The overall goal of the Rutgers Ph.D. Training Program in Biotechnology is to provide deserving predoctoral students with an integrated multidisciplinary educational and research training experience in biotechnology. The program provides 2 years of funding to meritorious students, with the contractual understanding that students will participate in all program activities for their entire graduate careers. The training experience involves a unifying and multifaceted curriculum which includes: 1) specialized courses that provide the student with critical perspectives of the field from three different vantage points (academic research, industrial R&D, and new ventures); 2) summer industrial internships; 3) training in the responsible conduct of research; 4) an Annual Symposium; and 5) a Ph.D. dissertation research project in one of the laboratories of our 39 participating faculty mentors who are appointed in many different life science and engineering departments. We are requesting 10 NIH-funded predoctoral positions per year for 5 years. Rutgers has committed significant matching fellowship support, stipend and tuition supplements, and other administrative support. Industrial interaction is exceedingly strong, with industrial investigators participating in the teaching of courses, presenting at the Annual Symposium, hosting summer interns, providing matching support, serving on thesis committees, and occasionally hosting students for a part of their Ph.D. dissertation work. The participating graduate programs and departments, together with several biotechnology related centers provide exceptional facilities for comprehensive biomedical biotechnology research and education. Vigorous and extensive recruitment efforts are expended to attract applicants to the program, and only students of exceptional abilities and motivation are admitted. The program also vigorously recruits students from under-represented minorities into the biotechnology field with excellent success. Student progress is continuously monitored through progress reports (and via individual development plans in the future). These documents, as well as surveys of the students' progress in their careers after they leave the university will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. These efforts will continue unabated through the ongoing program, which will continue to produce professionals who are well-educated within a single discipline and have the cross-disciplinary skills needed to conduct independent research and development at the forefront of the constantly evolving discipline of biotechnology.
The proposed training program provides highly trained personnel that apply the tools of engineering and the quantitative sciences to significant research problems in biology and medicine. These professionals will play a critical role in maintaining the United States' leading role in generating basic biomedical discoveries and in developing new drugs and other therapies on the world scene.
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