Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Big Data in the Life Sciences Training Program

Institutional Program Unifying Population and Laboratory-Based Sciences


Michael Whitfield, PhD

Brock Christensen, PhD

To realize the full potential of big data in disease studies requires empowered and fully integrated researchers who have solid foundations in biological principles coupled with extensive quantitative and population science training. At present this comprehensive training is rare. The Dartmouth Big Data in the Life Sciences Training Program aims to developing a cadre of researchers that engage in true synergistic collaboration between quantitative and basic biomedical sciences.

The program provides support for select students enrolled in any of the biomedical sciences doctoral programs at Dartmouth.

Students in this track will be exposed to an enhanced breadth and depth of training, including required core courses focused on principles of physiology, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, as well as those focused on the population and quantitative sciences. For the thesis experience, students must be co-mentored by both laboratory scientists and quantitative or population researchers. PhD students may apply to this competitive program after they have officially confirmed a dissertation advisor and a co-advisor for their proposed project. The program provides student tuition and stipend support, as well as opportunities for computational resources and travel.

Students or mentors interested in learning more about the program should contact Dr. Michael Whitfield or Dr. Brock Christensen.

How to apply

If you are considering applying to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Big Data in the Life Sciences Training Program, we ask that you first provide a statement of intent with the following information: your name, year, graduate program, PI, and proposed co-mentor. We will use this information to help guide our selection of faculty members for the application review committee. The statement is nonbinding and not required but is very helpful. Send the statement of intent and application materials to Kristine A. Giffin by the stated deadlines.