Training Opportunities in BioSci

Professional Development

The School of Biological Sciences is invested in providing current graduate students and postdoctoral scholars training opportunities to gain skills for a successful career in a research-intensive field.

professional development group discussing around a table

GPS-STEM is run in coordination with four STEM Schools (Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) and offers workshops and hands-on experiences to develop professional soft skills that are valued by academia, government, and industry sectors.

UCI GPS is a campus program run by the UCI Graduate Division. It serves as an umbrella for individual or thematic workshops, certificate programs, and academic courses designed to educate students and postdoctoral scholars about and prepare them for new and exciting career opportunities within academia and beyond.

Research Development in the School of Biological Sciences offers graduate students and postdoctoral scholars one-on-one grant writing support.

Training Grants led by faculty mentors offer trainees tailored experiences to learn technical and professional skills while conducting mentored research. Like typical financial support that graduate students and postdoctoral scholars receive, these grants cover costs such as tuition, stipends, and fees.

GPS-STEM Logo-BioSci: Explore, Train, Experience, transition to success

GPS-STEM is a career and professional development program for Ph.D. students & Postdoctoral fellows in STEM. The program aims to better prepare our STEM scientists for a variety of careers within the STEM workforce, and empower them to become not only skilled scientists, but also polished professionals. We work to create, identify and support innovative approaches to broaden the graduate and postdoctoral training.

GPS-STEM program is designed to meet the following goals:

Participants of the Medtech Mega Mixer conversing

Increase awareness and interest in diverse careers outside of academic research.

Improve communication and other skills needed to pursue academic and non-academic career paths.

Provide hands-on experience through on campus and external internships.

Build networks that allow our members to prepare for and transition to diverse careers.

UCI Graduate Division supports graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in developing a strong professional identity and career plan. UCI Graduate Division engages and leads on all matters related to graduate student and postdoctoral scholar life: academic progress and advocacy, fellowships, funding and financial support, diversity, employment and professional development.

Autumn Holmes inside a lab

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA):

As part of UCI Graduate Division, OPA has primary responsibility for overseeing the postdoctoral experience at UCI. Dedicated to the professional success of all postdoctoral scholars, they provide administrative support, management of UC policies that pertain to postdoctoral scholars, support for mentoring networks, and professional development training programs.

Graduate Professional Success Program (GPS):

Located in UCI Graduate Division, GPS serves as an umbrella for individual or thematic workshops, certificate programs, and academic courses designed to educate students about and prepare them for new and exciting career opportunities within academia and beyond. The Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholar Resource Center offers activities organized around seven themes:

Careers and Entrepreneurship


 Leadership and Management

 Ethics and Responsibility

 Life Skills

 Communications and Cultural Fluency

 Teaching and Pedagogy

Located within the School of Biological Sciences, the Research Development office offers graduate students and postdoctoral scholars one-on-one help to develop and submit fellowship proposals. These prestigious awards give trainees the ability to tailor their research training to career goals, attend conferences and network, and attend workshops and programming geared toward professional development. Examples include the NIH F31, F32, F99, and K99 and NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement grants and Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology. Please email the Research Development Team at for assistance with proposal development and submission

Grad student doing research

Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Training Grants

Research training grants provide funding to support current graduate students and current or prospective postdoctoral scholars by paying for tuition, stipends, and fees. These grants primarily support trainees to perform research and also offer opportunities for academic enrichment. Faculty members select trainees to be part of the training program. If you are interested in learning more about a training program, click the project title to view an abstract or consult the training grant website.

