Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program

Graduate School and Ph.D Programs

Biological Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, Penn State University


The Department of Chemistry at Penn State is one of the premier chemistry departments in the nation. Currently, there are 16 faculty members whose work is at the core or is related to biological chemistry. With an excellent record of generating external support for research and a commitment to cutting-edge interdisciplinary work, Penn State Biological Chemistry has become a leader in many of the most significant areas of Biochemistry, Chemical Biology, and Biophysical chemistry. 
We accept students from a diverse range of training programs and with very different research backgrounds, including but not limited to Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, and Physics. Before applying, we encourage you to review the departmental website (Please see: and give attention to the research descriptions of each faculty member. Our admission decisions are based on all aspects reflected in the complete application package. 
Admitted graduate students are supported through a combination of research assistantships, teaching assistantships and fellowships. Once admitted, we support our students in the pursuit of outside fellowships including those offered by US governmental organizations as well as those offered through international governments and private organizations. Our department has an outstanding record of publishing with our graduate students and placing them in outstanding positions

January 15, 2016 
Electronic Application Portal:
Test Requirements: GRE General scores; TOEFL scores for non-native speakers of English. Test scores are only one aspect of the application package.

Faculty (please click names for linked webpages): 

Philip C. Bevilacqua: RNA enzymology, in vivo RNA folding
Amie Boal: X-ray crystallography, Metalloenzymes, Protein engineering 
J. Martin Bollinger Jr: Mechanisms of redox metalloenzymes and metallocofactor assembly
David Boehr: Biological NMR, Protein structure
Squire J. Booker: Biochemistry, Enzymology, Protein chemistry
Paul Cremer: Ligand-receptor binding at lipid membranes, Ion specific effects on protein folding (hofmeister chemistry)
John H. Golbeck: Spectroscopic dynamics of photosynthesis
Chris Dolan Keating: Artificial cells, Liquid-liquid phase separation for intracellular compartmentalization, Reactions in crowded and compartmentalized biomimetic media
Carsten Krebs: Spectroscopic and kinetic studies on the mechanisms of iron-containing enzymes
Tae-Hee Lee: Single molecule methods, Single molecule fluorescence/force microscopy/spectroscopy (FRET, super resolution, and optical tweezers), Nucleosome biophysics, DNA replication mechanisms
Manuel Llinas: Malaria parasite metabolism and biochemistry
William G. Noid: Statistical mechanics of unfolded proteins
Edward O’Brien: Theory and computation of molecular and cellular processes 
Scott Philips: Bioorganic chemistry, Bioinspired organic chemistry
Scott Showalter: Biological NMR, Intrinsically disordered protein
Xin Zhang: Chemical biology of protein folding and cellular stress


The University of California system

The University of California system has some great resources available on its graduate admissions website to assist students, at every stage of the process, who are exploring the possibility of graduate school.  So whether you are a sophomore, junior, or soon to be graduating senior, please take a look.

  • UC has a graduate degree search tool which will allow you to search the 600+ graduate degree programs offered across UC’s ten campuses to find the programs that fit your area of interest – be it civil engineering, ethnic studies, visual arts, or anything in between. Click here to try the online tool and browse the many program opportunities.
  • UC also has resources on their graduate admissions website, offering practical advice on preparing for and applying to graduate school.  Check out the website for info on everything from tips on writing an effective statement of purpose to resources for financing a graduate education.  You can also take a look at some short videos featuring past and current UC graduate students.
  • Check out information and advice on participating in academic year and summer undergraduate research programs, including links to each UC’s campus resources for finding the right program.

I hope you take advantage of these resources offered by the University of California.  Once you have done thorough online research, do not hesitate to contact individuals at the campuses. Personnel in the Graduate Divisions are a good place to start.

Be sure to also check out UC on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Tumblr!


 PhD Training Program in Computational Biosciences at the University of Colorado,Anschutz Medical Campus
Our graduate student and post-doctoral fellow training program is funded by the National Library of Medicine, allowing us to provide generous fellowships, including tuition, travel, equipment and other benefits for qualified trainees. We are currently recruiting Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral fellows for Fall 2016. In particular, we are looking for students with strong computational backgrounds interested in a career in biomedical research.

