PhD in Applied Life Sciences
The mission of KGI’s PhD in Applied Life Sciences is to endow a select group of students with expertise in research areas relevant to applied bioscience, with the ability to use interdisciplinary tools and approaches to solve problems, and with the motivation to translate knowledge to beneficial applications to advance new horizons in the applied biosciences. The program is designed to educate technically competent, broadly trained, highly original scientists, and will prepare students for research and development positions in a variety of bioscience industrial or academic environments.
Before entering the PhD program, students must first complete the MBS degree at KGI; they will therefore be able to draw upon the unique interdisciplinary and applied educational foundation supplied by the MBS curriculum as they continue their studies. MBS students acquire a broad knowledge base in interdisciplinary life science (systems biology, bioengineering and computational biology) and have the opportunity to focus their coursework in an area of interest to them for more in-depth knowledge. In addition, they gain industry experience through paid summer internships and industry-sponsored Team Masters Projects. They are exposed to a wide variety of issues such as regulatory hurdles encountered in bringing new products to market, intellectual property protection, and commercialization activities that include writing business plans and conducting market research. Throughout the MBS program, students are required to develop their abilities to work in teams and are given numerous opportunities to be team leaders. Students in the PhD program will gain competence in the methods of scientific inquiry by conducting and communicating original research for their theses. Through exposure to industry issues and applied problems, the students will become adept in the translation of discoveries in science and engineering into beneficial products and processes.
Program Schedule and Format
Students complete the MBS program in two years; completion of the PhD portion of the program is anticipated to require an additional three years of full-time study, with the possibility for extension depending on the particular research project. Students will be encouraged to enter the PhD portion in June following graduation from the MBS program.
Selection of Thesis Research Advisor(s) and Mentoring Team: To foster interdisciplinary research, the student may have one or more research advisors. One advisor must be a KGI faculty member; additional advisors may be from collaborating institutions. At the beginning of the PhD program, each student will select a mentoring team consisting of the primary research advisor, additional research advisor(s) (optional), an academic advisor not involved in the student’s research efforts, and an external advisor from industry. The research advisor(s) will supervise the student’s thesis work. The academic advisor will guide the student in matters of professional development. These dual advisory roles will keep the students’ career development potentials relatively independent of immediate interests of the research supervisors. The external advisor will be a link to the bioscience industry.
Coursework: With the exception of the current topics colloquium series, all formal course requirements will be fulfilled through the MBS curriculum. During the MBS portion of the program, students gain an interdisciplinary foundation in the three scientific core areas at KGI as well as knowledge and appreciation of the business, management and ethical issues encountered in the applied life sciences. Industry relevance is conveyed through the summer internship and the Team Masters Project. In certain cases, a research advisor in consultation with the mentoring team may recommend additional coursework beyond completion of the MBS program. Occasionally, with applied projects, students may be involved in additional Team Masters Projects during their PhD years.