Most Certificate Program students are pursuing a doctorate from one of the participating departments and are completing research projects that lie in the general area of synthesis, dynamics, and structure of biologically relevant molecules. Completion of the Certificate Program in Chemical Biology will augment students training and provide them with the qualifications for research careers in academic and institutional research or in relevant branches of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The students will learn:
- How to identify scientific problems central to a given research area
- How to formulate these problems in a manner susceptible to experimental or theoretical solution
- How to design appropriate experiments or calculations
- How to organize and carry through the program of experiments or calculations
- How to interpret the results
- How to organize and present the material for publication and dissemination
In addition, students will learn how to carry out these tasks with proper attention to their ethical responsibilities as scientists.
All Certificate Program students are encouraged to carry out a research rotation outside of KU, but this is only a requirement for the NIH-funded trainees. In order to provide trainees with a grasp of the power of the concepts and methods across the chemistry biology divide, and to encourage the collaborative adoption of these concepts and techniques in their doctoral research and later careers, trainees carry out a research rotation in laboratories emphasizing other research methodologies than that of their doctoral research. Rotations may take place in other Chemical Biology training laboratories at the University of Kansas, but are encouraged to involved research outside of KU, either at another academic institution, or at an industrial or governmental lab. Representative examples of previous rotations, include:
- National Institutes of Health
- The Institute of Cancer Research in London, England
- Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
- Harvard Medical School
- Colorado State University
The main criterion for an acceptable rotation is that it be a bona-fide broadening experience for the trainee, and special encouragement is given to rotations across the interface. The research rotations are arranged by the trainees, their research mentors, and the rotation mentor, and are subject to approval by the Steering Committee. It is highly desirable for rotations to lead to productive collaborations among mentors in the training program, and rotations with promise in this direction are viewed with special favor by the Steering Committee.