BUnano Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship Applications

Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year are due May 1, 2024.

BUnano’s Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship provides stipends and training to Boston University doctoral students whose interdisciplinary research uses nanotechnology. Most applicants will have successfully completed one or two years of graduate study in the sciences, engineering, or medicine. Applicants will have identified a research project, possibly leading to a dissertation, that combines their primary discipline with another discipline. They will name co-advisors from the two disciplines, at least one of whom must be from BU.

The main focus for Cross-Disciplinary Fellows is co-mentored research training. Additionally, Fellows are required to take one course focused on nanotechnology or nanomedicine, broadly defined, to gain an overview of nanoscience applications in medicine, energy, or fabrication, depending on individual research interests. Students are also required to participate in BUnano journal club, symposia, and outreach through BU’s Upward Bound Math Science and CityLab programs.

Fellows receive graduate stipend support and up to $750 to attend relevant conferences or other appropriate professional activities during their time in the Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship program. Fellowship support is for one year, renewable for a second year based on exceptional progress.

Application Requirements

Applications, to be prepared by the student in consultation with his or her co-mentors, should include in a single PDF document:

  • Letter from the applicant (1-2 pages max), describing their overall scientific background and interests, their nanoscience or nanotechnology research experience and interests, and their goals for the future.
  • Biosketch or CV for the applicant, which includes prior institution, degree, and year of graduation with prior GPA. Applications should also include a non-official BU transcript.
  • Cover page that lists the project title, prospective fellow’s name and contact information, and the names and contact information for TWO mentors, each from different academic departments.
  • Project description (2-3 pages max; single-spaced, 1” margins; Arial 11 pt font) with the following sections:
    • Abstract
    • Hypothesis Statement
    • One or two specific aims, in the style of NIH R01 applications (in the student’s words, not taken from an R01 application)
    • Background
    • Research Plan
    • Co-Advisors’ Roles: One paragraph describing the length and type of collaboration between mentors. For example, is the collaboration between co-advisors new or a long-standing one? In either case, how do co-advisors work together? Is there a record of co-publication? Is there a co-mentoring plan for this project with roles for both mentors?
    • Relevance to nanoscience or nanotechnology: Describe the project’s relevance to nanoscience or nanotechnology, conceptual or applied — the project may advance the field with a broad scientific impact, or its relevance may be application-specific.
    • Citations
  • Letter of support (1-2 pages), co-written and signed by applicant’s two mentors. Must describe the applicant’s academic qualifications and scientific promise, outline the co-mentored research training plan, and discuss the project’s value for the applicant and for attaining the co-mentors’ research goals.
  • List of applicant’s journal publications and submissions. Papers should be grouped into two categories: A) Published; and B) In preparation/under review. For the latter, please include an abstract.
  • Brief biographical sketches, preferably in NIH or NSF format, for co-mentors. These can be from any recent grant submission and do not need to be specially created. Please also include a summary of active grant support generally in the targeted area for the co-mentors.
  • Current Fellows seeking to renew their fellowship support must provide, in addition to the application items listed above, a half-page+ description of how they will use their first-year experience to enhance the BUnano program, including their potential leadership roles in program activities such as the seminar/journal club, outreach initiatives, professional development activities — or other ideas.

Completed applications in the form of a single PDF document should be submitted by email to MJ Taylor.

Applications are reviewed carefully by the BUnano Fellowship Committee, a group of faculty appointed by the BUnano Director and representing associated schools and departments. Fellowship support will be awarded based on the academic qualifications of the student, the scientific merit of the project, the likelihood that the fellowship will work as “glue” to enhance interactions across schools and disciplines, and the project’s potential to launch a successful research career.

For information on scientific aspects of the Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship program, contact BUnano Director Mark Grinstaff.

BU is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community of scholars. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for these opportunities.