Thank you for taking the time to look more closely into the offerings of the University of Vermont’s Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences (CMB) doctoral program.
The CMB program has at its underpinnings didactic training in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, data analysis, scientific communications, grant writing, and ethics, along with research rotations during the first year conducted in three laboratories. In subsequent years, CMB students devote most of their time to basic science, applied, or translational research conducted in the laboratory of their primary mentor, and are afforded ample opportunities to enroll in advanced elective courses catered especially to doctoral-level students in which both contemporary and classical primary literature constitute the teaching materials, and in-depth discussions are the norm. Areas of research being conducted by CMB faculty recruiting students includes allergy and autoimmunity, bacteriology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, cancer biology, cellular and organismal metabolism, fibrosis, genomics, cell motility, host defense and inflammation, parasitology, redox biology, regenerative medicine, toxicology, vaccine development, virology, and x-ray crystallography. Interdepartmental working groups in which CMB students and faculty participate include the Vermont Lung Center (VLC), Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (VCIID), Translational Global Infectious Diseases Research Center (TGIR), Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont (CVRI), Redox Biology and Pathology Program (RBP), and UVM Cancer Center.
The CMB program attracts applicants from diverse undergraduate majors, and we seek to admit students with science coursework appropriate to the major (recent admitted student majors include Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Physics, etc.,) and indicating preparation for the Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences doctorate. An important complement to coursework preparation is research experience outside the classroom. Most of our admitted students have worked during summers or after graduating with their undergraduate degree in laboratory settings, have strong letters from research advisors, and have gained the experience to explain in the personal statement and during the interviews what they were doing, why they were doing it, how the experience shaped their need to pursue doctoral studies, and how the CMB Program and specific labs of CMB faculty complement their interests.
Admitted students receive a competitive stipend, tuition waiver, and medical insurance. Stipend support comes from serving as a teaching assistant, primary mentor grants, departmental funds, NIH-supported institutional training grants (Immunology/Infectious Disease and Lung Biology T32s), or individual fellowships. The average time to graduation is 5.5 years, and our alumni have been admitted to prestigious postdoc positions, taken posts in industry, and obtained additional clinical training.
I encourage you to explore our website, especially the Prospective Students Information tab in the menu, to learn more about our program and the application process (handled through UVM’s Graduate College portal). If you have questions, reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the CMB office (CMB@uvm.edu). Our application deadline is December 1st, 2021, and we plan to conduct virtual interviews on January 14, 2022.
Matt Poynter, PhD
Director of the Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences doctoral program