Program Director - NIGMS Publications

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Feb 21, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)

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NIGMS Predoctoral Training
Program Guidelines


2010

NIGMS Predoctoral
Research Training Program


Major mission of NIGMS


Predoctoral
-
only training grants


11 pre
-

Ph.D. areas


1 pre
-

M.D.
-

Ph.D. area


Support for 3,100 trainees annually


Trainee
-
Based Program Features



Support for early years of graduate
training


Students selected for quality from several
academic units, umbrella program(s), or
broad interdisciplinary program


Provide maximum flexibility to trainees
for selection of courses, rotations,
research fields, and mentors




Training Goals


Multidisciplinary and multi
-
departmental training


Faculty from different academic units
provide breadth of research
opportunities


Training to master a core scientific
area in depth


Acquire skills and knowledge of
related fields



Program Activities


Interdisciplinary training activities


Broaden research skills and approaches


Cutting
-
edge research opportunities


Courses and seminars


Laboratory rotations


Retreats, journal clubs, annual
meetings


Opportunities for trainees to present
their research progress


Program Responsibilities


Monitor trainee progress
throughout their training


Ensure timely completion


Develop methods for ongoing
evaluations of quality


Provide trainees and prospective
applicants information on career
outcomes of graduates; provide
career guidance for trainees




Special NIH Requirements



Recruitment and retention for diversity


Students from underrepresented racial and
ethnic groups


Students with disabilities


Students from disadvantaged backgrounds
(Note: most appropriate for training at high
school/undergraduate level)


Training in the responsible conduct of
research



NIGMS Predoctoral Training Programs


Behavioral
-
Biomedical Sciences Interface


Bioinformatics and Computational Biology


Biostatistics


Biotechnology


Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Biology


Chemistry
-
Biology Interface


Genetics


Medical Scientist Training Program


Molecular Biophysics


Molecular Medicine


Pharmacological Sciences


Systems and Integrative Biology



Behavioral
-
Biomedical Sciences Interface
(BBI)

Program Director: Juliana Blome



To develop basic behavioral scientists with rigorous
training in biology/biomedical science


Curriculum and activities reinforce training at this
interface


Significant participation of faculty and leadership
from both sides of interface


Students primarily from behavioral departments or
with behavioral backgrounds


Examples of behavioral depts: psychology,
anthropology, demography, behavior, economics


Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BI)

Program Director: Karin Remington



To train a new class of scientists with a primary
identity as computational biologist or
bioinformatician who apply theoretical,
mathematical, and computational approaches in
biomedical research


Training should include the use of theory and
computer applications in hypothesis generation and
project execution


Students should be familiar with experimental
methods and feel comfortable collaborating with
bench scientists


Biostatistics (BS)

Program Directors: Shawn Drew



To ensure that a workforce of biostatisticians with a
deep understanding of both statistical and
biological theories and methodologies is available to
biomedical, clinical, and behavioral research needs



Training should integrate biostatistical theories and
evolving methodologies with basic biomedical
research including, but not limited to,
bioinformatics, genetics, molecular biology, cell
biology, and physiology, as well as epidemiological,
clinical, and behavioral studies



Biotechnology (BT)

Program Director: Warren Jones


Training to provide technical and intellectual skills
in fields which utilize biotechnology (e.g., molecular
biology, tissue engineering, bioengineering,
biochemistry, metabolic engineering, biomaterials,
and drug delivery)


Trainees are expected to participate in seminar
series, journal clubs, and retreats, which augment
their training and promote interactions with
students from differing disciplines


Trainees are required to participate in an industrial
internship to gain research experience in a
biotechnology or pharmaceutical firm


Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular
Sciences (CBMS)


Program Directors: Marion Zatz and Peter Preusch



Broadest of interdisciplinary training programs


May include: biochemistry, bioinformatics, biophysics,
chemistry, cell biology, developmental biology,
genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular
biology, molecular medicine, neurobiology, and
pathology


Wide range of numbers of appropriate trainees based
on breadth of program




Chemistry Biology Interface (CBI)

Program Director: Miles Fabian



Training focus is the use of synthetic and
mechanistic chemistry to explore biological problems


One requirement: chemistry students receive
significant training in biology in addition to in depth
training in chemistry, and biology students receive
significant training in chemistry in addition to in
depth training in biology


Goal is to produce scientists that can work effectively
at the interface, speaking the language of both
disciplines


Offer interested students industrial internships

Genetics (GN)


Program Director: Susan Haynes



Programs should provide dissertation
opportunities and in
-
depth didactic training in all
aspects of modern genetics



Trainees should also be exposed to closely
related fields and be able to apply genetic
approaches to problems in other areas of
biology


Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

Program Director: Bert Shapiro



Program must integrate medical and scientific training


There must be training compression so that duration is
reasonable


There should be MSTP
-
specific activities for specialized
training and to create a strong group identity


There should be career counseling at many points in the
training


The graduates should be going to strong academic
residencies with a commitment to research careers


The expectation is that a large majority of the graduates
will become physician
-
scientists




Molecular Biophysics (MB)

Program Director: Paula Flicker



Training should focus on the applications of physics,
mathematics, chemistry and engineering to problems in
cell and molecular biology


Programs often bring together departments of
chemistry, physics, or engineering and those
departments offering training in the various areas of
biology


Students commonly work in a number of areas, including
structural biology, the biophysical characterization of
biological macromolecules, single molecule detection,
and electron microscopy


