Training Program in Translational Research


Due Date: 6/14/21

MEMO TO: PIBS faculty engaged in translational research

FROM: Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska and Andrew Lieberman, ProgramCo-Directors

DATE: May 14, 2021

RE: Call for Nominations

The Training Program in Translational Research offers an interdisciplinary program of study and research that prepares graduate students for successful careers at the interface between basic biomedical science and clinical medicine. This program is designed for predoctoral Ph.D. students and aims to address the widely-recognized shortage of rigorously trained scientists who can successfully work together with medical professionals to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical practice. We are particularly interested in supporting scientific projects in cancer biology, development, epigenetics, aging, immunology, neuroscience and experimental therapeutics & biomarkers, although other areas will be considered. The educational experience of trainees will be enhanced and supported by integration of dual-mentors with corresponding expertise in the basic and clinical aspects of the research project. The curriculum includes innovative coursework in translational research and student participation in clinical rotations, interdisciplinary conferences, tumor boards, and grand rounds. These activities will be complemented by a T32-based seminar series, workshops and an annual retreat.

Support: The Training Program in Translational Research is pleased to request applications for new trainees for appointments starting in the 2021/2022 school year. With satisfactory progress, trainees may be considered for an additional year of support. The fiscal year 2021 NIH stipend rate is $25,836. The trainee's mentor will need to supply a discretionary shortcode to cover the stipend supplement to meet the current PIBS stipend. The training program covers costs of tuition, fees, medical and dental coverage. Trainees will also have access to funds for travel to scientific meetings to present their research and to learn from and interact with other scientists depending on University travel rules and guidelines.

Eligibility: Preference will be given to students starting their second year of the PIBS program on July 1, 2021.Third year students whose thesis project has a significant translational component are also encouraged to apply. Students can apply directly to the program and do not need to go through their home department. MSTP students as well as PhD students supported by another training grant are not eligible for this program. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. If a student applicant plans to perform his or her thesis work in the lab of a faculty member who is not currently part of the program, the program committee will consider the training environment of that faculty member’s group as part of the student’s application.

Requirements: During the T32 support, students will be expected to participate in course work, clinical rotations during the spring/summer months (8 hours/month), attendance at the translational research seminars, monthly workshops, and an annual retreat. Additional information is available from the program co-directors.

Beside the thesis advisor, the trainees must have their clinical co-mentor as a member of their dissertation committee.

In addition to making sure that students supported by the Training Program in Translational Research fulfill their obligations, mentors with students supported by this T32 are expected to participate in program administration and events, the annual retreat, and as a guest lecturer in translational research seminars and workshops.

Application: Please submit the following items as a single PDF to the training program administrator, Laura Labut,, Department of Pathology, by June 14, 2021.

• Cover letter from the student's mentor which indicates why the student is appropriate for this training program (limited to 2 pages). The mentor letter should include a statement ensuring commitment to the training activities of the program, including a clinical co-mentor and description of potential clinical rotations. Faculty sponsors who are not yet members of The Training Program in Translational Research should also include a description of the training environment in their lab.

• A copy of the mentor’s NIH-style biosketch

• A copy of the student's graduate school application (*Many students waive their rights to see the letters of recommendation submitted with their application. For this reason, many student services staff members will not provide you with a copy of your application. If you are a PIBS student, please give Laura permission to pull your application to include with your submission. If you are not a PIBS student, please have your graduate coordinator email your application directly to

• A copy of the student's U of M unofficial graduate transcript

• A copy of the student's CV

• A letter from the student including their reasons for interest in this program, outlining in general terms their thesis project (specific aims are not expected), a preliminary indication of the target clinical experience, with an emphasis on how this experience will enhance their knowledge, support their research thesis work and career goals (limited to 2 pages)

For more information: Contact Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska ( or Andy Lieberm