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How to Apply

In line with institutional policies relating to diversity and inclusion, the Molecular Biophysics Training Program strongly encourages applications from prospective students and preceptors from diverse backgrounds. Diversity takes many different forms and includes, socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, disability, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or place of origin, unique work or life experience, etc.


Applications for 2021-2022 will be accepted starting in June 2021. 


The Molecular Biophysics Training Program solicits nominations from Biophysics Preceptors in June each year for appointments that typically begin in September that year. In order to be appointed as a Biophysics Trainee, you need to be enrolled in one of the seven graduate programs, must work with a biophysics preceptor on a biophysics-related research topic, and must be in your second or third year of graduate study at the time of appointment. Please note that Northwestern is a welcoming environment for students with disabilities. For more details on the application/nomination process, please see this document. To access the IDP form for trainee nominations, please follow this link.

If you are not already a graduate student at Northwestern and are considering a career in biophysics, please visit the research and preceptors pages on this website, identify preceptor(s) you would like to work with, and apply to the graduate program to which the preceptor is affiliated. Follow the links below to initiate the application process (please visit the graduate programs page on the website to learn more about each program):

If you are an undergraduate student interested in gaining research experience in biophysics, please apply to the following summer research programs:

Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to


To become a Biophysics Preceptor, please send your current NIH biosketch and a cover letter to the attention of the Program Director, Ishwar Radhakrishnan ( A Personal Statement should be included in Section A of the biosketch.  It should address your research and briefly describe why your experience and qualifications make you well-suited for a role as a Preceptor on this training program. This can also include statements on your leadership roles, collaborations, and past training record (Example:  I have extensive experience as a research mentor and have served as a primary mentor for X number of predoctoral students and X number of postdoctoral fellows. X number of my mentees have gone on to establish their own research programs in academia and industry, as well as become leaders in other sectors. Some examples include…). The training program accepts applications from prospective preceptors until May 31. The MBTP Steering Committee will evaluate applications after this deadline and make appointments that start July 1, coincident with the start of the grant year.

In the cover letter, prospective preceptors must describe why they would be a good fit for the program, i.e. they must describe their commitment to graduate training and specifically, their commitment to training the next generation of molecular biophysicists. Providing graduate training opportunities in molecular biophysics research and attendance at MBTP-sponsored activities (which are open to all) are examples that demonstrate such commitment.

Preceptor Expectations: 
Preceptor Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion: 

In order for mentors to continue to receive a second year of support for a trainee in their lab, the mentor (or the primary mentor in the case of jointly mentored students) must undertake at least one of the following activities:

  1. Invite and host a seminar speaker from an underrepresented background for the Biophysics Seminar series. 
  2. Recruit students at one of the national meetings ABRCMS, SACNAS, or oSTEM (all allowable expenses paid by MBTP).  Given the pandemic, it may not be possible to undertake recruiting visits that involve domestic travel, unless remote options become available.
  3. Undertake a recruiting trip to a campus serving predominantly underrepresented students (all allowable expenses paid by MBTP).  Given the pandemic, it may not be possible to undertake recruiting visits that involve domestic travel, unless remote options become available.  The program will arrange trips to local institutions.
  4. Host and mentor an undergraduate student from underrepresented backgrounds for a summer internship (henceforth, all mentors receiving support for their students will be automatically registered to accept students from the SROP and CURE programs).  Mentoring underrepresented students from NU would also count towards this obligation.


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