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Institutional Training Grants

NC State supports graduate training in partnership with institutional training grants provided by a variety of federal funding agencies. These highly-competitive institutional training grants provide funding to support selected pre-doctoral candidates and/or postdoctoral researchers enrolled in University training programs.

Department of Education (DoED)

PI: Mesut Baran, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering

Description: Through multidisciplinary doctoral education in Cybersecurity for Electric Power Systems (CEPSE), NC State will increase its commitment to graduate training in two areas designated by the GAANN Program as critical to national need: Cybersecurity and Electrical Engineering. The goal of this program is to enlarge the pool of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who will pursue teaching and research careers in cybersecurity for electric power systems, thereby promoting workforce development and technological innovation impacting national security, energy security, and environmental sustainability.

Read more about this program here.

PI: Robert Kelly, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, College of Engineering

Description: Through this GAANN Fellowship Program in Molecular Biotechnology, NC State proposes to increase its already strong commitment to graduate training in aspects of molecular biotechnology through its Molecular Biotechnology Training Program (MBTP), enriching disciplines designated by GAANN as critical to national needs. The program will ensure technical proficiency and training in responsible and rigorous science for 8 GAANN Fellows supported by DoEd and 3 additional Fellows supported by NC State.

Read more about this program here.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

PI: Samuel Jones, Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine

Description: The National Research Council has documented a dire national need for veterinary specialists trained in biomedical research. Furthermore, veterinary researchers play a key role in comparative and translational research activities since they naturally bridge basic and clinical research. To address this training need, NC State will provide funding for trainees who are degree-seeking fellows in the Comparative Medicine and Translational Research training program established by the faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the Comparative Medicine Institute (CMI) at NC State. This training program specifically targets individuals with the DVM degree who have completed specialty training and is designed to prepare trainees to compete for an early career development award and a rapid transition to independence as a principal investigator or in another research-intensive career.

Read more about the program here.

PI: Fred Wright, Statistics, College of Sciences

Description: This is a long-standing and successful training program in bioinformatics at NC State, which has produced nearly 50 Master’s and 60 PhD graduates in Bioinformatics since the beginning of the program in 1999. The program and environment have been substantially updated to focus on environmental health bioinformatics (EHB) training, supported by additional faculty and new research programs.

Read more about the program here.

PI: Marie Davidian, Statistics, College of Sciences

Description:  This program is focused on predoctoral training in biostatistics aimed at preparing trainees for careers in cardiovascular disease research. The escalating demand for skilled biostatisticians equipped to address ongoing and emerging challenges in this exciting era of cardiovascular disease research calls for training that formally integrates deep and sustained experience collaborating in a multidisciplinary environment, mastery of the theoretical underpinnings of statistics required for valid application of sophisticated biostatistical techniques and for research on development of new methodologies, and strong emphasis on communication and leadership skills. The program is a joint effort of the Department of Statistics at NC State, the Duke University Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (B&B), and the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI). It capitalizes on the long-standing partnership between the two departments and a medical research institution that is the largest Academic Research Organization in the world, with internationally known researchers at the forefront of cardiovascular disease and related research.

Read more about the program here.

PIs: Jason Haugh and Robert Kelly, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, College of Engineering

Description: Training in molecular biotechnology is essential for an expanding list of disciplines that have found modern biology‐based skills of critical importance in pursuing research goals in areas ranging from biochemistry to chemical engineering to plant biology. Recognizing this, NC State has created a core education facility that serves campus‐wide needs for graduate students requiring laboratory‐based training in aspects of modern biology. This not only facilitates completion of the students’ dissertation research, but also lays the basis for career opportunities in academic, government, and industrial research settings.

Read more about the program here.

PI: Seth Kullman, Biological Sciences, College of Sciences

Description: NC State’s Molecular Pathways to Pathogenesis in Toxicology NIEHS T32 training grant is a long-standing, impactful and multidisciplinary initiative that has supported 130 pre-doctoral trainees and 18 post-doctoral researchers over the past 41 years. Graduates of this program conduct basic and applied research, teach at universities and colleges, evaluate product safety, and assist public agencies and private industries in resolving important public health and environmental problems. The program’s mission is to provide the next generation of toxicologists/environmental health science (EHS) researchers with the technical, operational and professional skills necessary to conduct high impact EHS research, communicate effectively to a wide variety of audiences, and work as part of multidisciplinary teams to understand how human health is impacted by environmental factors.