Graduate students work on projects in disease-related areas such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity, using state of the art molecular instrumentation and high performance computing,under the supervision of faculty with international reputations. Our students have a tradition of outstanding accomplishments, including publications in the leading journals and presentations at key conferences. All of our graduates have gone on to productive careers in bioinformatics, ranging across academic, government and industrial institutions.

Please encourage your students to visit the Program's website http://compbio/ where they can further explore our program and application materials can be located. The Fall 2016 admission deadline is Dec 1, 2015.

Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry,
University of Utah

The University of Utah's Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry s a top-5 department nationally, and is seeking high quality applicants for its graduate PhD program in diverse aspects of modern drug delivery systems and innovative molecular therapeutics.  Prospective students can apply with a diverse set of backgrounds, including but not limited to, chemistry, pharmacy, biology, biomedical or chemical engineering, biochemistry, molecular biosciences, etc.  Previous research experience is encouraged.   For more information, please refer to the brochure describing diverse career opportunities in modern pharmaceutical sciences.  Should you have further questions or need hard copy brochures, please contact Dion Duffin, Academic Program Manager, for Utah Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Dion Duffin <

Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Graduate Program at Johns Hopkins University

The CBI Program provides students with research and academic training that enables them to carry out interdisciplinary research as independent scientists. Students completing the program receive a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology. The CBI Program brings together 31 faculty from theSchools of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Public Health and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and provides a diverse selection of research projects for CBI students. In order to assist them in choosing a research advisor, first year graduate students are supported by a NIH Chemical Biology Training Grant. During this time the CBI students carry out three 10-week research rotations that enable them to broaden their research skills and make informed choices of research advisors. You may also browse the CBI website which describes many facets of the program at  

Northwestern University's Molecular Biophysics Training Program

Northwestern University's Molecular Biophysics Training Program has been in existence with NIH support for over 20 years and has made a significant positive impact in preparing students for productive scientific careers in academia, industry, and beyond, with many of our past trainees currently assuming leadership positions.  Additional information regarding the program could be obtained by visiting

PhD programs in Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) at the University of Pennsylvania

BGS consists of seven graduate groups: Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Cell & Molecular Biology, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Genomics & Computational Biology, Immunology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology. Our graduate programs are highly interdisciplinary and flexible in structure, thereby encouraging integrative and focused investigation. Students enrolling in BGS doctoral programs have the option of applying to certificate programs in medicine, public health, and environmental health sciences. The programs offer intensive supplemental training provided by expert practitioners and researchers in these fields. Participants are expected to complete the certificate program and doctoral program requirements concurrently.

You may apply to one of the graduate groups in BGS via our online application. The deadline for Fall 2016 enrollment is December 2nd, 2015. Details about the application process are available at: Biomedical Graduate Studies PhD applicants

They are pleased to announce that they WILL WAIVE THE $80 APPLICATION FEE for all applicants who participate in the McNair, MARC, MBRS-RISE, NIH PREP, or Leadership Alliance programs. To request a waiver, please email Aislinn Wallace, our admissions coordinator, at prior to submitting your application.

Graduate Programs in Bioscience at UCLA

Graduate Programs in Bioscience is an umbrella program that brings together more than 400 faculty from 29 departments across the College Life Sciences and Physical Sciences and Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Dentistry. We are organized into research training programs called Home Areas. They stem from UCLA’s areas of research excellence rather than traditional departmental divisions. This structure provides specialized, in-depth educational programs while maintaining flexibility for students to explore frontiers beyond any single home area.  Attached you will find their most recent newsletter highlighting GPB students who have successfully completed their first year of the program, as well as programs and resources they have in place to support them. Questions? Visit or Contact Diana Azurdia, Ph.D. via email (

Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC is a national leader in research and training, ranking 7th among private and public universities for NIH research funding (FY13) and 9th in doctorates awarded in the life sciences (NSF, 2012). 

  • BBSP ­ ­ The umbrella admissions portal for entry into 15 PhD programs with over 350 affiliated faculty.  BBSP admits ~75 students per year, and for the 2015 cohort, 26% are from underrepresented (UR) groups.
  • IMSD ­  - The NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) increases the PhD attainment and career success of UR scientists by providing academic enrichment, mentorship, professional development, and a supportive community.

They are happy to pay the BBSP application fee for UR applicants.  Applicants should contact for more information. 

Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the University of South Florida

They are currently recruiting for fall 2016 cohort for the following degree programs: Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, M.S. Degree in Biology with a concentration in Cell & Molecular Biology (thesis & non-thesis tracks) and M.S. Degree Microbiology (thesis & non-thesis tracks).  Their areas of expertise are in the following areas: Bacterial Pathogenesis & Drug Resistance, Structural and Computational Biology, and Genome Integrity & Mechanisms of Aging.  Questions–contact Tiffany Ferrer, Graduate Program Specialist, tferrer1@usf.eduPhone: (813) 974-6331

The Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) program at Washington University in St. Louis

The Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) program at Washington University in St. Louis is designed to provide a community for underrepresented students who enter one of our 12 Ph.D. programs in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS). For more information contact DBBS

The University of Massachusetts Boston  PhD program in Developmental and Brain Sciences (DBS)

DBS is an intensive, developmentally-focused, research-based program - utilizing both human and animal models - with lab work ranging from cognitive development and psychophysics to neuroendocrinology and behavioral genetics.  Their program is particularly interested in receiving applications from students from groups that are underrepresented in the Neurosciences. Their admissions deadline is December 15th, and students can apply on-line directly  Review of applications will begin immediately and a full review can only be ensured if an application is received by December 15th.  For more information, please contact Erik Blaser, PhD, Graduate Program Director or Graduate Program Coordinator, Karyn Aiello (; 617-287-3276) or visit

Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara

The Bren School is a professional school and a global leader in developing innovative, collaborative, multidisciplinary strategies to address today's most pressing environmental problems. 

PhD Application Deadline: December 15, 2015
More PhD admissions information online

Master's Application Deadline: January 10, 2016
More Master's admissions information online

Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Princeton University

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Princeton University offers a unique and intensive program of study spanning molecular, cellular, systems and cognitive neuroscience, followed by advanced research in a world-class Princeton laboratory. They seek highly motivated and creative students in their efforts to understand the brain.

A listing of faculty affiliated with the program can be found online at  Their doctoral program is flexible and individually-tailored, and they encourage students to pursue research with more than one faculty and across departmental boundaries.

Applications for entry in the Fall of 2016 are now being accepted, with a deadline of December 1. For details, including contact information, please visit

Case Western Reserve University Molecular Medicine PhD

This PhD program is very unique as it is an academic partnership between the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). This program brings clinical relevance to laboratory research. As a student in this program you will get to work on disease oriented programs that include cancer, cardiovascular, neurologic, musculoskeletal, eye, allergic and immunologic, metabolic, genetic, infectious diseases and more. Also all students accepted into the Molecular Medicine program will receive $28,500 a year stipend (effective 2016) and free tuition throughout their graduate training. All students admitted into the program will also have core curriculum books and laptop provided. Student health insurance will also be provided through CWRU.

If you’re interested in learning more about the program please fill out the information through the Molecular Medicine PhD Interest Form, visit their website or contact Rebecca Windover, Recruiting and Administrative Coordinator, for further information. Their application is due on January 15th.

The Structural Biology and Biochemistry Ph.D. Program (STBB) at the University of Colorado-Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus 

The STBB program is currently accepting applications (due Dec 1) and is hoping to grow both their applicant pool and program for the Fall of 2016.  For further information, refer to the program flyer, website or contact Elizabeth Wethington, (, Lead Program Administrator.

STBB is one of the strongest programs of its kind in the country and one that will provide outstanding training for a career in the varied areas of Structural Biology and Biochemistry. The Program is supported through the graduate school and has access to state-of-the-art equipment and hands-on training in technologies that include NMR Spectroscopy, X-ray Crystallography, Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics, Peptide/Protein Chemistry, Computational Biochemistry and Biophysics.  Graduate student training and progress are carefully monitored to ensure completion of the Ph.D. degree in a timely fashion.


Washington University's doctoral program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.  

  • Application is now available and they do not charge an application fee! 
  • They have released a short film about their graduate programs. Please take a moment and check it out here-
  • Questions? Most of your questions can be answered at their website under the Prospective Students Tab in the PhD Admissions section under Frequently Asked Questions. You can reach us at 1-800-852-9074 or

The goal of the Division is to develop the next generation of leaders in the biological and biomedical sciences. Washington University consistently ranks in the nation's top five in federal funding for biomedical research, and several of the Division's graduate programs are placed among the country's 10 best. ‚Ä® 

University of Pennsylvania - Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS)

BGS consists of seven graduate groups: Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Cell & Molecular Biology, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Genomics & Computational Biology, Immunology, Neuroscience , and Pharmacology . Our graduate programs are highly interdisciplinary and flexible in structure, thereby encouraging integrative and focused investigation. BGS students enjoy a wide range of supplemental training and social activities sponsored by their graduate program, its associated departments, and the central BGS office. Most graduates successfully pursue careers in academic research, while others embark on careers in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, government research, science journalism, patent law, and other associated fields.

