2020-2021 Nominations for Select T32s

The following training grants are soliciting nominations of graduate students for the 2020-2021 academic year through a BGS-managed web-based system. Visit the Training Grants and Fellowships website to see a complete list of current T32s at Penn. Generally, calls for nominations are made to the training faculty of a grant, encouraging them to nominate their students. In some cases, broader calls are made directly to students.  Announcements are generally made in the spring by email.

Training grants fund a significant portion of a student’s tuition, fees, and stipend. Appointment to a training grant is recognition of academic promise and distinction and, in some cases, provides additional training opportunities or funds for travel to scientific meetings. To be eligible for consideration, a student must be a US citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) and must have received no more than four years of NRSA funding by the time of appointment. Additional criteria for each grant are specified in the descriptions below.


Opportunities for students who will have reached dissertation level - May 8 deadline:

The Computational Genomics training grant provides support to students in years three through five (dissertation level) whose PhD dissertation research is in the areas of computational biology and bioinformatics. Students will have taken or are expected to take quantitative courses including GCB 536, GCB 537, and STAT 510. Other quantitative courses will be recommended depending on prior experiences. The standard appointment length on the training grant is two years. In exceptional circumstances, a trainee may be appointed for additional years. Training areas typically involve the collection and interpretation of "high-throughput" data and development of quantitative models and methods. Examples include automated annotation of sequence data; study of genetic variation; whole genome studies of defined phenotypes in development, behavior, complex diseases or aging; analysis of protein structure and function; and use of large scale RNA and protein expression for modeling biological processes. We emphasize strong statistical and computational component to proposed research and training curriculum. Training activities of the grant include participation in the weekly Genomics and Computational Biology "chalk talks", the Penn Bioinformatics Forum seminar series, and retreats.

Program Directors: Junhyong Kim (215-746-5187) and Maja Bucan.


Opportunities for students who are entering year two (or sometimes three) - June 15 deadline:

The Cell and Molecular Biology training grant provides support to PhD students entering their second year of study, who have taken (or will take) BIOM 600 (Cell Biology) and BIOM 555 (Regulation of the Genome) and whose dissertation research will address fundamental processes in cell and/or molecular biology. The time frame of this grant precludes consideration of combined degree students. The appointment length on the training grant is two years, assuming that the students remain in good academic standing. Training activities include: attending the annual CAMB Retreat, presenting a short oral presentation on their dissertation research each year, attending Trainee Luncheons twice per year in which previous Trainees present a seminar on their research, attending career development workshops, and identifying and hosting an Invited Seminar Speaker. The training program also provides mentoring and career development to former Trainees. Additional information is available on the program’s web site: http://www.med.upenn.edu/cmbt32/

Program Director: Dr. Marisa Bartolomei (215-898-9063)


The Genetics training grant provides training to students in years two, three and four whose dissertation research is directed towards basic genetic mechanisms. New appointments will occur at the beginning of year 2 or 3 and may continue through year 4, contingent on satisfactory performance and available funding. All trainees must take a Genetics course such as CAMB550/Genetic Principles and a statistics course such as BIOM611/Biological Data Analysis; these requirements can be fulfilled after appointment in year 2. Trainees can NOT have received prior support from other NIH-funded training grants. The research areas of the training faculty include genetics of various model organisms and viruses, human genetics, cancer genetics, population genetics and gene regulation and epigenetics. Training activities of the grant include participation in the weekly Genetics Research-in-Progress seminar series, annual Genetics symposium, quarterly trainee meetings, and mentored preparation of an individual NRSA fellowship application, as well as opportunities to attend national scientific conferences, host student-invited seminar speakers and participate in the Philadelphia Science Festival and Genetics Career Forum events. Additional information is available on the program’s web site: https://www.med.upenn.edu/gent32/

Program Director: Dr. Doug Epstein (215-573-4810)


Nominations must be initiated by the student through the following web-based process:

Go to http://my.med.upenn.edu/ and select the Training Grant Nomination form through this route:
MY.MED > Student Tools > BGS Forms > Training Grant Nominations

  1. Student indicates which grant(s) s/he’s applying for, checks the information pre-populated by the system, provides additional information, and indicates the faculty members who will be writing letters of support.
    NOTE: The student should provide a statement of research interests and two letters of recommendation, one from their thesis advisor if the student has already selected their thesis research laboratory. If the thesis lab has not been chosen, the statement of research interests should include potential research project(s) from lab(s) that the student is likely to choose for dissertation research. In addition, the thesis advisor (or potential thesis advisor if the lab has not yet been chosen) must include in their letter of support a statement that he/she agrees to participate in training grant-related activities.
  2. System automatically sends email requests to writers of recommendations identified by student.
  3. Once the letters are received, the application is assembled and made available to the selection committees.

Non-BGS Students will not be able to access the electronic link; please contact Marianne Altland Williams for application instructions.

Note that there are two sets of deadlines for these grants: Students who are at the dissertation phase (entering year 3 or beyond) are eligible to apply for the Computational Genomics grant; this grant has a May 8 deadline. Students who are entering year 2 are eligible for the Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics grants; these grants have a June 15 deadline. In rare cases, a rising third year student may be considered for the Genetics and the Computational Genomics grants; such students should submit the application by the May 8 deadline.

Computational Genomics grant: The deadline for students to submit their applications is May 8, 2020. Letters from recommenders will be solicited by the nomination system once the student submits the application. Letters are due by May 15, 2020. Appointments will be made effective July 1 or according to availability.

Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics grants: The deadline for students to submit their applications is June 15, 2020. Letters from recommenders will be solicited by the nomination system once the student submits the application. Letters are due by June 22, 2020. Appointments will be made effective July 1 or according to availability.

Questions about a BGS student’s eligibility should be directed to Marianne Altland Williams.