Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Developmental Biology Training Grant

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Application Process for an appointment to the Developmental Biology Training Grant

Nominations to the training grant will be solicited once per year by an announcement sent to all faculty and to all graduate students within BGS and SAS-BIOL. The announcement will describe the aims of the training grant and request applications from rising 3rd or 4th year students in these programs. The application consists of a ‘Specific Aims’ page written by the applicant outlining their proposed thesis research, the student’s academic records (supplied by the graduate group coordinator), and two letters of recommendations.  One letter shall be from the applicant’s PI, and a second from an additional Penn faculty member, most often either a member of the student’s thesis committee or a previous laboratory rotation mentor. After application materials are received, the program co-directors appoint a three member ad hoc committee from training grant faculty who do not have a student under consideration for appointment. The committee first evaluates the nomination materials to determine whether candidates are suitable for a training program specializing in developmental biology based on their coursework and research proposal, and then rank suitable candidates by merit. Merit criteria include but are not limited to: a) the quality of the research proposal, b) the student’s potential for research as judged by the letters of recommendation, c) the student's grades and rotation performance based on academic records,  d) student publications and e) involvement in outreach activities (when applicable).

Applicants may be members of any graduate group. However, for an applicant to be considered for a position, their academic record should include the following:

  • Developmental Biology coursework, including CAMB511/Principles of Development and CAMB620.
  • All T32 trainees must be U.S. citizens or green card holders.

DB-TG trainees will receive:

  • Stipend, health insurance and tuition support
  • Travel scholarship

Responsibilities of DB-TG trainees include:

  • Attend and present at the annual training grant symposium. This event includes a keynote seminar from a prominent scientist in the field of developmental biology as well as research talks by trainees.
  • Attend and participate in our quarterly TG sponsored activities. These include: a) “Careers in Science” presentations with invited speakers who will discuss career options in, for example, federal research institutes such as the NIH, the FDA or the DOD; in industry; in small liberal arts institutions, or in scientific publishing. b) Lunchtime meeting with Penn faculty (faculty guest of trainees choice) to promote informal discussions centered around the faculty’s field of research, how it relates to clinical issues, the translation of scientific discoveries to address medical problems, and to discuss general issues such as lab management or career path decisions. c) ‘Show and Tell’ research meetings. These half-day events will start off with a 30 minute research presentations by trainees with the focus on explaining the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of their thesis projects to other trainees. This will be followed by an ‘hands on’ lab experiences organized and led by a trainee.
  • Participate in a week-long internship to explore different facets of working in translational, non-academic, or other career tracks- e.g. ‘job shadowing’ a manager in the pharmaceutical/biotech sector. 
  • Submitting a brief annual progress report.
  • Acknowledge the training grant’s support in your publications, by stating “x was supported in part by T32 HD083185”.