Who can apply for the specialization?

The specialization is currently available to Ph.D. students in the following departments.

  • Bioengineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Chemical Engineering Program within NanoEngineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • NanoEngineering
  • Neurosciences
  • Physics 

Students accepted into the specialization may be eligible to receive support through the NIH National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) T32 Graduate Research Training Grant that was officially awarded by the NIH in March, 2009. Training grant fellowships often have the following citizenship information requirements: 

Kirschstein-NRSA trainees and institutional career development scholars must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents of the United States. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Trainees or scholars in these programs who are permanent residents of the U.S. must submit a notary’s signed statement with this appointment form certifying that they have (1) A Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I - 551), or (2) other legal verification of such status.

How do you apply?

The Application form is for students interested in applying for the Interfaces Graduate Training Program Specialization to receive the Specialization in Multi-Scale Biology on their PhD. 

Students generally apply at the end of their first year of the PhD, but we encourage all PhD students to apply for the Interfaces Graduate Training Program Specialization.

The application process requires that you:

  • Are currently enrolled in the PhD program of a participating graduate program/department
  • Complete the application form through a link that will be available below during the Admissions cycle
  • Describe how your research interests are relevant to the program theme of multiscale biology
  • Describe how your participation in the Interfaces laboratory curriculum will advance your proposed interdisciplinary research aims
  • Submit your curriculum vitae
  • Submit letters of recommendation

Students may also use the application form to apply for funding/traineeship opportunities sponsored by the Interfaces Program, such as the NIH-NIBIB T32 training grant and the UC San Diego Match Fellowship.

Please note that the NIH encourages support of students from underrepresented populations including, but not limited to, underrepresented racial and ethnic groupsindividuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds

Applicants with a disadvantaged social, education, or economic background, and/or who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and/or are committed to increasing educational access for underrepresented students are encouraged to apply and will be considered for funding from the UC San Diego Match Fellowship.

The Admissions process for AY 2024-25 is now closed. The next annual Information Session that precedes the Admissions cycle is scheduled for April 2025. 


The Interfaces Program Steering Committee meets between the Spring and Summer Quarters to review all applications and make admissions/training grant fellowship decisions. It is expected that applicants to the specialization will receive Steering Committee award information before July 31st. The official academic start date of the program is Fall Quarter. New and continued NIH training grant funding may begin as early as September 1st.

General Information on Progress and Renewal Application

All current Interfaces students are asked to submit annual progress reports. These materials will serve to assess current progress and are the official review material for the Steering Committee funding decisions.