Read more about the program here.

PI: Joshua Pierce, Chemistry, College of Sciences

Description: Training in the application of chemical principles is essential for modern research across a number of disciplines ranging from Chemistry and Biochemistry to Biology, Engineering and Medicine. Acknowledging this need, NC State has launched a new research and training program called the Chemistry of Life Program (CLP) and initiated an innovative graduate training program, the Chemistry of Life Training Program (CLTP), as a core element. A key aspect of this program is core training, both lecture and experimental, in core chemical biology principles and techniques. This not only facilitates completion of the students’ dissertation research, but also lays the basis for career opportunities in academic, government, and industrial research settings. To achieve this, the CLTP has partnered with the Comparative Medicine Institute and Biotechnology Training Program to synergize this program across our campus though at least 4 Colleges and 7 Departments.

Read more about this program here.

PI: Jorge Piedrahita, Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine

Description: The objective of this Comparative Molecular Medicine Training Program (CMMTP) is to provide a diverse pool of graduate students with rigorous training in biomedical research with special emphasis in team science. The program emphasizes team interdisciplinary research training and provides extensive hands-on experience in challenging research projects focused on comparative molecular medicine, and extensive professional development designed to prepare trainees for a successful career in the biomedical sciences.

PI: Jorge Piedrahita, Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine

Description: This U-STAR program combines the strengths of a university- wide biomedical institute, the Comparative Medicine Institute (CMI), and the University Honors Program at NC State in order to train the next generation of biomedical scientists in a rigorous inter/trans disciplinary environment. Major program components include: 1) A pre-U-STAR feeder program designed to introduce students to the program and to the unique skills required to carry team science; 2) A “Mentor-the-Mentor” program for Graduate students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Junior Faculty mentoring U-STAR Scholars; 3) A U- STAR program that provides rigorous hands-on research mentoring in inter/transdisciplinary sciences; and 4) Professional development activities that include career and academic advising, seminar series, preparation to present orally and in poster format, workshops on scientific communication, introduction to existing T32 programs at NC State and partnering institution, UNC Chapel Hill, and assistance with application to graduate school. The overall goal is to enroll 10 new U-STAR scholars each year, 70% of which will matriculate in a biomedical sciences PhD or an MD/PhD program.

*Disclaimer: This training program is for undergraduates. It is included on this page as it serves as a stepping stone to graduate training and an important introduction to T32 programs at NC State.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) funds approximately 20% of all NIH T32 training grants — accepting applications in 12 program areas of basic biomedical science to enhance graduate research training.

NIGMS will support only one training program in a given training area per institution. Please see the Research Development Office’s (RDO’s) NIGMS T32 page for information on program areas that are currently open for NC State.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

PI: Laura Demarse, Assistant Dean for Professional Development and External Relations, The Graduate School

Description:  Given that an ever-increasing number of graduate students are pursuing employment in industry, the NC State Graduate School recently piloted a module-based training approach (Accelerate to Industry) with professional development opportunities that specifically address the transition from academia to industry. Training goals include developing graduate students’ career awareness and exploration, entrepreneurial skills, ability to complete real-world work experiences, and, ultimately, career success in industry. This National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) award to NC State will allow broader testing of the Accelerate to Industry approach at diverse institutions. To expand to other universities, the project created scalable, modular activities intended to allow universities to implement the components that best fit their needs and resources. In addition, this project will establish a two-day train-the-trainer event for 10 new institutional partners annually that will focus specifically on providing graduate students with an immersive, industry-intensive learning experience.

Read more about the program here.

