BTP was originally funded by the National Institute of Health in 2015. The UMass BTP was expanded by more than double in 2020 with the awarding of T32 GM135096. The objectives of the UMass Biotechnology Training Program are to:
- Create a scholarly and social infrastructure to facilitate new and strengthen existing interdisciplinary networks at UMass, particularly those at the interface of engineering and the life sciences;
- Educate students in the fundamentals of quantitative biotechnology through new lecture and laboratory courses;
- Train students to appreciate the impact of biotechnology commercially through a tailored industrial internship and regular interactions with industrial personnel;
- Provide students with opportunities to improve interdisciplinary communication, expand career opportunities, and sharpen professional skills; and
- Increase the number of students, particularly those from underrepresented minority groups groups, who pursue careers in biotechnology.
The Biotechnology Training Program will recruit matriculated predoctoral students from BTP training faculty labs within five degree-granting programs (Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Polymer Science & Engineering, Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Molecular & Cellular Biology). Traineeships will typically be awarded to students to support their 2nd and 3rd years of study. Students will complete a prescribed curriculum over two years and may elect to obtain a graduate certificate in Cellular Engineering. All traineeship-supported students will complete an industrial internship, typically of 10-15 weeks duration. US citizens are eligible for NIH-supported traineeships, and all students from BTP labs are eligible for UMass-supported traineeships.
As the program matures, we will report on an annual basis average time to degree, percentage of students who successfully attain a PhD, average number of publications per student graduated from PhD, and percentage of number of URM and students with disabilities in the program and graduated.
Hear what recommendations BTP members and trainees suggested for incoming BTP students:
“During the Frontiers in Biotechnology class, take every opportunity to interact with the faculty. Additionally, It would be good to make a connection with the industry speakers during smaller group meetings.” – Narciso Pavon, NSB
“Attend as many BTP and OPD events as possible. There are so many great events preparing students to be ready for the future career” – Ning-Hsuan Tseng, Chemical Engineering
“Try to do the internship in the first summer that it is possible for you as those experiences will be more influential in organizing your own research than you might think. It will also help you get a feel for what career path you might want to follow and that will have a great effect on how you can shape your grad experience. tAles and Battles are some of the best events offered by any science program on campus, they are both fun and educational. I would recommend the Frontiers course to anyone in MCB, regardless of BTP enrollment, the best overall course I took during my time in MCB. Never be nervous about reaching out to faculty for help. Take every opportunity to present your research, regardless of audience, especially if you are nervous about it. Presentation skills are incredibly important for grad school, and beyond.” – Cameron Butova, MCB
Download BTP brochure