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NIMBioS Graduate Assistantships

At a Glance


The National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) invites current UTK/UTIA graduate students working at the interface between mathematics and biology to apply for graduate assistantships with the Institute.

Applications will be considered in the spring semester of each year for funding in the subsequent academic year, beginning August 1st. Students selected for the Assistantships will be awarded stipend support ($20,000/yr) and a tuition waiver to work on their proposed research topic in areas at the interface between mathematics and biology. Awardees are expected to be in residence at the University of Tennessee for the academic year of the awarded assistantship. NIMBioS will offer travel support to scientific meetings for Assistants to present their research.

In addition to carrying out their research as specified in their proposal, Assistants will be expected to assist with NIMBioS activities, including providing computational support (including assisting with model development, analysis and coding) for NIMBioS participants, assisting in Working Group and Workshop activities, and/or collaborating with postdocs and NIMBioS faculty and students. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review information on NIMBioS provided at

Any student who is mentored by a UT faculty member affiliated with NIMBioS is eligible to apply for an Assistantship. Appointments are for one year. Current GRAs may apply for a second year of support. Applications will be accepted from students at any stage in their graduate education, although it is anticipated that students with at least two years of graduate study will be the best qualified to take advantage of this opportunity. Successful applicants will be expected to submit quarterly reports on their activities to the NIMBioS Associate Director for Graduate Activities.

A goal of NIMBioS is to enhance the cadre of researchers capable of interdisciplinary efforts across mathematics and biology. As part of this goal, NIMBioS is committed to promoting diversity in all its activities. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, career stage, geography and type of home institution. Questions regarding diversity issues should be directed to Dr. Ernest Brothers, the NIMBioS Associate Director for Diversity Enhancement ( You can read more about our Diversity Plan on our NIMBioS Policies web page. The NIMBioS building is fully handicapped accessible.

Application Procedures:

The deadline for applications for NIMBioS Graduate Assistantships is February 15 for assistantships beginning in August of each year. Award announcements are made in March.

Interested applicants must submit the following materials by the deadline:

  1. Electronic submission of Online Application Form.
  2. Information to be sent as a PDF email attachment to
    1. A 3-4 page proposal, including references and explicit objectives to be accomplished, describing the research that will be conducted during the one-year term of the Assistantship. Applicants for renewal of Assistantships must also submit a full report that describes their progress during the previous year. This could be, for example, a publication arising from the effort.
    2. A description of mathematical and computational skills that are relevant to work in the NIMBioS environment (e.g. experience developing or analyzing mathematical models; proficiency with mathematical software such as MATLAB, Mathematica, or R; programming experience; experience with cluster or large parallel computers, etc.)
    3. A description of biological background that is relevant to the activities at NIMBioS (e.g. field or laboratory experience, prior research activities in biology, biological modeling experience, workshops or courses attended, etc.)
    4. Applicant CV, not to exceed 2 pages.
    5. A support letter from the graduate research mentor.
    6. One additional letter of recommendation from a mathematics, science or education professional.
    7. A transcript of graduate course work.

Note that information contained in applications for NIMBioS support are governed by the NIMBioS Privacy Policy.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed based upon the significance and level of creativity of the proposed research project, evidence of prior success of the applicant, evidence that the applicant has the background and experience to benefit from a year spent at NIMBioS, and the expected needs of NIMBioS during that year for the expertise the applicant can provide.