The mission of the CBI training program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is to provide trainees with cutting edge research opportunities and hands on cross-disciplinary training across not only discipline, but departmental lines. In particular, UMBC is a leader in promoting diversity within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The program, which started in 2003, involves thirty-six faculty from three departments located on two campuses - the Chemistry and Biology departments at UMBC and the joint UMBC/UMB Biochemistry program. Currently there are 35 students participating in the program - 24 second year and beyond, and 11 first year students. Of these, 25 are TGE and seven are URMs). Four students are currently supported each year by the NIH training grant, however all second years and beyond receive an extra stipend. We are requesting an increase to eight training slots in this renewal application since the program has more than doubled since its inception. In addition to the extra stipend, the program has other unique features, most significantly, a training opportunity that is undertaken in a laboratory outside of their discipline, however, which provides added value to their dissertation research project. The primary features and requirements of the program include: Optional rotation in the other discipline before choosing mentor ; A structured training opportunity in the other discipline after choosing mentor ; All trainees (all years) meet weekly under the umbrella of the Issues at the Chemistry-Biology Interface course ; Advanced coursework in the other discipline ; All trainees are required to present at two local/regional Graduate Research symposiums per year ; All trainees are required to present at two national/international conferences per year ; All students must attend two seminars per semester in the other departments ; All trainees complete an ethics course ; All trainees must maintain a 3.25 GPA ; Completion of all degree requirements (i.e. literature review exam, candidacy exam, original proposal or other requirements for their home department) in a timely fashion. All Chemistry & Biology CBI students are required to teach for two semesters at some point during their graduate studies (note: UMB students are exempt from this due to a lack of an undergraduate program at the UMB campus). In terms of outcomes, since the last renewal in 2008, nine CBI students have earned their Ph.D. degree. All nine have gone on to postdoctoral positions, most of which are at leading research institutions, with three of them at federal laboratories in the DC area. In summary, all of the students that have been supported on the training grant since 2008, as well as the current students who participate (but are supported by other means), are outstanding examples of what can be accomplished in a CBI training grant program. They are highly productive, strongly committed and all serve as excellent ambassadors not only for UMBC, but also NIH and cross- disciplinary science at the CBI.
The mission of the CBI training program at UMBC/UMB is to provide graduate trainees with cutting edge research opportunities and hands on cross-disciplinary training across not only discipline, but departmental lines in health- and disease-related areas. !
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