Postdoctoral Fellows in the BIT Program are provided the same training standards as the graduate students. They are encouraged to take immersion courses in the discipline complementary to their original background, as needed.
Recruitment criteria and procedures are similar to those for graduate students. Applications are evaluated by the BIT Steering Committee. Admission into the program is based on the quality of letters of recommendation and past research accomplishments. While formally the postdoctoral trainees do not need a second mentor, it is expected that research projects will result in collaborations and publications that will include both life- and computational scientists.
BIT Program Requirements
IGB and Home Department Seminars
All BIT students are required to attend seminars sponsored both by their home department and by the IGB. The IGB seminars and the IGB Distinguished Speaker Series most often emphasize computational aspects of biomedical informatics and computational biology. The home department seminars emphasize topics in the student’s primary area(s) of expertise.
In order to develop more of a program esprit de corps, trainees meet as a group the first Monday of each month for lunch. At these lunches the trainees are free to openly discuss their research projects and develop closer professional and personal ties with one another. The BIT lunch is facilitated by a BIT group Web site hosted by the trainees. At a typical BIT lunch, a biology trainee(s) might informally present their ongoing research, highlighting areas where they need bioinformatics assistance or input from computer scientists and/or computational biologists. At that point, the computation students might offer advice and explain the basis of computational methods and/or algorithms to address the problem. Often, appropriate algorithms or computational methods must be devised to deal with the problem. Sometimes the solutions are trivial, but at other times they develop into collaborations among the members of the group. Occasionally, the student’s invite BIT faculty or visiting scientists from other academic institutions or industry to discuss their interests with the group as well as host career development sessions.
Trainee Research Presentations
Each month, two program trainees are required to present a formal seminar to the training grant faculty and their research groups. This provides the trainees with the skills necessary for communicating their work to an interdisciplinary scientific audience. Every trainee in the program is required to present at least one seminar each year.
Annual Trainee Mini-Symposium
Each year in the spring, the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics sponsors an all day symposium for the trainees to present their research results. This has proven to be a very successful event. The students work very hard on their presentations. Each year this event has been very well attended by UCI faculty and student researchers from many disciplines across the UCI campus. The program and abstracts for past BIT Program Symposium are here.
Responsible Conduct of Research Course
Every BIT Program student and postdoctoral fellow is required to take the UCI Responsible Conduct of Research course, no later than the end of the third year. This course, MMG 250 (2 credits), is offered each year during the spring term. All trainees on NIH training grants are required to participate in this course once during their training at UCI. The intent of this course is to introduce students to the complex issues involving scientific integrity, while meeting the requirements for training in bioethics for students supported on NIH training grants. The format for the course is informal and designed to engage students in discussion.
Attendance and Participation in National Meetings
All trainees are encouraged to attend national meetings to broaden their perspectives of current topics and methods in biomedical informatics and computational biology research. Training grant and IGB travel support for those students presenting their research results at a national meeting is given top priority.