Program Elements

The MBnc Training Program will expose participants to different disciplines and phenomena at different length scales through coursework, mentoring, and other activities.

  1. Cross-disciplinary coursework. Students in this program must take, or have taken as part of their graduate studies, two courses outside the traditional set of courses in their home discipline (i.e., mechanics or biology). For students in engineering and physical sciences, these two courses must include fundamental topics in biology. For students in biological sciences, the two courses must cover fundamental topics in mechanics.
    Interdisciplinary Course Diagram
  2. Interdisciplinary and multi-scale dissertation committee. The student’s dissertation committee should include at least one member from the biological sciences and one member with expertise in mechanics, and should include faculty with primary expertise across at least two length scales (molecular and cellular, cell and tissue e.g.). The dissertation committee must also satisfy the requirements of the student’s PhD program.
  3. Participation in a cross-disciplinary discussion group. For at least one semester of their graduate program, the student should attend a “journal club” or discussion group outside his or her home discipline.
  4. Outreach. Fellows will participate in at least one (~1/2-day) outreach activity each year involving interaction with K-12 students or the greater Saint Louis community.
  5. Training in responsible conduct of research. Students must also complete the DBBS module in the Responsible Conduct of Research.
  6. Monthly lunch meetings and annual retreat. Fellows will attend monthly lunch meetings and an annual retreat with program faculty. The lunch meetings (food provided) will include discussions and occasional presentations from students, faculty, and visiting speakers on topics spanning research, career development, grantsmanship, writing and presentation skills.