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Predoctoral Training in the Pharmacological Sciences

2021-2022 Pharm T32 Trainees

2021-2022 Trainees
First row: Ben Kelvington (Ted Abel); Miriam McDonough (Jon Resch); Nathan Witmer (Ryan Boudreau); Miranda Schene (Chris Ahern); Middle row: Valeria Cota (Nicole Brogden); Alex Glebov-McCloud (Stefan Strack); Back row: Samantha Pierson (Catherine Marcinkiewcz); Josh Lingo (Dawn Quelle); Moana Hala'ufia (Dave Roman); Connor Laule (Kamal Rahmouni)


The graduate training program in the pharmacological sciences, which is supported by a T32 training grant from NIH / National Institute of General Medical Sciences (T32 GM067795), emphasizes the education of predoctoral students with research interest broadly related to the pharmacological sciences.  Its goals are to promote the interdisciplinary training of students as well as research collaborations between students and mentors from the following departments and programs.  

Awards:

Fellowships will be awarded for a maximum of two years to any graduate student working in the laboratory of a faculty member from one of the participating departments/programs listed above.  Awards are made on an annual basis.  Members of the executive committee solicit new applications and renewal applications each spring for competitive evaluation.  The training grant covers years 2 and 3 of the Ph.D. program of graduate students, or years 1 and 2 of the Ph.D. program of M.D./Ph.D. students.  Therefore, first year graduate students are eligible to apply, while M.D./Ph.D. students are eligible to apply during their M2 year.

The thesis proposal should be relevant to the aim of this award, which is to train graduate students in a highly interdisciplinary manner broadly related to the Pharmacological Sciences.  The initial term of the appointment will be for 12 months and under no condition can be less than 9 months.  Reappointment for one additional year is contingent on satisfactory academic performance, compliance with the conditions outlined below, and competitive renewal of our training grant.

The 2021-22 fellowship award provides the following:

  • A yearly minimum stipend of $25,836 and a maximum of $31,000, dependent on whether the appointment is directly on the TG or an institutional funded slot in support of this TG. 
  • A minimum of $5,900 support for tuition and mandatory fees.
  • An institutional allowance of at least $700 that can be used to support travel to meetings at which the trainee is a presenting author on a paper or poster, or to purchase laboratory supplies. 

Requirements:

All trainees are required to take, or will have taken, the following courses:

  • Principles of Pharmacology (PCOL:5135, 1 sh spring)
  • Either Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics (PCOL:5136, 1 sh spring) or Neurotransmitters (PCOL:5137, 1 sh spring).
  • Advanced Problem Solving in Pharmacological Sciences (PCOL:6250, 1 sh fall & every other spring).  Accepting this offer includes the commitment to take this course 3 semesters even if alternative funding is obtained during this period). 
  • Mastering Reproducible Science (PHAR:6504, 1 sh, every other spring).  Accepting this offer includes the commitment to take this course even if alternative funding is obtained during this period.
  • Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design (PCOL:5204, 1 sh fall); other graduate-level statistics courses may be substituted if approved.
  • Either one of the following courses, which may be taken in the first or second year of appointment.
    • Science Communication in the Digital Age (RHET:7500, 2 sh spring)
    • Public Speaking for Academic (RHET:7940)
    • Writing in the Natural Sciences (BIOL:6188, 2sh spring)
    • *Writing a Scientific Proposal (IMMU:6241, 1 sh fall)
    • *Crafting a Scientific Proposal (CBIO:7500; 1 sh fall)

*Note: these courses are offered to students from specific programs; enrollment of students from other programs is limited and requires instructor permission.

Other requirements during the period of support are to:

  • Attend the Neuroscience & Pharmacology Workshops (PCOL:6080:0002) on Thursdays 12:30-1:30 and, if announced, the Neuroscience & Pharmacology Seminar held on Tuesdays 10:30-11:30 during the academic year (for 2 consecutive years even if alternative funding is obtained during this period).
  • Present a 20 minute workshop on your research during the spring semester.
  • Attend and present a poster each spring at the Health Sciences Research Day. 
  • Attend and present a poster and/or short talk at the TG-sponsored annual research retreat.
  • Pass the comprehensive examination during or after the second year.
  • Complete Responsible Conduct of Research training (online CITI and Principles of Scholarly Integrity course).
  • Attend three luncheons each summer during which job placement, science ethics, and other issues relevant to students will be discussed.  Mentors of current trainees are required to attend as well.  

Throughout the Ph.D. training period at the U of Iowa (while no longer supported by the TG), trainees are encouraged to:

  • Attend and present a poster each spring at Research Day.
  • Attend and present a poster and/or short talk at the TG-sponsored annual research retreat.
  • Attend three luncheons each summer during which job placement, science ethics, and other issues relevant to students will be discussed.

TG trainees outside the Department of Neuroscience & Pharmacology are given the opportunity to build their teaching portfolio by lecturing in Drug Use and Abuse (PCOL:2220, 3 sh spring), a course for undergraduates with minimal science background. Trainees are eligible to apply for the lectureship after they have completed the Principles in Pharmacology (PCOL:5135) and Pharmacogenetics & Pharmacogenomics (PCOL:5136) or Neurotransmitters (PCOL:5137) module sequence. If interested, please contact Barry Kasson (barry-kasson@uiowa.edu) or Kate Dannen (katelin-dannen@uiowa.edu).

TG trainees are also invited to attend the “Careers in Drug Development” workshop featuring presentations by Adjunct Professor and Pharmacology alumnus Bryan Cox and invited leaders in Pharma/Biotech (schedule to follow).

Trainers (PhD mentors) of the supported trainee are active participants in this TG’s activities and are therefore required to:

  • Have received Mentor Training (a recent NIGMS mandate). Trainers can receive training through the Iowa Mentoring Academy (https://icts.uiowa.edu/workforce-development/mentor-training-and-development) or by completing an on-line workshop, such as the one from the Univ. Minnesota (https://www.ctsi.umn.edu/education-and-training/mentoring/mentor-training). A certificate of completion of the EMBO Laboratory Leadership Course (https://lab-management.embo.org/) is also acceptable. Mentor Training must be completed (as certified by institutional letter or email) by September 1, 2021.
  • Participate in three luncheons each summer while their trainee is supported by the program. 
  • Attend the Thursday workshop presentation of their trainee.
  • Attend the TG-sponsored annual research retreat.
  • Present at least one lecture in either Advanced Problem Solving in Pharmacological Sciences (PCOL:6250) or Mastering Reproducible Science (PHAR:6504) on a topic of choice related to scientific rigor and reproducibility and/or research ethics. Trainers will be contacted by the course directors for scheduling this lecture during the appointment period. Please contact Stefan Strack (stefan-strack@uiowa.edu) or Dave Roman (david-roman@uiowa.edu) if you have questions.

Application:

Applications for the 2021-22 academic year will be available the week of May 10, 2021.  Click PDF iconhere to download the application. 
We anticipate 4 slots will be available. 

Applications will be due Friday, June 4, 2021 and new appointees will be appointed July 1 - September 1, 2021.

Questions should be directed to Dr. Stefan Strack, Training Program Director (319) 384-4439, stefan-strack@uiowa.edu, or Linda Buckner (319) 335-7946, linda-buckner@uiowa.edu