Predoctoral Training Program in Biotechnology

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.


The Application Process for the 2023-24 academic year CBB/NIH Predoctoral Training Program in Biotechnology Fellowship is not available at this time.   

 The FY24 on-line application process is not available at this time.

University of Iowa graduate students only.  Application deadline 


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. Attendance and participation in the Biocatalysis Seminar Program.
3. Course, “Perspectives in Biocatalysis ” - an annual research presentation is the basis of this course. (required of all trainees (every spring semester; cross-listed as Chem:5875, PHAR:5875, BIOC:5875, CEE:5875, MICR:5875, CBE:5875)
4. Nomination by a faculty member
5. Internship in research laboratories of industries involved in biotechnology.
6. Attend and participate in mini-symposia, which are one- day industry/academic conferences held at The University of Iowa
7. Present one or more posters at the Annual Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing Conference.
8. Courses required by the student’s “home” department, and a minimum of 2-3 s.h. of coursework in each of the three core areas in biotechnology.
9. Complete the university-wide course, “Responsible Conduct of Research”, which is offered each fall semester

* Questions regarding coursework requirements should be directed to Robert Kerns, Training Program Director 319 335-8800 or the CBB Office at 319 335-4903.

Core-Area Courses
  Subject S.H.
CHEM:4480 Intro to Molecular Modeling 3
CHEM:5295 Bioinorganic Chemistry 3
CHEM:5328 Mechanisms of Organic Reactions 3
PHARM:5537 Enzymatic Basis of Drug Metabolism 3
PHARM:5512 Drug Discovery and Mechanisms 3
PHARM:5545 Current Medicinal Chemistry 3
CBE:5250 Introduction to Biocatalysis 3
MICR:6279 Graduate Bacterial Diversity and the Human Microbiome 3
MICR:6260 Graduate Microbial Physiology 3
BIOC:5241 Biophysical Chemistry 3
BIOC:5242 Biophysical Chemistry II 3


Core-Area Courses
  Subject S.H.
Bioreactors and Bioseparations
CHEM:5109 Separations 3
CHEM:4850 Upstream Biotechnology Processes 2
CBE:5215 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering 3
CBE:5210 Bioseparations 3
CBE:5250 Introduction to Biocatalysis 3
CEE:5155 Biological Treatment Processes 3
PHARM:5549 Analytical Biochemistry 3


Core-Area Courses
  Subject S.H.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
BIOC:3120 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I 3
BIOC:3130 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II 3
BIOC:3140 Experimental Biochemistry 4
CBE:6215 Engineering Aspects of Animal Cell Culture 3
MICR:6270 Graduate Microbial Genetics 3
BMED:5207:000A Principle Molecular & Cellular Biology 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.


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.