Specialized Curricula & Training


Specialized Curricula & Training

Postdoctoral Scientists Certificate Program

Certificate Program Booklet (PDF)

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) offers certificate credit for postdoctoral scientists at UTMB. The certificates (PDF) and the courses (PDF) leading up to them carry credits that will be reported on transcripts available through the UTMB Office of the Registrar. The Provost requires all postdocs to be enrolled in the certificate program as a condition of their postdoctoral appointments. There is no cost to postdocs for this program—all tuition and fees are paid by the GSBS.

Courses in the certificate program provide training in core competencies, as well as specialized training that scientists require for professional success. Some courses offer credit for everyday activities: conducting mentored research, attending departmental seminars and journal club meetings, and drafting a career development plan, none of which requires classroom attendance.

As of Spring 2014, seven certificates are available. The core certificate is Advanced Biomedical Research Strategies. Secondary certificates focused on specific career areas include:

  • Advanced Academic Management Skills
  • Effective Teaching & Mentoring
  • Translational Research Team Management
  • Bioinformatics & Systems Biology
  • Patient Centered Outcomes Research
  • Translational Burns Research

Each certificate requires 12 semester credit hours (SCH) and may be earned in a one-year (three-term) course of study. The certificates are structured for maximum flexibility, both for course sequencing and time management. Several courses are online and many others are offered at times that do not conflict with laboratory schedules, so that participants may give full attention to their learning.

Each certificate consists of required courses, prescribed electives, and a spectrum of specialized additional electives. To promote maximum flexibility and individual career preparation, most elective courses may be applied to any certificate. In addition, a base course (Mentored Research, CTPS 6001) is available to all postdoctoral scholars every term, for one to four semester credit hours. It consists of focused research and supervision in the postdoc’s area of concentration, allowing the scholar to stay in the lab to work on experiments, manuscripts or both, in conjunction with the mentor.

Upon completion of the required coursework for a specific certificate, postdoctoral scholars are responsible for requesting its issuance from The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. This feature gives scholars control over the timing of when a certificate is earned and issued.

Examples of key courses:

  • Ethics of Scientific Research (required once only) - MEHU 6101
  • Career Planning for Postdoctoral Scientists (required annually, for credit in all certificates) - CTPS 6103
  • Practical Scientific Writing - CTPS 6104 and Effective Presentation Skills – CTPS 6111 (recommended electives for four different certificates)
  • Advanced Business Management - CTPS 6302 and College Teaching & Learning – CTPS 6301 each offered only every two years

About Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC)

The First-Year Graduate Studies in Basic Biomedical Science offers an extraordinary graduate experience that furnishes a strong foundation and breadth of biomedical concepts. The Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC) is a specially designed first-year integrated curriculum for students wishing to pursue their doctoral research training in any of the following graduate programs at UTMB:

The BBSC provides a desirable environment for collaborative interactions with over 350 nationally and internationally renowned graduate faculty across multi-disciplinary research areas. The BBSC is composed of foundational courses (Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research) and a series of 8-week laboratory rotations. Additional available activities include regular seminars and specialized courses.

Students selected for graduate assistantships receive an initial stipend of $29,000 paid tuition and fees, and health insurance coverage. Dental insurance is also available for a small charge. Graduate assistantships are only available to US citizens and permanent residents (green card holders). Students entering without financial support are not guaranteed support in subsequent years.


We've built what has been called one of the world's best programs, organized under the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. We work for you, to understand biological threats to you and your family's health, and to develop treatments and vaccines to keep you healthy and safe.

Please visit our website to learn more.

The Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Toxicology is geared toward students seeking a PhD, and also accommodates those interested in a combined MD/PhD program. Our ultimate goal is to train students to

  • ask fundamental questions concerning important biochemical, cellular, and behavioral processes;
  • explore how these processes are altered by disease, development, aging, drug use and toxin exposure,
  • discover how these untoward processes can be prevented or treated by drugs,
  • to synthesize new chemical entities with therapeutic potential and discover new methods by which these can be delivered

A particular strength of our program is the broad spectrum of biological systems studied. This diversity provides rich training opportunities for the next generation of scientists interested in disease and drug mechanisms, as well as drug targets and delivery.

