UCSC Predoctoral CIRM Scholars Program

Research in the cell sorting lab

The UCSC Training Program in Systems Biology of Stem Cells, funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), provides predoctoral students with a solid understanding of the biology of stem cells, the skills to use stem cells in their own research, and the ability to devise and use computational approaches in their stem cell research.

The Predoctoral CIRM Scholars program offers four one-year-long scholarships to students from any UCSC graduate program who are pursuing or plan to pursue laboratory research in some aspect of stem cell biology with a UCSC CIRM mentor.

Program trainees receive guidance from UCSC faculty mentors and are expected to participate in activities associated with the CIRM Training Program, which include presenting research at the annual UCSC CIRM scholar research review day and the UCSC stem cell journal club. Scholars are encouraged to attend the Bay Area stem cell club and to present their work at a local, national, or international scientific conference.

The program offers a stipend of $28,000 per year plus health insurance. In addition the fellowship provides 100% of the first $3,000 in other fees and tuition, and 60% of the remainder, up to a total of $16,000 per student. Scholars receive a research allowance of $5000 per year for project-related laboratory supplies, small equipment, travel, books, or other appropriate expenses that facilitate scholar training and progress.

Award period: Appointments are for one year, with the possibility of reappointment for up to three years total.

Course requirements: Introduction to Stem Cell Biology and Ethics (BIOL 206; offered in fall of odd-numbered years) and Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology (BIOL 206L;  offered annually in winter or spring). Scholars must achieve a grade B or higher in these courses, and must also meet the requirements of their Ph.D. program. Scholars may consult with their departmental (or thesis) committee and CIRM mentors for guidance on additional courses and to ensure that the requirements of both programs are met.

Reporting requirements: All scholars must fulfill the program reporting requirements each year.

Reappointment: Reappointment to a second or third year requires specific action on the part of the scholar.

Eligibility: Candidates must be in excellent academic standing within their graduate program. Candidates must have agreement from a UCSC CIRM mentor to work in his or her laboratory. Trainees are not required to be California residents or US citizens. UCSC and the CIRM are particularly interested in training a diverse pool of individuals from many backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities. A scholar can receive a maximum of three years of support through this program.

Selection criteria: The CIRM Executive Committee will select Scholars based on the following criteria:

Proposal

  • Relevance to and potential impact of the project on stem cell research
  • Novelty, feasibility, and appropriateness of the approach and the model system

Applicant

  • Training to date and ability to carry out the proposed project
  • Progress on project to date (for projects that have already started)
  • Written recommendations
  • Quality of publications
  • Academic standing

Environment

  • The mentor: productivity, training track record, and successful competition for research support
  • The laboratory: availability and quality of required resources (equipment, facilities, technical support); additional research support
  • Collaborators or other factors influencing success
  • Other support for this project

Application process: The process consists of an online application and two letters of reference submitted directly to the program by email.

Online application: Apply online. You will be asked to submit the following documents electronically as PDFs:

  1. A project proposal (maximum 5 pages) that includes these sections:
    • Specific aims
    • Background and significance
    • Preliminary results (if applicable)
    • Research plan
    • Brief statement of how the project relates to regenerative medicine
    • Brief statement of how this award would impact your project and career plans.
  2. Applicant CV.
  3. Mentor CV or biosketch, including current and pending support and support completed within the past three years (limit 4 pages) and should be submitted directly by mentor.
  4. Transcript (unofficial is acceptable).

Reference letters: Please have two letters of reference submitted directly by the writers to:
apply-CIRM@soe.ucsc.edu.

  1. A letter from the CIRM mentor in whose laboratory the work will be performed that specifically comments on the proposed project, your track record and ability to perform the project, and the suitability of the environment for carrying out the project.
  2. A letter of support from a second faculty member who knows you well and can comment on your scholarship and research potential.
  3. Any potential conflicts of interest should be addressed in the letters.

Application deadline: 5:00 pm, May 15, 2014

Contact

Nadine Gassner
Administrator, UCSC CIRM Training Program
(831) 459-2752
info-CIRM@soe.ucsc.edu

Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering
1156 High Street, Mail Stop CBSE/ITI
UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
phone (831) 459-1477
fax (831) 459-1809
cbseweb@soe.ucsc.edu