A student and faculty member, both in lab coats, work side-by-side

Are you looking to pursue a scientific career helping to develop solutions to pressing environmental and global health problems? The Quantitative and Evolutionary STEM Training (QuEST) Program for Doctoral Students at the University of Vermont is designed to provide cutting-edge training, mentorship and hands-on internships for doctoral students who want to make a difference.

You’ll earn your Ph.D. helping to understand and solve environmental and global health problems using rigorous training in evolutionary biology and quantitative data analysis. And you’ll have opportunities to research areas including disease, antibiotic and pesticide resistance, food security, and ecosystem and species resilience to global change. Read more below on the strengths of our program.

Building the Foundation

You will develop firm foundations in evolutionary biology, data science, statistics, and modeling. QuEST program is unique among other interdisciplinary, big-data programs across the country in our emphasis on evolutionary training, modeling for prediction, and culturally sensitive teamwork.

Diverse Course Offerings

You can choose from broad selection of interdisciplinary graduate courses. QuEST Foundations courses are intensive, team-taught, case-based courses that ensure that students have a strong understanding of core concepts in evolution, ecology, and epidemiology, expose them to contemporary, real-world topics where modeling and predicting system disturbances are important, and cultivate hypothesis development, experimental design, and teamwork skills at the beginning of their graduate training.

Training for the Real World

You will apply data-driven solutions to real-world problems in internships with non-academic institutions. QuEST trainees all complete a semester-long, applied internship during their third year, selected from a diverse list of government, non-profit, industry, start-up, and international partners.

Building Better Science

You will grow through extensive professional development training that includes computational and communication skills, teamwork and cultural sensitivity training. This programming is grounded in the “six Cs" of effective mentoring: collaborative, cooperative, confidential, confidence-building, collegial and comforting.

Unique Mentoring Structure

The QuEST program is designed to accelerate, expand and enhance traditional mentoring methods. You will be part of an interest group network, composed of your primary mentor and an additional faculty mentor from a different discipline. Groups can expand to include additional trainees and mentors as interests overlap. The groups are formed at the onset of starting in the program, accelerating mentorship and expanding your intellectual network and community early in the experience. The combination of traditional mentorship and interest group meetings will ensure success in finishing the program in five years.

QuEST Program Highlights

• Over 30 faculty from more than eight 
   academic units across campus
• Competitive financial packages
• Unique mentoring network
• Emphasis on cohort-building,
   teamwork, and collaboration