PSTP: How to Apply

Trainees are expected to strong foundation in pharmacological sciences as well as complete the degree requirements of their Ph.D. program.  Our trainees engage in our strong competency based, interdisciplinary, yet individualized training that allows for their specialized interests. The program currently has 12 funded positions.  Junior Trainees are supported during their second and third years of their doctoral studies. New trainees will be admitted to the program in July each year. 

Alina Chapman-Morales, Senior Trainee

Application Process

The Pharmacological Sciences Training Program is administered by an Executive Committee (EC) comprised of one faculty representative from each of the four participating programs, along with the Program Director and Co-Director.  The PSTP supports doctoral students who are interested in developing a strong foundation in the basic principles of pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, and acquiring a broad knowledge of other related basic science disciplines, so that they can ultimately direct cutting-edge research in pharmacology and therapeutics and address scientific questions from multiple perspectives.  

The PSTP currently has 6 available slots for students who are now completing year 1 of graduate school. Students chosen from this cohort will be eligible for two years of training grant funding.  All applicants to the PSTP must be enrolled in either the Biological Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences or Pharmacology Doctoral Program. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents to be eligible.   

To apply to the program, students should complete the online application no later than 5 pm, May 15, 2023.  All materials, including letter of nomination from the thesis advisor and additional letter of support, should be completed by the deadline. Interviews will be on June 1, 2023 via zoom.

Application for the 2023-2024 PSTP year is closed.   

Application Instructions

I. Statement of Interest: Students should describe their thesis research, academic accomplishments, and explain why they are interested in joining the PSTP.  They should describe how their participation in the program will help them achieve their research and training goals. (1 page limit) *Submitted through online application. [must use your email]

II. Background Information: (available from departmental student services staff)
Email as a single pdf to Sondra Auerbach [email protected]  Full pdf of original Rackham Graduate School Application, making sure the following pieces are included.

  • Undergraduate and Graduate transcripts.
  • Letters of recommendation from the student's original application.
  • Undergraduate GPA 

III. Background Information - Rotations

  • Rotation evaluations (if available).

IV. Student CV, remembering to include:

  • Conference Presentations
  • Fellowship and other support
  • List of Publications
  • Workshops Attended
  • Career Development Activities

V. Letter of Nomination from thesis mentor (or co-mentor).  Thesis mentor/advisor /co-mentor must a be PSTP faculty member.  The letter should be submitted through the online recommendation system.  [must use your email to access] The mentor should address the following in their letter of nomination:

  • Relevance of the student's research and fit with PSTP
  • The student's performance in the laboratory
  • An agreement to have the student meet PSTP program requirements
  • A statement assuring that the student will continue their involvement in PSTP activities following the conclusion of the training grant funding. 
  • Assurance of continuing financial support during and after the training grant funding concludes. 

NOTE: In the event that a student is still completing research rotations, they should solicit a nomination letter from the PSTP faculty member who is likely to become their thesis mentor. If the student is considering more than one PSTP lab at the time of application, letters from each mentor should be included. Students must commit to a PSTP lab prior to the start of their July 1 appointment. If the student intends to join a different lab, they should contact the PSTP Executive Committee for further instruction.

V. Additional Letter of Support (not from the thesis advisor).   Submitted through the online recommendation system. [must use your email to access] This letter should address the relevance of the student's research and fit with PSTP and the students' performance in the laboratory.  This letter must come from a faculty member who is not your thesis advisor.

Selection Process: 

The PSTP Director/Co-Director and the Executive Committee will review the applications. All applicants will be invited to interview with the Executive Committee. 

During the interview, the Executive Committee will evaluate the applicant's interest in pharmacologically-related research, coursework, and other activities of the PSTP. The Executive Committee will then make final decisions for PSTP appointments. Selected students and their thesis mentors must sign a mentorship form agreeing to full participation in the PSTP, with required financial commitments, prior to the start of the appointment on July 1.

For more information, please contact:

Sondra Auerbach, Department of Pharmacology
[email protected]