The mission of the UW–Madison CBIT program is (i) to train graduate students to recognize and address
problems that transcend the traditional boundaries of chemistry and biology using innovative and rigorous
approaches, (ii) to provide professional development skills and career guidance that maximize the impact of
student training, and (iii) to develop an inclusive and supportive community of engaged scholars working at
the chemistry–biology interface. This renewal application requests support for 10 predoctoral trainees per
year, with each trainee appointed to the program for two years. Key themes are underscored below:
! Our CBIT program will help train the next generation of the biomedical research workforce. We seek to provide
cross-disciplinary research training to our students, so that biologists not only appreciate, but also use, the
tools and techniques developed by chemists, and vice versa. It is these fresh approaches that can provide
breakthroughs in science. We will provide students with foundational course work in chemical biology
and teach our students the value of looking at research problems from alternate perspectives.
! We will give our students the professional skills to maximize their cross-disciplinary training in the laboratory.
These professional tools will include guidance in scientific communication to diverse audiences, the
responsible conduct of research, the rigorous analysis of scientific data, and career opportunities beyond
academia. We then will provide opportunities for the trainees to advance their careers through the
application of these tools, through outreach, an internship, and scientific conferences.
! We will build an engaged and inclusive community of scientists working at the chemistry–biology interface.
Through regular interactions with trainees and trainers, we will leverage the strong interactions between
faculty/departments on campus and create new scientific collaborations. In turn, we will build strong
mentor/mentee relationships between our cohort of students and faculty via formal training in mentorship.
! We understand that a diversity of experience enriches the research enterprise. Throughout the pursuit of the CBIT
program’s goals, we will fully commit to the inclusion of qualified students from all backgrounds.
The next award period will build substantially on the strong foundation developed over the 25-year history of
the CBIT grant at UW–Madison. We will enhance existing training elements, maintaining those features that
have proven successful, modernizing others and implementing new features to ensure alignment with
proposed alterations to the mission of the NIGMS T32 program, and streamlining current and new features in
order to empower, rather than overburden, our trainees. The outcome of the UW–Madison CBIT program will
be a diverse pool of expertly trained scientists who have the broad base of technical and professional skills
necessary for them to contribute substantively to the biomedical workforce. Lastly, we will evaluate our ability
to achieve this outcome through the implementation of the first quantitative assessment of the CBIT program.