Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Developmental Biology Training Grant

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Graduate Training in Developmental Biology

This NIH funded training program is designed to train the next generation of developmental biologists to advance our understanding of developmental processes and thereby make it possible to harness the promise of stem cell therapy. The mission of the training program is to provide predoctoral trainees with the background knowledge, research skills, and career development activities needed today to successfully compete for academic and science-related careers. Specifically, the training aims to foster independent and critical thinking and the ability to initiate, lead and be an active participant in scientific discussions. At the same time, since launching a traditional independent academic research career is becoming increasingly difficult, the training also provides various professional developmental activities ranging from advanced writing seminars to opportunities for job-shadowing internships in the private or clinical sectors.

Now Accepting Graduate Student Applications for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

The Developmental Biology Training Grant has been renewed for an additional five years! We are now soliciting nominations of graduate students for the 2021-2022 academic year through a BGS-managed web-based system.

The training grant in Developmental Biology (TG-DB) provides support for students in years three through five (dissertation level) whose dissertation research is directed towards basic mechanisms of developmental biology applied to a diversity of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant systems. Research areas appropriate for support include but are not limited to transcriptional and cell signaling mechanisms that control cell lineage determination, differentiation, migration, organogenesis, cellular senescence, morphogenesis, pattern formation; epigenetic regulation of developmental processes, and stem cell biology. Training activities include a yearly retreat during which trainees present their research to peers and mentors; participation in professional development activities consisting of presentations and lunches with invited speakers to discuss career options in the biomedical sciences, including research-related careers (e.g. science/medical writing; research in industry or government agencies; patent law/intellectual property; science policies development). For a full description of the training activities please visit the training grant’s web site at Appointments are for up to two years. Program Director: Dr. Michael Granato,  

The deadline for students to submit their applications for the Developmental Biology T32 is May 27, 2021.  Letters from recommenders will be solicited by the nomination system once the student submits the application.  Students should contact recommenders and inform them of the process as early as possible.  Letters are due by June 10, 2021.  Appointments will be made effective July 1 or according to availability.  

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

Go to 

and select the Training Grant Nomination form through this route: 

MY.MED > Student Tools > BGS Forms > Training Grant Nominations 

1.  Student indicates which grant they are 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 they agree 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. 

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