This program boasts graduates in a wide variety of responsible positions within academia, research institutes, government laboratories, and industry. Current employment opportunities are especially bright for trainees with the expertise in integrating information from molecular/cellular and whole-animal studies.

Finally, with unprecedented opportunities for new drug discovery and development resulting from the Human Genome Project, pharmacologists and toxicologists will remain in great demand.  Their ability to translate fundamental principles of genomics and structural biology, biochemistry, and cell biology into new therapeutic approaches and ultimately, into viable therapeutic molecules is pivotal to the future of biomedical science.

Please visit our website for more information on this program.


The Molecular Biophysics Educational Track is a rigorous PhD graduate program designed for students with undergraduate training in physics, chemistry, engineering or mathematics, who now wish to study biological problems. The MBET curriculum, with accompanying laboratory and computational research, leads to a PhD degree that meets both current and future challenges in biomedical research. Students admitted to this program are guaranteed full fellowship support plus full health benefits throughout their graduate career, as long as they make satisfactory progress toward their degree.

Objective and Scope of the Training Program

The Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) at UTMB established in 1981 was the first PhD program in neuroscience in Texas. The rich interdisciplinary program of course work and research provides an internationally competitive education that enhances a trainee's ability to become a scholarly and productive contributor to our knowledge of nervous system function and disease mechanisms.
Please visit our website for more information on this program.


The Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

This certificate program is designed for students who have received or will soon receive a bachelor's degree and have not committed to a career path in science. It is designed to "immerse" students in an active research lab where the excitement of biomedical research is obvious and nurtured with the hopes of encouraging them to pursue doctoral training in the biomedical sciences.

Please visit our website for more information on this program.

Neuroscience Summer Undergraduate Research Program
Professor showing students lab samples.

Are you interested in biomedical research?  Are you considering graduate school?  Do you want a career that allows you to have an impact on people’s health and make a difference?

Do you want a summer job where you will learn new skills and contribute to an important biomedical issue?

The Neuroscience Summer Undergraduate Research Program (NSURP) could be for you!

Benefits of NSURP:

  • Hands-on research experience
  • Poster session at end of program
  • Scientific seminars and journal clubs
  • Competitive stipend
  • Assistance with preparing for graduate school
  • Meet students from across the country

Program Description

The NSURP program for undergraduate research in neuroscience at the University of Texas Medical Branch on the beautiful island of Galveston, Texas provides undergraduate students the opportunity for cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research in the area of neuroscience. One of the program goals is to promote the success of women and underrepresented minorities in science.

In order to capitalize on our nation’s intellectual potential and develop viable treatments to debilitating neurological diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and understand the mechanisms of addiction and pain, we need to train a new generation of scholars in neuroscience who can creatively approach problems in a variety of ways. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, you will learn biomedical neuroscience research skills related to cell and molecular biology, translational sciences, toxicology, infectious disease research, stem cells, and tissue engineering, just to name a few! You will also become familiar with techniques like cell culturing, isolation of stem cells, immunoassays, animal surgery, mass spectroscopy, and electrophysiology.

Program dates: June 5, 2017 to August 11, 2017

Application deadline: March 1, 2017

NSURP Application (PDF): Download, Fill out and return to Laura Teed ~ lcteed@utmb.edu

Eligible Students

If you are a college student contemplating graduate studies in the biomedical sciences, you are eligible to apply. Selection will be based on your completed application, an unofficial transcript from your undergraduate institution(s), interest in research training, and two letters of recommendation from faculty members. Funding includes a stipend, and we help arrange and supplement your housing costs.

For more information please contact:

Laura TeedLaura Teed
Coordinator II, Special Programs
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-1050
lcteed@utmb.edu
(409) 772-2665

For ADA information, please contact:
Lela Lockett-Ware, OTR
Student ADA Coordinator
lvlocket@utmb.edu 
(409) 747-4818