Program in Physical and Chemical Biology

Requirements and Resources


PCBio (for Program in Physical and Chemical Biology) will be open each year to 10 sophomores of any citizenship who are interested in making a serious commitment to interdisciplinary research that crosses fields including physics, chemistry, molecular biology and computation.

Entry to the program will be competitive. An important part of the application is the high school and UC transcripts and letters of recommendation from classroom teachers.Candidates need to show they can handle their coursework since we don't want students to have to choose between working on their research and passing their midterms.Students with advanced placement credit have a leg up, since they can potentially focus more on their research instead of taking formal courses in one or more fields. The most important criterion is that the candidates should show promise for and/or achievements in scientific research, again documented by letters of recommendation. We are particularly interested in training students who are members of minorities underrepresented in science and welcome their participation.

How much and low long?

The grant provides a one year fellowship, renewable for a second year, that will pay $4500 for the summer (and cover summer tuition and fees) after the sophomore year and $1250 each quarter of the junior academic year. Successful renewal gives another year at the same support. Some other funds will be available to the PCBio Fellows to support research costs.

Finally, we expect PCBio fellows to have strong motivation for a career that involves biomedical research and to have thought about how training that combines biological and physical sciences would be of advantage to them in their future research.

The primary responsibility of the PCBio fellows is to work seriously on their research throughout the year. Research projects will be designed by the fellows in consultation with their primary mentor, who will be a faculty member in the BSD or PSD with a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research and to undergraduate training. Over the summers, they will have a weekly research meeting with presentations by the students. During the academic year, the PCBio fellows will register for a graded research and presentation course each quarter that will be run by faculty mentors. There will be a yearly research retreat and opportunities to attend scientific conferences.