Programs typically bring in students with diverse
educational backgrounds and need to provide
appropriate training to each student such that all
students understand quantitative biological sciences


Molecular Medicine (MM)

Program Director: Marion Zatz


Training focus on basic biomedical sciences and concepts
and knowledge of molecular basis of disease


Didactic training in areas such as pathophysiology and
molecular pathogenesis


Program activities that provide students with
understanding of disease mechanisms, e.g. seminar
series, journal clubs, participation in grand rounds or
autopsy internships, dual mentors in basic and clinical
science


Training program intended primarily for Ph.D. candidates


Goal: prepare scientists to work at interface of basic
biomedical and clinical research (translational research)



Pharmacological Sciences (PS)

Program Director: Richard Okita



Provide exposure to cutting
-
edge research relevant to the
discovery and development of therapeutic agents and to the
basic understanding of drug targets and mechanisms of action



Training in broad subject areas that include pharmacology,
toxicology, pharmaceutical chemistry, medicinal chemistry,
pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics and related areas



Programs are not expected to cover the entire range of PS
research activities: some may have strength in molecular and
cellular pharmacology, others in whole animal and human
in
vivo

studies; some may emphasize toxicology, others may
emphasize medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutics



Administrative center may be in a school of medicine,
pharmacy, veterinary medicine, or other appropriate academic
unit


Systems and Integrative Biology (SIB)


Program Director: Bert Shapiro



Broad research competence required to investigate
integrative, regulatory, and/or developmental processes
of higher organisms and their functional components



Train in diverse experimental approaches
-

molecular and
cellular to behavioral and computational
-

to explore
integrated and complex biological problems



Strong emphasis on systems/integrative biology through
coursework, seminars or other programmatic activities.
Research opportunities in multiple disciplines including,
but not limited to, physiology, biomedical engineering,
neuroscience, behavioral sciences, clinical sciences, and
cell and developmental biology





NIGMS Special

Requirements


1.
Describe the mission and objectives
of the program to be supported by
the training grant in relation to one
or more of the identified NIGMS
training grant program areas.


2.
Describe how the proposed training
grant fits into the institution’s
overall graduate training programs:
how is it unique from other existing
predoctoral training programs?

Special


NIGMS Requirements

3.

Describe collaborative and
interdisciplinary features of the
proposed training program. For
ongoing programs, has training in
any scientific disciplines or fields
been added or deleted?

4.

Describe any innovative features or
activities that will be provided for
trainees.


Special

NIGMS Requirements



5.
Describe what the training program
does to ensure that students have
appropriate quantitative graduate
training to pursue cutting
-
edge
biomedical research.


6.
Describe how the training program
provides opportunities for exposure
to topics related to human health,
physiology, and disease.


Suggested Features

1.
Programs may offer opportunities for
experience in teaching


2.
Programs may recruit trainees from
various backgrounds, including
mathematics, engineering, and physical
sciences



Common Reviewer Questions


How do you weight the value
-
added or impact of
the T32 training program against other factors?


How do you determine the number of
recommended trainee positions?


How do you evaluate the rationale for the use of
trainee positions, i.e. number of years on grant
and when supported?


How do you weight the breadth of a program vs.
its scientific focus?






Common Reviewer Questions

How do you weight the value
-
added or impact of the T32
training program against other factors?


Comments:


It depends on how the T32 program fits into the institution’s
broader training efforts. In some cases the T32 program will be
unique and have distinct value added or impact for its trainees.
In other cases the special features of a T32 training program
may have been incorporated into a broader training program so
that T32 trainees are a subset of a larger program that meets
NIGMS objectives. NIGMS recognizes the value of established
programs that are providing effective interdisciplinary training
and programmatic activities to their own trainees and including
other students who may be part of a broader program. NIGMS
also recognizes the impact that a T32 program has had by
serving as a model for the development of an institutional
training program.

NIGMS

strongly encourages innovation in its training programs and recognizes the value of established
programs that are providing effective interdisciplinary training and programmatic activities to their own trainees and are se
rvi
ng as models for other
predoctoral

training programs in the institution.

into in the institution’s overall graduate training programs. In some cases



Common Reviewer Questions

How do you determine the number of
recommended trainee positions?


Comments:

The r
ecomme
ndation should depend on both the
size and quality of the relevant pool (applicant and
matriculant
), and for renewals, on the recent
outcomes. In general, the maximum
recommendation should be no more than the
number of incoming eligible students, considering
other sources of training support for the pool.


Common Reviewer Questions

How do you evaluate the rationale for the use of
trainee positions, i.e. number of years on grant and
when supported?


Comments:

The number of years and timing of support is very variable
from program to program. Each training program should
provide its rationale. Earlier year support is emphasized to
provide common training, cohesiveness, and time of
greatest impact on training. It is common for programs to
support students in years 1 and 2, or 2 and 3 but other
options are allowed if well justified.



Common Reviewer Questions

How do you weight the breadth of a
program vs. its scientific focus?


Comments:

This depends, to a large extent, on which of the
NIGMS program areas is under consideration. The
least specific and most general programs, e.g.
CBMS, can be quite broad. Other programs, e.g.
MB, CBI, Genetics, are more targeted and need to
provide a focus responsive to the NIGMS
guidelines for that program.




NIGMS Predoctoral Guidelines Including
Expanded Descriptions of Specific
Programs:




http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/InstPredoc/
PredocTrainingDescription.htm

NIGMS Web Site