PI(s) Project Title (click for abstract) Funder/Mechanism Trainee Type Grant Period Summary Website
Christopher Hughes (MBB) Training Program in Cardiovascular Applied Research and Entrepreneurship NIH T32 Graduate, Postdoc 6/1/2013 to 5/31/2023 The CARE Training Program trains graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at the intersection of engineering, cardiovascular science and entrepreneurship. The expectation is that they will produce quality and impactful research in cardiovascular science and technology and develop enhanced skills to assess the translational potential of cardiovascular research.
David Fruman (MBB) A Training Program in Cancer Biology & Therapeutics NIH T32 Graduate, Postdoc 7/1/1980 to 6/30/2021 The CBT Training Program provides UCI graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with comprehensive, highly interdisciplinary training that includes cancer biology, the most current research methods, and a focus on translational science such as the development of novel cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.
Tallie Baram Epilepsy Research Training Program NIH T32 Graduate, Postdoc 7/1/2003 to 6/30/2024 The Epilepsy Research Training Program provides graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with a broad basic, translational and clinical understanding of Epilepsy.
Eric Pearlman Immunology Research Training Grant NIH T32 Graduate 7/1/2004 to 7/31/2021 The objective of the Immunology Research Training Program is to train graduate students to study the role of immune system in infection, autoimmunity, neuro-inflammation and cancer.
Raju Metherate (NBB) Interdisciplinary Training Program in Hearing Research NIH T32 Graduate, Postdoc 7/1/2010 to 6/30/2025 This grant supports graduate students and postdoctoral fellows training in interdisciplinary hearing research. Mandatory features of the training program that encourage interdisciplinary interactions are participation in all CHR activities (e.g., seminar series, journal club and two annual conferences) required oral and poster presentations to scientifically diverse audiences on three occasions per year, and regular meetings with basic and clinical scientists.

Leslie Thompson (NBB), Peter Donovan (DCB) Training Program in Stem Cell Translational Medicine for Neurological Disorders NIH T32 Graduate 7/1/2013 to 6/30/2023 The goal of the Training Program in Stem Cell Translational Medicine for Neurological Disorders is to provide opportunities for graduate student trainees to perform translational “bench” research that could treat human neurological disease and injury.
Michael Yassa (NBB), Bruce McNaughton (NBB) Training Program in Learning and Memory NIH T32 Graduate 7/1/2019 to 6/30/2024 The program’s goal is to train the next generation of innovative leaders in neuroscience by empowering them with the skills, knowledge, and team science core values necessary to comprehensively understand the neural basis of learning and memory.
Marcelo Wood (NBB) Training Program in Substance Use Disorders NIH T32 Graduate 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2025 The goal of the Training Program in Substance Use and Use Disorders is to train the next generation of innovative researchers in the field of addiction neuroscience by leveraging the exceptional strength in neuroscience at UCI, and the new centers focused on addiction research, to provide an educational and research experience that will position trainees as new leaders in the field.
Melissa Lodoen (MBB), Celia Goulding (MBB), Jennifer Martiny (EEB) T32 For Training in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases NIH T32 Graduate 8/19/2019 to 7/31/2024 The primary objective of this Training Program is to provide doctoral students with integrated training in three focus areas: 1) microbial structure and metabolism, 2) microbe-­ host interactions, and 3) microbial communities.
Steven Allison (EEB) NRT: A Training Incubator for Addressing Urban Environmental Change from Ridge to Reef (R2R) NSF NRT Graduate 9/1/2017 to 8/31/2022 R2R trains graduate students in the process of convergent science whereby engineers, scientists, and practitioners co-develop research priorities to solve common problems. The R2R curriculum will focus on interdisciplinary knowledge, professional development, and communication skills.
Luis Mota-Bravo (MSP) UCI International Research Training NIH T37 Undergraduate, Graduate 9/25/1993 to 11/30/2020 The MHIRT Program offers international research training opportunities to qualified undergraduate, graduate students who are from groups underrepresented in basic science, biomedical, clinical or behavioral health research ca fields. MHIRT provides international research training for the purpose of: Encouraging undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented populations to pursue careers in biomedical and/or behavioral health research fields.
Carl Cotman (NBB), Andrea Tenner (MBB) Training in the Neurobiology of Aging    NIH T32 Graduate, Postdoc 9/29/1982 to 4/30/2024 This training program emphasizes preparation and instruction in the application of molecular and quantitative approaches to the elucidation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of age-related neurodegeneration, brain plasticity during aging, and age-related changes in learning and memory.
Bert Semler Molecular Biology of Eukaryotic Viruses (Virology Training Program) NIH T32 Graduate 9/30/1988 to 8/31/2019 The goal of the Viralology Training Program is to train graduate students in the fundamental aspects of molecular virology as they relate to the regulation of gene expression, virus structure, virus-host interactions and pathogenesis. This program also emphasizes interdisciplinary training in viral proteomics as it relates to structures of viral proteins as well as intact virus particles.