Graduate and Undergraduate Education and Training
The Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Sciences Summer Research Program is a unique opportunity for high school students, college students, and first year medical students to perform hands on translational research. The program provides students with the opportunity to participate in laboratory science, be a member of a research team, participate in experiment planning and analyses sessions, perform experiments, and present their results.
RiSE (Research in Science & Engineering) at Rutgers, a nationally recognized summer undergraduate research program, has, since 2001, been the source of about 30% of the underrepresented (UR) PhD trainees entering the molecular biosciences, biomedical engineering and related programs. Scholars participate in 10 weeks of cutting-edge research in the biological, physical, and social/ behavioral sciences, math, engineering, and exciting interdisciplinary areas under the guidance of carefully matched faculty mentors. A comprehensive professional development component, including GRE preparation, complements the research.
Project L/EARN targets members of groups that have been traditionally under-represented in health-related graduate programs with the intent of increasing the number of health researchers from these groups. The program identifies students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, racial/ethnic minority groups, first generation college attenders, and those with an interest in health disparities, and provides them with training, experience and mentoring to make them stronger candidates for admission to graduate programs. The program is an intensive ten-week internship for students who would like to obtain research skills and “hands-on” experience in health services research under the guidance of a distinguished faculty mentors. Project L/EARN is open to students from any U.S. college or university and is a research training program administered through the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research.
The Clinical Research Experience for High School Students (CREHST) program exposes high school students from underrepresented minority populations to the excitement of state-of-the-art biomedical research. The program’s principal focus is to spark an interest in clinical research with the objective of promoting careers in clinical research.
The CURE (Continuing Umbrella for Research Experience) Program at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) provides research training and academic and professional enrichment activities for highly motivated local high school and undergraduate underrepresented minority students.
The Biomedical Careers Program (BCP) offers a six-week summer academic enrichment program in the sciences and health care-oriented activities. The program is designed to increase the academic preparedness and facilitate the entry of students into medical or other health professional schools, BCP offers an academic program with three levels and six different curricula designed for students at various stages of their undergraduate education.
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program is intended for highly motivated undergraduates interested in a research career in the pharmaceutical or environmental sciences. Through this program students are provided with an opportunity to conduct full-time research in areas related to Pharmacology and Toxicology, Environmental Health Sciences, Pharmaceutics, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, and Clinical Pharmacy. The SURF program is open to undergraduate students currently enrolled at a university in the United States.
Summer Pipeline to Excellence at Rutgers Graduate (SUPER Grad) program: SUPER Grad works to assure a diverse student population and launched the summer pipeline that provides first year graduate fellowships for outstanding RiSE alumni. GR2aD also runs professional development programs for our faculty that focus on needs of diverse students and helps faculty identify and compete for minority supplements for grants.
Beyond Traditional Graduate Courses
Interdisciplinary Job Opportunities for Biomedical Scientists (iJOBs) Program: A partnership between Graduate School of Biological Science and Rutgers Biomedical Engineering and funded by a BEST (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) Award from the NIH Common Fund, iJOBS educates over 1500 graduate student and post-doctoral researchers across the state of New Jersey about career opportunities and empowers them to pursue their career goals. Based at Rutgers, but spanning all of the research universities in NJ (including Princeton and NJIT), the iJOBS program is specifically designed for current PhD students, post doctorate fellows and alumni and encourages trainees that have completed the program to re-engage and serve as mentors to the program’s budding professionals. In addition to providing training to future academic scientists in a variety of key skill sets, iJOBS aims to provide ‘one-stop shopping” to New Jersey’s biopharma industry for first-time job placement. iJOBS provides general professional and focused career training in five professional tracks: 1) science and health policy, 2) business management, 3) intellectual property management, 4) clinical and regulatory sciences, and 5) health and science data analysis.
Rutgers Pre-doc Leadership Development Institute (PLDA): This opportunity prepares learners for academic and administrative leadership roles in their institutions. For more information.
Internships at the Technology Transfer Office: Internships in this office expose the student to the process of tech transfer. For more information.
Career Development Programs/Courses: Of increasing importance in the career development of pre-doctoral trainees is the incorporation of competencies required to move one’s career ahead. These are provided in some cases by courses that can be taken for credit or audited but also by short term seminars and workshops. Examples include:
- Presentations and Productivity, including writing, presenting and critiquing scientific material; time management; managing personnel, grant-writing, professional conduct.
- The Business of Science: Drug Development – From Molecules to Medicine: This course is intended to provide the class with a practical, hands-on look at drug development in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry. The activities assigned will be real deliverables for which professionals working in Pharma are responsible throughout the research and development cycle, and is taught by professionals from the pharmaceutical industry who give the lectures and provide guidance throughout the course.
