For over twenty-five years the Biotechnology Training Program at the University of Minnesota has aimed to train the next generation of biotechnology innovators, creators and leaders seeking out the frontiers of their fields. Supported by National Institute of General Medical Science grant T32-GM008347 from the National Institute of Health, we strive to prepare highly skilled students with the cross-disciplinary skills, knowledge, and broad perspectives needed to solve challenging questions and problems in biotechnology that rarely follow traditional disciplinary boundaries and involve fast changing technologies. Each year, this program provides financial support for sixteen graduate students and offers opportunities for collaborative research, industrial internships, international research opportunities, and specialized retreats and seminars.
“There was an emphasis on soft skills that I think was very beneficial. It also helped to expand our horizons beyond our own department by having the lab visits to different departments, which I think was an incredibly unique experience.”
Joe Buchman, 3rd Year Graduate Student, Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Current trainee
“The training grant provided an opportunity to focus on cross-disciplinary interactions and networking. These are very important skills that are not provided within any single department to the same level. These skills are very relevant to transitioning out of academia and functioning at a high level in the real world.”
“The ability to do an internship during my graduate career was extremely helpful as it helped bridge my academic career to research being carried out in an industrial setting.”
“I think the retreats were genuinely the most helpful aspect of the grant, since informal discussion is amazingly fruitful when it comes not only to learning about the research fields of others, but in spurring thoughtful dialogue about your own projects as well.”
“The opportunity to see research and life as a graduate student in another country is something that would not have happened without the training grant program… I’m also not sure I would have ever tried sushi in the US if I hadn’t gone to Japan… My 6 year old won’t eat cheese but she loves eel – go figure!”