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BSCD Chromatin & Epigenetics Undergraduate Research Fellowship - 2023

BSCD Chromatin & Epigenetics Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Chromatin, an exquisitely regulated macromolecular polymer of billions DNA bases wrapped in millions of nucleosomes, is the physiological template through which cells define their identity and function. How does chromatin, using the same genetic information, give rise to hundreds of different cell types capable of adapting to diverse environments? What pathologies ensue when the underlying processes go awry? What are the potential epigenetic avenues for therapeutic intervention? The Chromatin & Epigenetics Undergraduate Research Fellowship offers undergraduate students the opportunity to explore these questions through an intensive, 10-week research experience in the laboratory of a field leader. Fellows will identify a potential host lab in advance of the application deadline and design an independent research project with the faculty mentor. The goals are to provide students: (1) a framework for the outstanding questions in chromatin biology, (2) first-hand exposure to cutting-edge methodologies, and (3) mentorship for the execution, analysis, and dissemination of epigenetic research.

The Fellowship awards a $5000 stipend for the summer research period, as well as $1500 for research expenses and supplies made available to the PI.

Duties and Responsibilities
Fellows will conduct research full-time for the 10-week Summer Quarter under the guidance of the faculty PI and a direct supervisory mentor. Fellows will meet individually with their faculty mentor weekly, and their direct supervisory mentor daily to discuss all pertinent aspects of the research project. Fellows will be fully integrated in and contribute to laboratory group meetings, journal clubs, and other lab activities. Fellows will also attend weekly group workshops with the Fellowship Director, Andrew Koh, to present and discuss latest epigenetic technologies as well as progress on their respective research projects. Fellows will be required to present one methods-focused primary research article in journal club style. Fellows will also present their research project and any progress in informal data club style. On the final day of the Summer Quarter, Fellows will present their research at a mini-symposium.
No previous research experience or declaration of a major is required. Candidates must identify a potential host lab in advance of the application deadline and develop an independent research plan encompassing an original scientific question, the experimental/analytical approaches, and anticipated timeline. Faculty mentors that participated in previous years are listed below; however, any faculty:student pair with research foci related to chromatin and epigenetics will be given consideration.
·      Chuan He (Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)
·      Andrew Koh (Department of Pathology)
·      Heather Marlow (Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy)
·      Ivan Moskowitz (Departments of Pediatrics, Pathology, Human Genetics)
·      Alexander Ruthenburg (Departments of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)
·      Francois Spitz (Department of Human Genetics)
Class Level Eligibility
Undergraduates at the University of Chicago who will have completed at least one academic year in The College at the beginning of the 2023 Summer Quarter.
Required Materials
1. Cover Letter explaining interest in the Fellowship and the chosen faculty mentor/host laboratory. The letter should also outline previous research experience and how the Fellowship fits into their career trajectory.
2. Research Proposal developed collaboratively with faculty mentor that includes project description, experimental approach and approximate timeline of proposed activities. Students will also be required to include a brief contingency plan in the event that on-campus research is prohibited due to the pandemic.
3. Resume or CV
4. Unofficial transcript
Expiration Date
April 9, 2023
Please Note: If you are applying to multiple BSCD Fellowship Grants, please fill out the following BSCD Preference Form -