What are the requirements for participation?

Non-fellowship funded trainees
PhD students can participate in the training program even if they do not receive an NIH training fellowship. These would include applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents and citizens and those students who were not awarded fellowships.

  1. Courses: All trainees of the program will complete BMB961 'Designing Plant Metabolism for Health and Sustainability' (being taught by Christoph Benning) and the Fall Semester BMB960 level Plant Biotechnology Research Forum on Plants for Health and Sustainability seminar course by the start of their fifth semester (end of the second year).
  2. Trainees will attend twice-yearly meetings with Executive Committee (EC) members to discuss their research progress and how the program participants can strengthen the research community at MSU.
  3. All program trainees are expected to attend and participate actively in the annual symposium each year. The third annual symposium is planned for 31 October-1 November this year.


Funded fellows:

  1. Courses: Completion of the prerequisite courses (BMB960, BMB961) by the end of their second year of predoctoral studies is a requirement for second year of funding of fellows (during their third year of predoctoral studies). Funded fellows must receive a grade of 3.5 or better in required courses for continued funding.
  2. Active participation in each annual symposium, including helping to organize and run the symposia in year 3 and beyond. 
  3. Each funded fellow will work with their mentor and the Executive Committee (EC) members to identify and organize an 8-10 week industrial internship to be completed before the end of their 4th year of graduate studies. In addition to being an excellent career development opportunity, this is a requirement of the NIH T32 Biotechnology Training Program. Limited funds will be made available for fellow travel associated with this internship. While the Executive Committee has identified several organizations that have agreed to consider hosting students
  4. In addition to their primary mentor, the fellows will have another trainer or EC member on their advisory committee. They will also meet privately with the EC members once a year to discuss progress in research and professional development.
  5. To encourage exposure to a broad range of topics, fellows will be expected to attend at least 20 seminars annually, including a mix of talks outside of their field of interest as well as those closer to their discipline and research interests. Five short written analyses of talks attended in different seminar series (for example, BMB, CHE, CHEMS, HRT, PLB, Science at the Edge) in both years 2 and 3 will form part of an Individual Development Plant (IDP) and discussion of the seminars will be part of the private annual meeting with the Training Program EC.
  6. Fellows will be expected to develop competency in statistical/quantitative analysis and computational biology approaches. Completion of at least one course in this general area will satisfy the requirement for quantitative competency.
  7. Fellows will participate in mentoring training activities associated with the program and mentor one or more undergraduate students for a minimum of 10 weeks.