Communication Course: Funded by a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, this course is designed to teach, improve, and assess advanced communication skills in doctoral trainees. It provides them with advanced methods of instruction and improvisation, as well as ample opportunities to practice their communication skills and gain confidence to speak beyond their scientific audience, and embrace the responsibility to explain their science to the public, the media, industry, elected officials, and potential donors who support biomedical research. Offered by a multidisciplinary faculty of scientists, educators, communication experts, and theater arts professionals from several schools of Rutgers University and from industry, the goal is to instill in students an advanced ability to not only to communicate clearly, accurately, and vividly about their research, but also to emphasize its significance.
Scientific Writing Course: This course focuses on learning to write and edit at the level appropriate to the student’s scientific field.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Science and Technology: This course provides a practical framework for identification and commercialization of technology-intensive commercial opportunities; need/opportunity analysis, competitive analysis, legal protection, marketing, financing, resourcing, and communication of the venture.
Grantsmanship Skills: The goals for this course are: to learn the structure and content of an NIH grant; to become familiar with the NIH granting process; to acquire skills for effective grant writing; to develop a power point presentation of an original scientific research grant; to develop an original scientific research grant in NIH format; to practice the process of designing a scientific research program; and to learn about techniques and approaches used in modern research.
Statistics Classes: In addition to formal statistics courses, RUBIES, a consultative biostatistics and clinical epidemiology service learning and service center for translational researchers is available to students. The Graduate School of Biological Sciences has also developed three courses, specific for graduate students: “Statistics in Biomedical Science;” “Interdisciplinary Biostatistics Research Training for Molecular and Cellular Sciences: Enhancing Rigor and Reproducibility;” and “Statistical Theory for Research Workers”.
Scientific Rigor and Responsibility: To address the NIH requirements concerning scientific rigor and reproducibility (NOT-OD-16-011), the Graduate School of Biological Sciences is piloting a series of webinars, funded by an NIH R25 grant and developed in collaboration with the Society for Neuroscience (Promoting Awareness and Knowledge to Enhance Scientific Rigor in Neuroscience). All 1st year PhD students as well as 5th year PhD students and postdoctoral fellows who were registered for Responsible Conduct of Research training participate in webinars, covering a range of topics: planning experiments and preparing for data collection; minimizing bias in experimental design and execution; post-experimental data analysis; and data management and reporting.
Project AGER (Advancing Graduate Education at Rutgers): This program has the potential to improve educational resources of those Scholars participating in graduate programs. Project AGER is a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative based at the Graduate School New Brunswick at Rutgers, and funded by a five-year Innovation through Institutional Integration (I3) grant. Project AGER is developing a structure that identifies and integrates best practices in graduate education. Project AGER objectives relevant to the KL2 program include: a. Creation of a centralized infrastructure for sharing best practices in curriculum, b. Integration and expansion of programs to train graduate students to become effective researchers and mentors, c. Integration of programs to recruit a diverse student population from Rutgers to pursue graduate education.
Training in Mentorship Program: The Graduate Mentoring Fellows Program is a year-long program to provide participants with the opportunity to study the functions involved in serving as a good mentor and to work with undergraduates as a mentor for one academic year.
GradFund offers a wide range of services to support the School of Graduate Studies. They offer students individual meetings, workshops, writing groups and mentoring programs. Their services are aimed at helping graduate students throughout the entire process of developing a funding plan, finding funding, and developing their applications
Collaborative Graduate Programs
The Rutgers-Princeton MD/PhD Program: For the last decade, the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Princeton University have jointly sponsored an MD/PhD program. One of the strengths of this program is the unique combination of facilities and resources across the two universities including the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Environmental and Occupational Health Institute, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.
Joint Program in Biomedical Engineering: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Rutgers Graduate School of Biological Sciences jointly administer a program in Biomedical Engineering that emphasizes an integration of engineering and the life sciences to address complex problems. Students are admitted to either institution and receive the same degree with a joint diploma.
Computational Psychiatry PhD Programs: Rutgers and Princeton are creating a new graduate training track in Computational Psychiatry that will expand and enhance the existing PhD training program within the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI). This program will leverage the expertise of The Rutgers-Princeton Center for Computational Cognitive Neuro-Psychiatry (CCNP) which combines strengths of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and RBHS’s University Behavioral Health Center and Brain Health Institute to use computational psychiatry (machine learning) to characterize and map psychiatric disorders to the spatial function of the brain.