Microfluidics in Biomedical Sciences Training Program (MBSTP)

  • About the Program
  • Applying to the Program
  • Requirements of the Program
  • Faculty Requirements

    About the Program:
    The MBSTP is a National Institute of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) funding training program that supports an interdisciplinary approach to graduate training that emphasizes biomedical microfluidics. The program supports 6 students each for 2 years. 34 faculty members from 14 different deparments from the College of Engineering, the College of LS&A, and the Medical School participate. Although the program only supports 6 students, all those interested are invited to participate in activities sponsored by the program including the annual symposium, seminar series, PIBS 503, and core course CHE 696. The program is designed to be an intellectually exciting blend of training in the more quantitative disciplines of chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics on the one hand and the basic biological sciences on the other. Once again, we would like to thank the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) for their continued support. Please contact the Adminstrative Coordinator Pat Metzler for more information.

    Applying to the Program:
    The MBSTP grant has successfully completed its tenth year and has now applied for renewal of the grant for another five year award term. We are looking for talented students preferably who will be entering their second year of PhD study in September 2015, who are interested in the applications or fundamentals of microfluidics, broadly defined. We will also accept applications from students who will be entering their third or fourth year of study. Areas of study include development of microfluidics, surface chemistry, sensors, and biomedical problems addressable by microfluidics. The program fellowship award, for the current year, will cover most of the stipend, tuition, and fees for the 2014-15 school year with the remainder being covered by the advisor. A second year of funding is possible depending on the student's activity in the training program and their progress towards their PhD, and upon the successful renewal of the training grant. In return, the student will be required to fulfill the requirements of the training program.

    * In order to be considered an "eligible student" students must satisfy the citizenship requirement: only us citizens or students with permanent residency can be supported.

    The following file has all the instructions on how to apply: Call for Applications

    Faculty or students can forward the applications electronically to:
    Pat Metzler (metzlerp@umich.edu), MBSTP Administrative Coordinator

    The electronic application package should consist of:

  • Cover sheet (PDF)
  • A letter from the student describing their interest in the program. The letter may include any activities sponsored by MBSTP that they have participated in already. The letter should also describe their research plans and accomplishments with an emphasis on how it integrates microfluidics and biomedical sciences. Two page limit.
  • A copy of the student’s original application package to Rackham Graduate School including transcripts, GRE scores, and list of courses taken.
  • Student’s Current Rackham Transcript
  • Student’s Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
  • A letter of support from the student’s thesis adviser or another faculty member. This letter, which may be sent separately, should describe the student's strengths, potential for independent research, and interest in the program. The adviser should also state that they agree to participate in the program as outlined under Faculty Requirements. The letter should also indicate support available to the student for their work.

    Requirements of the Program (PDF Download):
    Students who are supported by the MBSTP training grant are expected to perform the following activities as requirements:

  • Complete the core course, CHE 696, as well as a required biology course and several electives (list available upon request)
  • Complete an Interdisciplinary research requirement. Students must gain experience working on a project that extends beyond the discipline of their dissertation adviser's laboratory. This may take the form of a rotation, cross-training in a collaborator's lab, or industrial internship. Students in engineering or physical sciences are generally expected to work with a biomedical researcher for the interdisciplinary requirement and vice versa. It is expected that the equivalent of 6 weeks cross-training be met while on the grant. The form of the requirement is flexible, but all students must submit a 0.5 to 1.0 page description of their interdisciplinary plans for approval by the executive committee. Where feasible, a collaborator or co-mentor from another department should also be on the dissertation committee. This person will help guide the interdisciplinary requirement.
  • Seminar series: Students are required to attend 80% of the available Microfluidics Seminar series.
  • Symposium: Students are required to attend the annual Microfluidics in Biomedical Sciences Symposium and participate by presenting a poster.
  • Participate in a monthly journal club led by a Microfluidics Training Faculty.
  • Complete a Workshop on Microfabricating Microfluidic Devices sponsored by the Training Grant.
  • Coursework (PDF Download)

    Faculty Requirements:
    All faculty are welcome to apply to the MBSTP program by contacting the director. To be a member of the MBSTP faculty we require that you:
    1) have an active research program that involves microfluidics, biosensors, or related disciplines;
    2) agree to place your mentor record on MTRAIN;
    3) agree to participate in activities such as the seminar and symposium.

    To have a student supported by the training grant, we require that you agree to:
    1) attend 2 seminars/year;
    2) attend the Symposium;
    3) ensure that your student complies with the requirements of the program;
    4) have funding to support the research outside the stipend provided;
    5) agree to participate in the program through teaching and/or service. Typical involvement may include one or more of the following:

  • giving a limited number of lectures for the core course;
  • helping to evaluate applicants;
  • giving a seminar for the seminar series;
  • lead or assist the Journal Club;
  • serve on the Executive Committee.