Who We Are

Students in lab

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS) was created in 2014, under the leadership of an Associate Dean (Daniel Tranel, PhD).  Its mission is to guide graduate (PhD) and postdoctoral students through their biomedical sciences training in the Carver College of Medicine (CCOM). 

The Office, overseen by an Associate Dean who is supported by the OGPS Coordinator, is dedicated to the goal of training a diverse workforce of biomedical scientists, scholars, and teachers.  This goal is realized through the support of various PhD programs and subprograms affiliated with the biomedical sciences, and the support of postdoctoral students training in laboratories of CCOM biomedical faculty.  The OGPS works closely with the Graduate College of the University of Iowa to achieve its mission.

There are approximately 300 graduate (PhD) and 200 postdoctoral students enrolled in various programs that are under the auspices of OGPS.  These students comprise the workforce that drives biomedical science in CCOM, and our faculty is critically dependent on these students to perform research.  The quality and quantity of these students are crucial to the success of the research mission of CCOM.

The Office has close ties to the Biomedical Science Program, comprised of a Program Director, Curriculum Director, and Academic Program Management support person.


Graduate programs: 

There are 13 graduate programs under the auspices of OGPS.

1. Biomedical Science Program (BSP): The BSP is a first-year umbrella program, organized to matriculate approximately 25 students/year, provide a common didactic curriculum, and provide 3 laboratory rotations after which students affiliate with a subprogram.  The BSP feeds into 7 Subprograms:

2. Two departmentally-based PhD programs:

3. Four interdisciplinary PhD programs.  Most of the students in these programs are in CCOM labs.

4. Summary:

  • These 13 programs and subprograms matriculate about 60 new students each year.
  • Time-to-degree is around 5.5 years; completion rates are around 80 percent.
  • Students are typically funded during their first year (rotations) by the institution (CCOM, Graduate College), and thereafter by the mentor and/or training grants.
  • Current stipend ($34,500 for 2024-2025) is competitive with peer institutions and programs. Altogether, the graduate student financial package includes stipend, tuition, fees, and health care/fringe, and the value of the package is approximately $54,000.  This is highly competitive nationally, especially taking into account the very low cost of living in the Iowa City area.


Postdoctoral Students

The CCOM faculty relies extensively on ~200 postdoctoral scholars to perform research.

  • These scholars are critical to the research mission of the College.
  • Postdocs are more independent and publish more than graduate students; they often win external funding; they contribute innovation and insights to biomedical science.
  • Paid according to the recommended NIH scale; current annual salary is in the upper 50K range.  Postdocs are supported by their mentor and/or training grants.
  • 5-year cap on longevity (per NIH regulations).


Training Grants

CCOM faculty lead institutional training grants (T32 mechanism), which support predoctoral and/or postdoctoral students.

  • Currently we have 17 T32 training grants with CCOM faculty as Program Directors.
  • Pre- and post-doctoral students win individual training grants (e.g., NSF, F31, F30 for predocs; F32 for postdocs).



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