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Why participate?

For information about applying to the PBHS Program, please click here.

  • Health and sustainability issues are intimately intertwined with plant science and recent reports from the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (for the report click here) and the American Society of Plant Biologists (for the report click here) underscore the need for advances in fundamental and translational plant biotechnology science and training. 
  • Plants are the source of ‘food, fuel and fiber’ and most vitamins and other essential nutrients obtained in the human diet are directly or indirectly from plants. Basic and applied research in the plant sciences will become increasingly important for the foreseeable future as we seek to feed a growing world population with fewer resources and inputs against a backdrop of climate change. To this end, research is needed to improve plants for use as sources of food, fiber, fuel and pharmaceuticals as the climate changes, natural resources become limiting, urbanization increases, and rural populations decrease (www.fao.org/). 

Goal: To realize the full potential of plant biotechnology, the next generation of plant scientists need to develop disciplinary expertise and proficiency in plant biology, biochemistry, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, computational biology, and quantitative analyses. This scientific training must be supported by professional development that includes building organizational, management, mentoring, networking, and communication skills. The goal of this program is to help create that next generation of scientific leaders who can address these and other societal challenges.

Who can apply?

  • Students who are finishing their second semester of predoctoral training in a laboratory of a participating faculty member are encouraged to apply to participate in the program.  A subset of students who join the program are offered fellowship support using funds from NIH (T32-GM110523) or Michigan State University support. 
  • Applications are due on or around 1 June and decisions are communicated in early July. Fellowships typically commence Fall Semester and run for two years. Fellowship support decisions are made based upon several criteria including relevance of the planned research to the theme of the training program, student performance in undergraduate and graduate courses, evaluation of the student's essay and the letter of support from the faculty member. Applicants should do an Individual Development Plan using MyIDP, discuss it with their mentor and provide a summary document as part of the application. 
  • The application form and solicitation letter for each year will be sent to all current trainees and trainers to be shared with laboratory members. These documents should be used to apply for admission into the program. 
  • Fellowship awardees must conduct fundamental research on plants or relevant microorganism that is aligned with NIH research priorities.
  • Highly qualified students will be considered for predoctoral fellowships during years 2-3 of predoctoral studies, starting each Fall Semester. The fellowships will include up to two years of stipend (see here for updated stipend numbers), medical insurance and tuition. During these two years they will also be eligible for $300/y travel to present their results at a scientific meeting.