Details are available at our website:

We are pleased to announce that WE WILL WAIVE THE $80 APPLICATION FEE for all applicants who participate in the McNair, MARC scholars, MBRS-RISE, Ivy Plus STEM Symposium, NIH PREP, or Leadership Alliance programs. To request a waiver, please email me at prior to submitting your application.

Application information and tips for biomedical sciences at Michigan
In addition to considering "Why choose a Michigan PhD?" and reviewing the PIBS program overview, they should know the following: 

Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at the University of Arizona

We are pleased to provide you with information on the Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at the University of Arizona. The BMCB Graduate Program has a vibrant and progressive tradition of excellence in training outstanding students to reach their full potential in research and teaching in the biological sciences. The strength of our program is widely recognized and has earned uninterrupted NIH support for our T32 training grant for 16 years.  We offer a diversity of research opportunities in a wide range of experimental systems: developmental biology, molecular genetics, cellular signaling, virology, cancer biology, transcriptional regulation, neurobiology, structural biochemistry, genomics and proteomics.  These are integrated by an interdisciplinary faculty, working in a supportive environment that offers cutting-edge research facilities housed in new and state-of-the-art research buildings in Tucson, Arizona. Our graduates go on to outstanding postdoctoral fellowships and careers in academics, industry, government and law. 

Detailed information about our program may be found at

University of Iowa: Medical Scientist Training Programs (MD, Ph.D)

The Iowa Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) provides training for both the MD and PhD degrees in an environment that integrates graduate research training with clinical studies. The Iowa MSTP has a long-standing reputation for excellence in its 35 years of NIH funded training of physician scientists. The MSTP promotes an educational atmosphere which highlights the interconnections between science and medicine. The goal is to produce physician scientists whose talents and insights will make major impacts on health care delivery in the 21st century. For details, including contact information, please visit our webpage at:

Biosciences Program at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

The Biosciences Program is a multidisciplinary entry program for 17 PhD degree granting programs at The University of Iowa. Our graduate training program provides students the flexibility of investigating several disciplines including biomedical and basic sciences prior to affiliating with a specific degree program. For details, including contact information, please visit our webpage at:

University of Michigan Medical School

The Program in Biomedical Sciences offers you the flexibility and convenience of applying to any of our participating programs through one application. We welcome applications each year from September through December 1. Although PIBS is a highly selective program, every application is carefully reviewed and evaluated. We work diligently to put together a motivated, diverse, and academically strong class of incoming students every year.

Strong candidates will possess:

  • Extensive research experience in a laboratory setting, including published abstracts or papers
  • Strong letters of recommendation from lab mentor
  • Motivation to pursue research in a resource-rich, interdisciplinary environment

Chemistry-Biology Interface Graduate Program At Johns Hopkins University

The CBI Program brings together 31 faculty from the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Public Health and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and provides a diverse selection of research projects for CBI students. In order to assist them in choosing a research advisor, first year graduate students are supported by a NIH Chemical Biology Training Grant. During this time the CBI students carry out three 10-week research rotations that enable them to broaden their research skills and make informed choices of research advisors.

Continuing Education for Native Students at UCSD

For any tribal member that matriculates into a UCSD masters or PhD program, UCSD covers tuition and fees for up to 2 years, and provides an $18k stipend in addition.  Applicants have to have a valid tribal ID card and a letter of verification from the tribal leader/chair of tribal education committee.  The program also applies to Native Hawaiians.

Stanford Fee Waivers and SSRP-Amgen Scholars Program

The application for graduate programs in the Biosciences at Stanford is now open.  As in past years, we are offering fee-waivers (valued at $125) to students from diverse backgrounds.  Applicants who are members, in good standing, of several minority research programs are guaranteed a fee-waiver. Students can visit here to obtain instructions on applying for the fee-waiver.