TiMe Training Program (T32)

TiMe_graphicThe Tissue Microenvironment (TiMe) Training Program is university-wide training program for graduate students, supported by a T32 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Tissue microenvironments are critical for advancing biomedical science and healthcare in topics ranging from regenerative medicine to managing the burden of cancer. To this end, the integration of three technological approaches is essential:

  • sensing and imaging to measure biochemical and biophysical parameters
  • bioengineering to recapitulate the TiMe
  • computational modeling

With intensive mentoring and systematic activities focused on professional development, trainees will become the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders capable of undertaking fundamental research and enabling translational advances.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has exceptionally strong disciplinary programs, diverse faculty spanning the intellectual arc of the program, and appropriate facilities and unique resources in each of these technological areas. This training program is distinctly advantaged by our strong history of successful graduate training, including a commitment to diversity and individuals with disabilities, a culture of productive collaboration, a new Department of Bioengineering, and strong institutional support.


The program is designed to support at least eight trainees for up to two years each, with a stipend of $23,367 annually (current NIH stipend). The students will be selected from a strong applicant pool across campus, without departmental restrictions.


Training will include four core components:

  • Curricular Activities
    • Curricular activities will ensure depth in the three technological areas and apposite breadth across disciplines
  • Extracurricular Activities
    • Extracurricular activities will develop pragmatic skills
  • Professional Development
    • Professional development will empower trainees to become research leaders
  • Career Development
    • Career development will ensure trainees make lifelong contributions to society

The activities within these four components will be structured in a manner to streamline education, allowing the students to focus efficiently on research, and the awarded doctoral degree will include a special designation (concentration in TiMe). Traditional education will further be enhanced by co- mentored research with possibilities of translational opportunities via the new engineering-based Carle Illinois College of Medicine (slated to take its first cohort of students in the fall of 2018).


Application Deadlines:

  • Applications are being accepted through 5 p.m. on Monday, August 1, 2016


  • Applicants must be a pre-doctoral student, preferably with at least 2 years of graduate school experience
  • Strong research interest in the tissue microenvironment
  • U.S. and non-U.S. citizens are eligible


The application can be found here.

The application requires:

  • A CV
  • A one-page description of your current research
  • Recommendation letters from a research advisor and a faculty member familiar with the student’s research
  • A brief summary of why you would be a good candidate for this training position, especially showing how your research would span the themes of the training program. The summary should be one page or shorter.
  • A copy of your graduate transcript(s)


Rohit Bhargava, PI and Director

H. Rex Gaskins, Deputy Director

Krista Smith, kristasm@illinois.edu — Questions about the program