Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Molecular and Applied Nutrition Training Program
The goal of the MANTP is to educate a cadre of cross disciplinary scientists who integrate and apply concepts from a wide-array of fields to nutrition-related biomedical research. A broad-spectrum of approaches from clinical studies focusing on treatment to genome-wide approaches to define fundamental mechanisms of disease is needed to further understand the etiology of human nutritional diseases. MANTP provides predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees with the breadth of training that will allow them to pursue successful careers in nutrition-related biomedical research and foster the development of new paradigms for chronic disease treatment.
Outstanding graduate students in any Biological Sciences graduate program whose mentor is a MANTP trainer (see Faculty Trainer page) can be considered for a two-year funded position as a MANTP trainee. Faculty trainers are notified annually of upcoming open slots so that they can have their predoctoral trainees discuss MANTP training and requirements including courses with Director Eisenstein before the beginning of their second year. Students who will complete MANTP course requirements and their research qualifying exam by the end of their 4th semester are encouraged to apply by May of their second year. Applications must include copies of the applicants undergraduate and graduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a complete MANTP Predoctoral Application Form.
MANTP predoctoral trainees must meet the course requirements of the MANTP and also their respective PhD program (see Requirements section of this website). The course plan for each trainee will be tailored to meet the needs of both their home graduate program and the breadth requirements of the MANTP.
MANTP predoctoral (and postdoctoral) trainees also participate in trainee specific events including:
i) Required submission of a NIH F30 or F31 or similar nationally competitive predoctoral fellowship that has been reviewed by the MANTP mock-study section.
ii) Participate as a reviewer in MANTP mock study section of other trainee’s proposals.
iii) Complete the MANTP Individual Development Plan (IDP) (found in Professional Development section of this website) within 60 days of joining the MANTP. Trainees are encouraged to review and discuss their IDP with their mentor and also MANTP Director Eisenstein.
iv) Participate in the annual MANTP Research Seminar and Journal Club which meets in the Spring Semester. Trainees present a regular PowerPoint research progress report and a Chalk Talk focused on the NIH-based criteria for significance and impact of their current research (see Chalk Talk criteria in Professional Development section). Trainees will also participate in a journal club focused on a topic relevant to the MANTP program. In the coming academic year (2019/2020) this will be “Precision Nutrition”. Trainees will hold the journal club reviewing paper(s) from a MANTP invited speaker who will come to campus the following week. At the trainee-speaker breakfast that week trainees will discuss the speakers research and the speaker will talk about career development using their career experiences as examples.
v) Attend trainee-specific breakfasts each semester with visiting speakers to discuss the speakers career trajectory and other issues.
vi) All trainees will be required to take a Research Ethics class that is focused on the responsible conduct of research. Currently trainees can pick from research ethics classes such as Oncology 715, Biochemistry/Bacteriology 901, Nursing 802 and others (https://research.wisc.edu/compliance-policy/research-ethics/). Trainees on the UW-Madison campus for four years or more will be required to take both the initial class in research ethics within 6 months of joining the MANTP and a follow-up refresher class within four years of completing the first class.
vii) Meet quarterly with MANTP Director Eisenstein to discuss research progress and immediate future directions in research. Also discuss coursework and professional development unique tailored to each trainee’s needs.
viii) Financial support for unique professional development events such as attending courses in research methodologies at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Jackson Laboratories or courses at NIH-sponsored facilities and others or for visits to a collaborator’s lab to learn new techniques.
ix) Teaching: Students desiring teaching experience beyond the one or two semester teaching assistant requirement of many graduate programs can participate in the DELTA, a UW-Madison program that provides a range of opportunities to enhance a trainees teaching experience including a certificate program that provides in-depth training via the DELTA learning community (https://delta.wisc.edu/).
x) Mentorship development: UW Madison provides many opportunities for trainees to obtain experience mentoring undergraduate researchers and also to participate in mentorship development activities including activities such as mentoring an undergraduate in one of UW-Madison’s summer research opportunities such as the Biological Signals: Information Flow, Storage and Exchange program (https://wiscience.wisc.edu/IBS-SRP) or those programs in mentee training and related areas developed by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER (https://cimerproject.org/#/)
Postdoctoral positions, for up to three years of funding, are open to those with a PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree who are US citizens or non-citizen nationals.
Postdoctoral trainees can apply to directly to MANTP (see “Contact Us” section on home page) or any MANTP trainer. In addition to a letter describing research background and career goals applicants should send a transcript for all graduate classes taken, three letters of reference, an indication of when the PhD was granted or is expected and a statement as to whether the applicant has been previously funded as a postdoctoral trainee on a T32.
Postdoctoral trainees are required to participate in the same training activities described for predoctoral trainees (see Training Opportunities above). MANTP Postdoctoral trainees are required to submit an NIH F32 or similar nationally competitive fellowship within 6 to 9 months of entering the program. Their proposal will be reviewed by the MANTP mock-study section. Postdoctoral trainees will be expected to lead reviews of other trainees fellowship proposals. In addition, MANTP will provide postdoctoral trainees the opportunity to have an NIH K award proposal reviewed in our study sections, provide input on job inquiry letters and job seminars in order to assist trainees being as competitive as possible on the job market.
MANTP postdoctoral trainees are encouraged to expand their basic science or clinical Nutrition knowledge base, where needed, by auditing courses in Nutritional Sciences or Biochemistry. In the case of physicians and other postdoctoral trainees with limited background in Nutrition, trainees will be required to register for and take 1 to 3 credits of classes such as the course “Obesity and Diabetes” (1 credit); “Personal Nutrition: Genetics, Genomics and Metagenomics” (1 credit); or “Advanced Clinical Nutrition: Critical Care and Nutrition Support” (3 credits) and others.