Academic Training

Academic Training

Graduate Students

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The Salk Institute provides an outstanding environment for graduate training. Approximately 100 students are currently pursuing PhD or MD/PhD degrees with Salk faculty. These students come to Salk laboratories via admission to graduate programs within the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and receive a degree from UCSD. The Salk Institute participates in an affiliated graduate program with the Division of Biological Sciences.

In addition, Salk faculty have affiliations with a number of other graduate programs at UCSD: (Interested individuals should contact either one of our faculty members or the appropriate UCSD department).

Postdoctoral Training

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Part of the mission of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies is to train individuals for careers in scientific research. The expectation is that trainees will study in the many new fields developed by Institute faculty, learn the research techniques they have created and go on to positions of leadership in other prominent scientific institutions.

For a list of available postdoctoral opportunities, review the postdoctoral positions.

The Salk Institute plays an important role in training the next generation of biomedical researchers. The training includes not only instruction in the knowledge and skills needed to pursue basic research, but also exposure to Salk faculty who embody the intellectual and personal qualities that promote creativity and scientific excellence.

Fellows Program

Life sciences are rapidly becoming highly interdisciplinary. Salk is interested in bringing fellows from broad disciplines to the Institute to trigger innovation and perpetuate the collaborative spirit upon which Salk was founded. Interdisciplinary interactions amongst the Fellows and faculty will substantially change the approach to science and create future intellectual leaders in the biological sciences.

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Selection Criteria

Salk Fellows will often come directly from a PhD or MD program. The Fellows will be selected from a variety of disciplines ranging from biology to physics, mathematics to engineering, statistics to computational biology and will have expertise in a wide range of novel technologies. Successful candidates will propose research that is not simply an extension of their graduate work but builds on their previous expertise in unique and interesting ways. The work should be exciting and have a combination of originality and risk, two factors that often lower the chances of obtaining support through traditional channels.

Selection Process

Openings will be posted at and in scientific publications. Application instructions will be included with each posting. Fellows will be chosen by a faculty committee with broad scientific expertise and may include scientists from surrounding institutions. Select candidates will be invited to give a seminar and interview with Salk's faculty and committee members.

Appointment Terms

Salk Fellows will be independent group leaders of postdoctoral fellows, research technicians and undergraduate students. The Fellows will be appointed for an initial period of three years, which may be followed by a two-year extension subject to a positive performance review. The maximum total appointment period for Salk Fellows is five years. Salk Fellows are expected to leave the Salk Institute at the end of their terms and seek independent positions in other scientific establishments.

Institutional Resources

Fellows are given the space, financial resources and support needed to be independent group leaders and researchers. Fellows will be encouraged to apply for limited external funding since successful grant writing is a critical skill for an independent group leader and it increases the Fellow's competitiveness for faculty positions.

Mentoring and Career Development

A Salk faculty member will meet with the Fellow every six weeks for one-on-one discussions. In addition, the Fellow will have a mentoring committee that will meet annually to discuss the Salk Fellow's goals, progress, lab management and future research and career plans. A summary of the committee's observations and recommendations will be discussed with the Salk Fellow and a report sent to the President of Salk or his/her designee.

Faculty Contacts

For further information, please contact Inder Verma, Fred Gage or Ron Evans

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