Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Training Program

Graduate Students

Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Training Program

We are now accepting applications! Please submit yours by Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Description of Training Program

    The Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Training Program (formerly the Viral Pathogenesis Training Program) links students from various graduate programs who are currently training in virology laboratories in Seattle. The program brings together laboratories at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington with the goal of drawing on the rich history of viral research at these institutions to form a unique training opportunity for Seattle-area graduate students.

    Funds are available for pre-doctoral trainees interested in viral pathogenesis and evolution research. One or two years of funding is available, with preference given for two years of funding for earlier stage students as discussed below.  The training program will also cover a portion of tuition. The scope of the submitted proposal should include a two-year research plan, unless the applicant specifically requests only one year of funding.


  • Trainee must be doing thesis work in the area of viral pathogenesis, viral evolution, or computational studies of viruses and with a mentor who participates int he Viral Pothogenesis and Evolution Training Program
  • Trainee must be a U. S. citizen, non-citizen national, or have permanent residence status processing an Alien Registration Receipt Card or other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident
  • Trainee must be eligible for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) support. No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years in aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at predoc level
  • Trainee must have completed rotations and be a permanent member of the lab at the time of application
  • Must be in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of PhD program or in the process of completing 1st year in the lab if in the MSTP program at the time of award
  • 2nd or 3rd year students are eligible for 1 or 2 years of funding. 4th year students are eligible for 1 year of funding and can tailor their application accordingly


  • Trainee stipend (NRSA predoctoral stipend level is $2,068/month) and partial benefits
  • Partial tuition support
  • Please note mentors will be responsible for some portion of trainee support not covered by the VPETG.

Additional Information:

Please note: this training grant is managed by the UW and thus pay and benefits will be through the UW.

In addition to the curriculum required by the student’s graduate program, students who are funded by the VPETG will be required to take courses that will enhance their training in viral pathogenesis and evolution research, including one course in viral pathogenesis/virology (MCB532 or MICRO 540) and one elective course in either computation biology and immunology (MCB 517 or IMMUN 532). Finally, because writing is an important component of academic scientists' training, VPETP trainees will receive opportunities for additional training in this area.

For further information, contact:

Shama Samant, Training Grant Administrator

Julie Overbaugh,
Program Director


Please send the following documents in a single PDF format to the Training Grant Administrator, Shama Samant. File title: "ApplicantLastName_VPETP2019.pdf"

  1. The Applicant Form

  2. CV, Resume, or Biosketch providing details of your academic training to-date and any relevant research and work experience. If you are a current graduate student, include your current academic standing (number of credits taken to date and GPA).

  3. Research Proposal. The proposal must be applicable to viral pathogenesis, viral evolution, or computational studies of viruses and you must explain the relevance in the proposal. Please include an explanation of how your research reflects the training grant's goals. This may be included in the Abstract, Background and Significance, or a paragraph at the end of the proposal. The scope of the submitted proposal should include a two-year research plan unless the applicant specifically requests only one year of funding. Proposal guidelines: The proposal should not exceed 2 pages (single spaced, Arial font, 11 pt., including figures). References may be on additional pages. Follow the general NIH format to include Specific Aims, Significance, Innnovation, and Approach.

  4. Mentor Summary Form. This form should be filled out by your mentor. In past years we have asked for more traditional letters.  However, all the mentor letters said their student was one of the best they have ever seen and they should be funded, which was not helpful to the review committee. It is our hope, that the mentor summary form will be a more informative evaluation of each trainee. Since the success and future funding of the training grant depends on the quality of the students it supports, the review committee would appreciate an honest and realistic summary of the student.

Letters of Recommendation. Request letters from 2 individuals who are not your mentor. Letters should be sent directly to the Training Grant Administrator, Shama Samant.

Thank you for your application.