Dr. David Fruman, Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Director of the Cellular and Molecular Biosciences Ph.D. program, was recently awarded a $1.71 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows develop their knowledge and skills in preparation for a multitude of science-related careers. As part of the campus-wide UCI-GPS program (UC Irvine Graduate Professional Success), the grant will focus on graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the Ayala School as well as the schools of Physical Sciences, Medicine and the Samueli School of Engineering.
“Trainees in the program will gain professional skills and hands-on experience in workforce sectors where they can leverage their scientific knowledge and analytical skills in a variety of fulfilling careers within and outside academia,” Dr. Fruman said. “Graduate programs at UCI will benefit through improved job placement of graduates, strengthening of alumni networks, and better recruiting of talented applicants.”
UCI-GPS aims to transform the culture of graduate education and postdoctoral training. This grant will focus efforts in the biomedical sciences by ensuring that trainees acquire the skills they need to become both outstanding scientists and multi-skilled professionals who are able to work in academic research laboratories or non-academic science-related careers, whichever path they choose. The program partners across 10 Ph.D. programs and the Graduate Division and will offer training to more than 700 pre-doctoral and 200 postdoctoral fellows in supported disciplines in the four schools mentioned above.
UCI-GPS offers the potential not only to expand students’ career options, but also to revitalize work on campus by increasing collaborations with local industry partners and strengthening the recruitment of high-level graduate students and postdocs.
UCI-GPS evolved in response requests from UCI graduate and postdoctoral associations to help students develop the knowledge and skill set to better prepare them for a multitude of science related careers. The NIH awarded UCI-GPS the NIH Director’s Biomedical Research Workforce Innovation Award: Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST), which calls for innovative responses to enable graduate and postdoctoral training programs to address the many diverse opportunities in today’s biomedical careers, which often lead in directions such as government, industry, and science policy.