BU-XTNC Fellowship Applications
Application deadline: Thursday, May 30, 2013, for fellowship support beginning September 2013. Applicants will be notified by June 14, 2013.
The Boston University Cross-Disciplinary Training in Nanotechnology for Cancer (XTNC) provides stipends and interdisciplinary training to graduate students and postdocs whose interdisciplinary research uses nanotechnology to understand the properties of cancer cells and to discover and develop research tools, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic agents that will reduce suffering and death due to cancer.
Most applicants for graduate student fellowships (5 positions) will have successfully completed one or 2 years of graduate study in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Graduate Medical Sciences and MD-PhD or a closely related graduate program (typically Mathematics and Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, plus the MED campus programs). They will have identified a research project (possibly leading to a dissertation) that integrates their primary physical/engineering discipline with biomedical research or vice versa. They will name co-advisors, one from cancer biology or clinical research on the Medical Campus and one from a physical sciences or engineering discipline on the Charles River Campus. Fellowship support is for one year, renewable for a second year based on exceptional progress. Tuition (4 credits per semester), fees and health insurance will be paid in addition to the stipend.
Postdoctoral fellows (2 positions) will be members of interdisciplinary teams that apply nano/micro technologies to understand, prevent and ultimately treat cancer. Fellowship support is for one year, renewable for a second year subject to exceptional progress. The XTNC program will provide 0.5 FTE postdoc salary support on the NIH scale; the balance must come from other funds available to the co-mentors. 50% support for fees and health insurance will be paid in addition to the stipend.
The main focus for XTNC fellows will be co-mentored research training. In addition, there is an introductory course on nanomedicine, BE745, taught in the spring semester, which graduate students are required to take and post docs to attend and contribute to discussions. There are also seminars, a Nanomedicine retreat, hands-on summer workshops, a co-advising and mentoring program, and opportunities for outreach to high school students in the community. For full details, see http://nano-cancer.bu.edu/ and the XTNC trainee and faculty expectations page appended at the end of this document.
Applications, to be prepared by the student in consultation with the co-mentors, should include:
A letter from the applicant (1-2 pages max), describing their overall scientific background and interests, especially their nanoscience and cancer research experience and interests, and indicating their goals for the future.
A biosketch or cv for the applicant, that includes prior institution, degree and year of graduation with prior GPA. Also include a BU transcript for any applicants that are currently BU students. For MD/PhD students, please also include MCAS results, and for graduate students, GRE scores where applicable.
A cover page that lists the project title, the fellow’s name and contact information plus names and contact information for both mentors, one from CRC and one from MED.
A project description (2-3 pages max; single-spaced, 1” margins; Arial 11 or equivalent) that includes the following sections:
Relevance to Cancer
A support letter (1-2 pages) co-written and signed by the two mentors, describing the fellow’s academic qualifications and scientific promise, outlining the co-mentored research training plan including the balance of cancer and nanoscience training, the value of the project to the applicant as well as to the goals of the co-mentor’s research directions, and, in the case of postdocs, assurance that matching defunds are available to support the salary.
Please also submit brief biographical sketches, preferably in NIH or NSF format, for the co-advisors. These can be from any recent grant submission, and do not need to be specially created. Please also include a summary of active grant support generally in the targeted area for the co-advisors.
Completed applications should be submitted electronically for review by the XTNC leadership committee. Support will be allocated based on the academic qualifications of the student and his/her co-advisors, the scientific merit of the project, the likelihood that the fellowship will work as “glue” to enhance interactions between MED cancer biologists and clinicians and CRC physical scientists and engineers, and the potential of the project to launch a successful research career at the nano/micro/onco interface. Applications from minorities and women are strongly encouraged, as they could be supported with additional funds from NIH. Postdocs and students who are NOT US citizens or resident aliens MAY apply for these fellowships, but we are limited to 1-2 positions out of the 7-8 total.
The application deadline is Thursday, May 30, 2013, for students seeking fellowship support beginning September 1, 2013. Please email your application to Brenda Hugot (email@example.com). Applicants will be notified by June 14, 2013.
Applicants seeking renewed fellowship support will need to provide an additional half-page description of how they will use their first year experience to enhance the XTNC program, including their potential leadership roles in activities such as the nanomedicine course, social activities, the XTNC journal club, outreach initiatives, and summer workshops.
Additional fellowships will be offered each year through 2015. Details of XTNC scientific goals and names, contact information and interests of its faculty-level members are available at http://nano-cancer.bu.edu/
For more information on scientific aspects of the XTNC, contact the faculty on the executive committee, Bennett Goldberg (firstname.lastname@example.org); Douglas Faller (email@example.com), Katya Ravid (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mario Cabodi (email@example.com)
Coursework: Trainees will complete the 4-credit Introduction to Nanomedicine (BE 700/GMS MM720) as part of the program curriculum. It will be taught for the second time in the spring 2012. Workshops: Trainees will participate in one or more Advanced Skills Workshops each year. Our 3-day workshops are hands on, usually 3 days in duration, in the early or late summer. In August 2011, we held the Advanced Microarrays workshop with Prefessors Ünlü and Sebastiani. A Nanoparticle Fabrication and Characterization workshop will be held in the summer of 2012.
Research: Trainees will conduct Mentored Research as part of a pre-existing interdisciplinary group. This is the proposed research component of the XTNC application. Trainees will present their research during the annual Trainee Research Seminar (or Nanomedicine Retreat) each spring. The one-day retreat will highlight trainee research activities. Trainees are also strongly encouraged to attend and present at professional meetings.
Mentoring: Trainees will regularly meet with advisors during monthly Co-Advising Sessions. We have developed a mentoring guide, and will have online notes of advisee/advisor sessions to help trainees and trainers all keep track. Post-doctoral trainees will work with advisors and mentors to develop a Career Development Plan, subsequent meetings will refine this document and introduce trainees to professionals in the trainee’s field of expertise.
Social Gatherings and Student-led Journal Club: If the groups of trainees decide to self-organize a monthly Journal Club to discuss contemporary research related to the training program, we will provide free food and beverages. If the groups of trainees decide to self-organize a monthly or periodic social, we will provide free food and appropriate beverages. We also can provide transportation and support for attending meetings of the MIT/MGH-Harvard Nanomedicine group.
Outreach and Teaching: Trainees will work with CityLab to Develop High School Curriculum Supplements in conjunction with CityLab. Trainees will participate in teaching the material in a semi-annual High School Nanoscience Night; the curriculum will be available to public school science programs. Post-doctoral trainees, with guidance from Don DeRosa, will strengthen teaching skills by delivering lectures and develop curriculum units in Introduction to Nanomedicine, and will assist in instruction during the Advanced Skills Workshops.
Ethics: Graduate trainees and post-docs are required to attend and complete the Responsible Conduct of Research Program organized by the Provost’s Office. This seminar is composed of four sessions throughout the year, lasting three hours each. Ethics Seminars: Trainees will attend seminars on Ethics and Emerging Medical Nanotechnologies. Dr. Roche of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights will lead two session lasting two hours each.
Post-doctoral trainees and advanced graduate trainees will participate in Grant Writing instruction led by Dr. Mario Cabodi.
Faculty affiliated with XTNC will participate in Leadership Team activities on a rotating basis.
Faculty will contribute to trainee instruction through availability as a Research Mentor or Advisor.
Faculty will be encouraged to teach during the spring Nanomedicine course.
Faculty will be encouraged to involve themselves in XTNC activities such as Journal Club or Networking Events.