Predoctoral Iowa Biotech Training Program

NIH and CBB fellowships are administered by the Center. These fellowships provide research training focusing on the applications of biological and physical sciences to biotechnology-related research. Faculties from the physical and biological sciences offer a curriculum bridging the interdisciplinary gap, essential for biotechnology training programs. For example, cooperative involvement of faculty members from several departments as research mentors provides a superior research training experience. 


CBB fellowships and NIH fellowships will be awarded for a maximum of two years to any duly enrolled graduate student working in the laboratory of a CBB faculty member (Faculty can apply for CBB membership post award). Awards are made on an annual basis and members of the CBB Excutive Committee solicit new applications and renewal applications each spring for competitive evaluation. Particular considerations will be given to applications from students in the 1st or 2nd year of their graduate program.

FY24 CBB Annual stipend:  $25,836

FY24 CBB Tuition dollars: $6250

FY24 CBB Research expenses: $1000


The Application Process for the 2023-24 academic year CBB Iowa Biotech Training Program Fellowship is now live. 

 The FY24 on-line application process is live at

University of Iowa graduate students only.  Application deadline is Friday June 2, 2023.


The CBB/NIH fellowship program is truly interdisciplinary. All fellows earn a Ph.D. degree with a dissertation based on research conducted in the laboratory of participating faculty members. They complete all departmental requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Requirements and core area courses for the fellowship program are outlined below.

Fellowship Program Requirements*
1. Admission to the Ph.D. program in participating departments.
2. Nomination by a faulty
3. Attendance and participation in the Biocatalysis Seminar Program.
4. Perspectives in Biotechnology is a one (1) semester hour course offered each spring and fall semester. Fellows are expected to participate in the course each semester until graduation. This course is cross-listed as Chem:5875, PHAR:5875, BIOC:5875, CEE:5875, MICR:5875, and  CBE:5875.
5. Industrial internship at a biotechnology company.
6. Attend and participate in mini-symposia, which are one- day industry/academic conferences held at The University of Iowa
7. Present one poster or talk at the Annual Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing Conference.
8. Courses required by the student’s “home” department, and at least 3 s.h. of coursework in four of five core areas of biotechnology.
9. Complete the university-wide course, “Responsible Conduct of Research”, which is offered each fall semester
10. Complete the course entitled "Mastering Reproducible Science"

* Questions regarding coursework requirements should be directed to Maria Spies, Training Program Director 319 335-3221 or the CBB Office at 319 335-4903.


Core-Area Courses
Biocatalytic Science
CHEM:5328 Mechanisms of Organic Reactions      3
PHAR:5537 Enzymatic Basis of Drug Metabolism 3
PHAR:5512 Drug Discovery and Mechanisms 3
PHAR:5545 Current Medicinal Chemistry 3
MICR:6260 Graduate Microbial Physiology and Cell Biology 3
BMB:5241 Biophysical Chemistry I 3
CBE:5740 Engineering Principles of Drug Delivery 3


Core-Area Courses
CHEM:5109 Separations 3
CHEM:4850 Upstream Biotechnology Processes 2
CBE:3205 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering 3
PHAR:5549 Analytical Biochemistry 3
BME: 5430 Biotransport 3
CBE:5210 Bioseparations 3


Core-Area Courses
Molecular Biology and Synthetic Biology
BMB:3120 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I 3
BMB:3130 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II 3
BMB:3140 Experimental Biochemistry 4
MICR:6270 Graduate Microbial Genetics 3
BMED:5207 Principle Molecular and Cellular Biology 3
BME:5421 Cell Material Interactions 3
BME:4314 Synthetic Biology Laboratories 3
BIOL:5412 Fundemental Genetics-Graduate Lecture 3


Core-Area Courses
Data Handling and Computational Analysis
BIOL:4213 Bioinformatics 3
BMB:4310 Computational Biochemistry 3
BAIS:4480 Knowledge Discovery 3
STAT:3200 Probability and Statistics 4
PCOL:5204 Basic Biotatistics and Experimental Design 1


Core-Area Courses
Professional Development
BME:3120 Communicating Science 3
CHEM:4000 Scientists and Writers 1
POLI:3111 American Public Policy3 4
BIOL:6188 Writing in the Natural Sciences 2
IMMU:6241 Writing a Scientific Proposal 1
ENTR:1350 Foundations in Entrepreneurship 3


CBB Fellowships are available to selected graduate students for a maximum of two years. Fellowships are awarded after review of the CBB Executive Committee. Coursework and internship requirements are the same as those for NIH trainees.

FY24 CBB Annual stipend:  $25,836

FY24 CBB Tuition dollars: $6250

FY24 CBB Research expenses: $1000


The NIH training program attracts high-quality students who, after review by the CBB Executive Committee, may receive the fellowship for a maximum of two years. Annually, students present their research as part of the “Perspectives in Biocatalysis” course. NIH trainees are also required to pursue an internship in industry of at least 3 months.