PI: Fred Gould, Entomology and Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Description: Innovations in agricultural biotechnology may fulfill biotechnology’s longstanding promise to help feed the world’s growing population while preserving ecosystem integrity. Yet past experience suggests that paths from technological innovation to improved sustainability and productivity entail considerable complexity and uncertainty. Meeting challenges of improving food, energy and water (FEW) systems requires the integration of knowledge from a number of natural sciences as well as from social, political, and ethical domains. This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) award to NC State will provide graduate students who are enrolled in diverse natural and social science masters and PhD programs with the interdisciplinary knowledge and approaches needed to help forge futures where agricultural biotechnology applications enhance FEW systems while minimizing unintended consequences. In all, the AgBioFEWS program will train at least sixty-two (62) masters and PhD students, including twenty-two (22) funded PhD students, from biological, agricultural, and social sciences. The traineeship program will partner with two historically black universities, offering internships to their students, and will establish a path for these students to join the NRT program. Continuous interaction with experts from industry, government, and non-profit agencies will expose students to diverse career paths.

Read more about this program here.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

PI: Daniela Jones, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Description: The goal of this project is to recruit, retain, train, and mentor a cohort of three talented and inquisitive PhD students from historically underrepresented groups in Food and Agricultural Research. The three National Needs Fellows (NNF Fellows) will become a part of an established, innovative, interdisciplinary and collaborative team of researchers created through the Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP4PSI) at North Carolina State University (NC State).

Read more about the project the NNF Fellows will be working on here.

PI: Ronalds Gonzalez, Forest Biomaterials, College of Natural Resources

Description:  Led by the Department of Forest Biomaterials in collaboration with the Departments of Forestry, Business Management and Science Education at NC State, this proposal will develop an educational program for a new generation of technology-to-commercialization researchers who will graduate with the expertise to perform risk analysis and develop risk management strategies across the value chain of biomass supply, biobased materials, and biofuels manufacturing to meet current and future national needs that will ultimately advance the nascent bioeconomy of the United States. Three Ph.D. students will be trained to analyze and propose mitigation strategies for current and future risks inherent to the bioeconomy. To considerably amplify the effect of this proposal, prospective fellows and project directors will deliver educational workshops in risk analysis and management targeting the biobased community across the U.S. While the proposal is expected to be completed in three years, the project director expects to keep the program as a permanent teaching/research program.

PI: Ryan Emanuel, Forestry and Environmental Resources, College of Natural Resources

Description:  Environmental justice (EJ) is an academic and policy framework intended to evaluate the societal costs of decisions about environmental management, food production, and other activities within the scope of agricultural and natural resources. Although EJ work often focuses on inequities in environmental conditions experienced by low-income or racially marginalized communities, agricultural and natural resources scientists rarely encounter EJ in their academic training, research, or hands-on practical experiences – even at land-grant institutions, whose missions include deep community engagement and service.This program will recruit and mentor three Ph.D. Fellows for an innovative experience that integrates EJ theory, practice, and methods into training within the Targeted Expertise Shortage Area (TESA) of Forest Resources.Fellows will undertake coursework and dissertation research in pursuit of a Ph.D. in Forestry and Environmental Resources and will receive hands-on training through external experiences.The program will recruit Fellows from diverse backgrounds, especially those with demonstrable commitments to marginalized communities on whom EJ policies often center.

PI: Sunkyu Park, Forest Biomaterials, College of Natural Resources

Description: The objective of this proposal is to develop an education program for a new generation of researchers who understand both the areas of Forest Resources and Animal Production, and can analyze this coupled system using a life cycle analysis approach. Faculty members from three departments (Forest Biomaterials in College of Natural Resources, Animal Science in College of Agricultural Life Science, and STEM Education in College of Education) proposed a joint doctoral education program to address Targeted Expertise Shortage Area of Forest Resources with Relevant Disciplines of (A) Animal Science, (B) Biotechnology, and (C) Renewable Natural Resources. This program incorporates recruiting underrepresented students (seminars at HBCUs and 2-day NNF Recruiting Workshop at NCSU campus), cross-disciplinary teamwork/advising, coursework in multiple disciplines, Preparing Future Leaders program in the campus, internship at an industry site and commercial farm, and exposure to biotechnology experts in the industry. The three Ph.D. Fellows from this program will be uniquely prepared to lead research in forest resources utilization with a strong interdisciplinary approach to animal feed production.

PI: Sunkyu Park, Forest Biomaterials, College of Natural Resources

Description: An Interdisciplinary doctoral education program will be created to focus on renewable polymer production using forest resources to replace plastics. Project directors from three colleges will work together to train three Ph.D. students.