T32 - postdoctoral training program

Program Summary

IBSC's NIH/NICHD-sponsored training program will support 4 postdoctoral training positions each year. Fellowships are typically for 2 years with a non-competitive renewal process after one year.

The program will support postdoctoral salaries (UCSC salary scale, levels 0 and 1) and $500 for travel

Application dates: Extended Applications now open until Dec 1

Extended Program start date: Jan 2, 2023


  • NIH- supported training positions (two in year 1 and three in years 2-5) require US citizenship or permanent residency status

  • UCSC-funded training positions (two in year 1 and one in years 2-5) are open to international applicants.

  • The proposed research project must fall within the program research focus (see below).

  • The selected research mentor must demonstrate funding to sponsor expenses for the proposed research project and, if applicable, to supplement the postdoc's salary above the UCSC levels 0 or 1. Any of the IBSC-affiliated mentors or other UCSC researchers may be suitable program mentors if the project falls into the program research focus (see below).

Research Focus

Research projects supported by this program need to revolve around Stem Cell Biology. In addition, the proposed research needs to fall within the research priorities of the NICHD. The most applicable are the following 2 NICHD branches, but others may apply as well:

1) DBSVB (Developmental Biology and Structural Variation Branch)

2) IDDB (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch)

Program Details

  • Structured mentoring: The postdoc and mentor commit (per program compact) to use an IDP and regularly discuss the postdoc's research and career plans. They arrange for formal meetings every 6 months and use the program form for their meeting discussion, which is returned to program leadership.

  • Mentor training: All mentors are required to take a mentoring workshop/class in the first year of the trainee's training period.

  • Multiple mentors: All junior research mentors (assistant professors) will pair with a senior faculty member to optimize trainee mentoring. In addition, all trainees are required to find an additional co-mentor with complementary experiences to the primary mentor. The co-mentor may be a UCSC faculty member or a scientist or teaching professional from another university or biotech company. The IBSC can assist the trainees in identifying a suitable co-mentor.

  • Responsible Conduct of Research: All NIH-funded postdocs will participate in our RCR workshop. This workshop currently takes place every other year and will be announced on the IBSC website.

  • Career development: Each trainee will spend 5-10% of their time to acquire skills related to their chosen career path. Options include:

              • Participation in Grant Writing Class in winter quarter (required)

              • Equity-Minded Mentoring workshop by UCSC's Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL) in summer (required)

              • Leadership workshop (at UCSC or other institutions)

              • Practicing leadership (UCSC postdoc association, Stem Cell Club, WiSE outreach activities)

              • Industry shadowing/internship - work with the IBSC leadership (or by private initiative) to arrange for day-long shadowing experiences or short internships in biotech companies. The IBSC has agreements with the companies below who will accept trainees from our training programs.

              • Teaching/mentoring opportunities with the research mentor or other UCSC faculty

              • Participation in the following classes: Applied statistics in Biology; Introduction to Stem Cell Biology and Ethics (or others)

  • Writing requirement: All trainees must complete a general-interest article addressing the significance of their research for a lay audience in order to learn how to communicate the purpose and greater significance of their research to society. Articles must be submitted to a local newspaper, website, blog, or similar. Mentors and the IBSC program director will provide feedback on drafts.

  • Stem Cell Club: All trainees are expected to participate in the monthly Stem Cell Club and present at least once.

  • Non-competitive renewal for second year: Trainees will have to make adequate progress in their research project. At the end of each program year, trainees submit an annual progress report (2 pages) and present at the "Research Review Day" (after it resumes following Covid restrictions). Program leadership and an external committee will evaluate the research progress. The main scientific criterium is that the trainee has made appropriate progress towards the research plan outlined in the trainee’s application. If changes have been made to the original research plan, new goals must lie within NICHD priorities in Stem Cell research. While publications can provide strong evidence of progress, a publication is not required in the first year.

Application Details

Email of intent: Rolling Deadline

To help us prepare for the application review (including assembling an unbiased review committee), please include in the email:

  • is the applicant a US citizen/perm res or an international researcher

  • is the applicant already at UCSC and/or is a tentative Jan 2 start date desired/feasible

  • when did the applicant complete their PhD and have they been in prior postdoctoral positions

  • broadly, what scientific field does the proposal fall in (e.g. computational, bioengineering, cell bio, development, etc.)? This information will guide our review committee selection.

Extended Deadline: Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tentative Program start date: Monday, Jan 2, 2023

Application Materials

1) T32 application form

2) T32 Demographic form (For reporting purposes only; not forwarded to selection committee)

3) Research plan (no form) – 2 pages or less (plus additional pages for references and timeline), developed in collaboration with your research mentor. Please use no smaller than 11 pt font (Arial or similar) and at least 0.5 inch page margins on letter-sized documents. References are not included in the page limit.

4) Timeline (no form) for the main planned activities so that reviewers who may not be familiar with all proposed techniques can get an impression of the time that will be necessary for the proposed research - 1 page max.

4) Form by the sponsoring UCSC mentor, sent directly to program administrator. Please provide them with the downloaded PDF form.

5) Form letter by one former mentor or supervisor who can evaluate your fit for this training program. Please provide them with the downloaded PDF forms.

NIH/NICHD grant number T32HD108079

Companies who agreed to host shadow/intern trainees