential in biomolecular science and/or engineering

Fellowship Award Criteria:

  • Academic Performance (e.g., GPA, quality of undergraduate coursework)
  • Research Experience (e.g., publications, presentations, undergraduate research experience)
  • Quality of letters of recommendation
  • Quality of proposed research plan
  • Applicant diversity, students whose degree plans clearly delineate an interdisciplinary program, and balance among the four participating departments

Training Program Fellowship Requirements:

Trainees who have fulfilled the requirements of the Training Program fellowship will be awarded a Training Certificate in Biomolecular Science and Engineering upon graduation from their Ph.D. programs.

 

General

Slack

Trainees will create a Slack account and join the NIH Training Program’s Slack workspace and associated channels. Slack is used to post content and reminders related to Training Program activities and provide a means for Trainees to communicate with each other.

Join Slack            

ICAL Calendar of Training Program Activities

 

Individual Development Plan

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a student-development based instrument that provides the advisor and the student a reliable means to help assess their individual efforts and effectiveness in developing and maintaining a plan for meeting the Trainee’s educational and career goals.

The IDP is found at: http://myidp.sciencecareers.org

Trainees will complete and submit the IDP no later than three weeks from the first day of classes of the term in which they began fellowship support (fall/spring). The IDP is submitted annually until graduation to CBIS Administrative Coordinator Ryan Weaver at: weaver@rpi.edu.

 

Progress and Forecast Report

The Progress and Forecast Report (PFR) provides a record of the Trainee’s progression through the Training Program. It should be updated each semester and reviewed by the Trainee’s advisor. Trainees are expected to maintain a record of their participation in all activities related to their training from the period fellowship support until graduation. Trainees will submit the PFR no later than three weeks from the first day of classes. The PFR is submitted each semester until graduation to Ryan Weaver at: weaver@rpi.edu.

 

Feedback

Trainees will complete the Pre-Graduation Trainee Survey form in their last semester prior to graduation. Trainees will send the form to Ryan Weaver at: weaver@rpi.edu. Trainees and Faculty Trainers are encouraged to suggest areas for improvement for upcoming or past Training Program activities.

 

Annual retreat

Trainees will design a program for the annual retreat related to entrepreneurship and commercial translation and/or professional development. Trainees are expected to attend and participate in the planning of this event until graduation. Trainees will be prepared to give an oral presentation and/or present posters during the poster session. Faculty Trainers will attend this event.

 

Industrial internship

Trainees will typically spend 2-3 months completing an industrial internship in either the summer after their 1st year or the summer after their 2nd year of fellowship support. Trainees will work with their advisor to select a company in which to intern. Trainees electing to pursue an internship during their period of fellowship support will continue to receive a fellowship stipend regardless of internship support.

 

Committee membership and meetings

Trainees and Faculty Trainers may be tasked with serving on one or more Training Program committees. Trainees and Faculty Trainers are expected to attend ad hoc meetings. Trainees will present their research each semester to Training Program personnel until graduation.

 

Conference presentations and publications

Trainees will attend at least one conference outside of Rensselaer in which they present a paper or abstract derived from research conducted during fellowship support. Trainees should acknowledge the training grant in their publications (T32GM067545).

 

Awareness/Education and outreach

Trainees and Faculty Trainers will participate in awareness/education and outreach activities to both learn methods for strengthening inclusivity and accommodation of various student populations and to promote the Training Program to students of all backgrounds and groups.

 

Coursework

Instruction in responsible conduct of research

Trainees will take “Ethical Considerations in Biotechnology” in their first year of fellowship support. Trainees will attend one course module per semester until graduation. Faculty Trainers are expected to contribute to the instruction of this course.

 

Perspectives in Biomolecular Science and Engineering

This course is designed to expose Trainees and other graduate students to overviews of the fundamental science and engineering principles inherent in research conducted by Faculty Trainers. This course is offered every semester and Trainees will enroll each semester until graduation. This course is coordinated by Trainees and Faculty Trainers are expected to contribute to the instruction of this course.

 

Quantitative background for biotechnology

Trainees must take at least one course from each of the core areas of biomolecular science and engineering:

  • Synthetic Biology
  • Biomolecular Systems
  • Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics
  • Data Science/Data Analytics

Trainees and their advisors will select courses that align with the four core areas. Trainees are required to take one course outside their school and three courses outside their major to satisfy the core area requirement. Courses taken prior to enrollment in the Training Program may count towards satisfying coursework requirements. The course requirement should be completed prior to the end fellowship support. A course cannot correspond to more than one core area.

 

Training in Entrepreneurship and Commercial Translation

Trainees will participate in at least two courses or events or programs related to training in entrepreneurship and commercial translation. Trainees and Faculty Trainers are expected to participate in all entrepreneurship and commercial translation activities which are sponsored/co-sponsored by the Training Program. Announcements of entrepreneurship and commercial translation-related courses, events and programs will be disseminated to Trainees throughout the year. The entrepreneurship and commercial translation training requirement should be completed prior to the end of fellowship support. Trainees that wish to participate in a course, event or program that is not advertised by the Training Program should consult with their advisor and make a request to Ryan Weaver at: weaver@rpi.edu.

  • Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

Trainees will plan and attend the annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. Trainees will attend and partcipate in the planning of this event until graduation. Faculty Trainers will attend this event.

 

Training in Professional Development

Trainees will participate in at least two courses or events or programs related to training in professional development. Announcements of professional development-related courses and events and programs will be sent out to Trainees throughout the year. Trainees and Faculty Trainers are expected to participate in all professional development activities which are sponsored/co-sponsored by the Training Program. The professional development training requirement should be completed prior to the end of fellowship support. Trainees that wish to participate in a course, event or program that is not advertised by the Training Program should consult with their advisor and make a request to Ryan Weaver at: weaver@rpi.edu.

       

Training Enrichment

Trainees are encouraged to pursue training activities related to human health, physiology and disease and other practical training for scientists. Trainees and Faculty Trainers are expected to participate in all training enrichment activities which are sponsored/co-sponsored by the Training Program. Opportunities for Training Enrichment will disseminated to Trainees throughout the year. Trainees will participate in at least two courses or events or programs providing training enrichment experience. The training enrichment requirement should be completed prior to the end of fellowship support. Announcements of training enrichment courses, events and programs will be disseminated to Trainees throughout the year. Trainees that wish to participate in a course, event or program that is not advertised by the Training Program should consult with their advisor and make a request to Ryan Weaver at: weaver@rpi.edu.

  • Seminars

Trainees and Faculty Trainers will attend the “Frontiers in Biotechnology Seminar Series” and “Industrial Lecture Series in Biotechnology”. These seminar series are sponsored by the Training Program and CBIS. Faculty Trainers may request to have the seminar series sponsor a speaker. Requests should be made directly to Prof. Deepak Vashishth (PI) and include a proposed agenda and cost share commitments for the speaker’s visit.