Training Program

The Molecular Biophysics Training Program (MBTP) encompasses a network of faculty, students, and staff with the tools necessary to understand fundamental questions in biology, chemistry and physics. The program faculty and their laboratories combine different disciplines to help understand biology at the molecular level. Any member of the Vanderbilt community is welcomed to the program, in particular faculty members interested in using the biophysical tools and techniques available to complement their research and those students interested in furthering their knowledge about biophysics.

Students can also apply to the Molecular Biophysics training grant which provides technical and financial assistance for the first two years after the student completes his/her first year of graduate school. Students are chosen on a competitive basis, yet the seminars and courses in Molecular Biophysics are open to all students, even those that are not on the training grant. Traineeships include competitive stipends with full tuition and fees and are available on a competitive basis. The MBTP strongly encourages the participation of persons from groups that are underrepresented in science.

The Molecular Biophysics Program usually starts in the second year of graduate studies after two semesters of broad training through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP), the Quantitative and Chemical Biology Graduate Program (QCB), or the Graduate Programs of the Chemistry, Biological Sciences, or Physics Departments. The first year application process for these programs can be initiated online at Students participate in the MBTP while concurrently earning a Ph.D. in any of the departmentally based disciplinary areas represented by the training faculty.

Students chosen to the MBTP must complete the application process together with their advisor. In addition to completing the course(s) required by their department, students also participate in a graduate seminar in molecular biophysics (CPBP or BCHM 349) and present their research progress at the Molecular Biophysics Seminar Series. Students are also involved in a variety of committees that plan and organize the seminar series and student recruitment events.


The Molecular Biophysics Training Program is supported jointly by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and College of Arts & Science.