Applications from Undergraduates in STEM Due April 28 for ToxMSDT, a Year-Long Mentoring and Training Program

By Wilson Rumbeiha posted 04-20-2023 16:09


By Wilson Rumbeiha and Jodi Flaws

Mentees tour Pam Lein’s lab at UC Davis.

Do you know highly engaged undergraduates from groups underrepresented in the sciences at your institution or in your networks? Encourage them to apply for the Toxicology Mentoring and Skills Development Training Program (ToxMSDT), a predominantly virtual year-long mentoring and skills development training in toxicology. We are currently recruiting students in STEM fields for the 2023–2024 academic year. Applications are available, and the due date of April 28 is fast approaching.

The goal of this National Institutes of Health (NIH)–funded program is to attract diverse undergraduate students from around the United States to pursue careers in toxicology and other areas relevant to the NIH. Toxicology is a wonderful profession which offers diverse career opportunities, especially to those with graduate degrees. The program, managed at the University of California Davis, has partners across the country, including SOT.

  • “I think you should apply. I’ve had an awesome time”
  • “I liked how enthusiastic everyone is … kind and supportive”
  • “You are given tons of resources. …They focus on career building and networking.”

These are only a few testimonials from some of our previous mentees.

Mentees visit mentor host site.

Participation in the program scaffolds future career activities. ToxMSDT graduates have successfully placed in highly competitive toxicology graduate training programs.

The program is unique because it pairs students with mentors on a 1:1 basis for the year, thus developing significant mentoring relationships. The pair meets remotely and monthly throughout the year. In-Person activities include attendance at the program’s inaugural workshop held at the University of California Davis in the fall, a visit to the mentor worksite, participation in the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in the spring, and the celebration of program successes at the capstone event at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Travel costs are supported by ToxMSDT.

During the year, mentees review online learning modules and case studies to gain a foundation in toxicology, which is immensely beneficial to students interviewing for graduate school. The beauty of the program is that it supplements the regular academic pursuits of the ToxMSDT students. The program will run from September 5, 2023, to May 31, 2024.

2023 students participated in the
2023 SOT Annual Meeting.

Eligibility Requirements

  • STEM major
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • At least a second-year undergraduate student when the program begins
  • Completion of at least one semester of general biology and general chemistry
  • Enrolled in an accredited undergraduate institution at the time of application, with continuing enrollment for the next academic year concurrent with the ToxMSDT program
  • Member of a group underserved in the biomedical sciences (see NIH notice).
  • US citizen or US permanent resident

Inquiries can be directed to Wilson Rumbeiha.

Please send the link to this blog or the online flyer to students who might be candidates for this transformational experience. Together, we can introduce students to toxicology and enhance the diversity of our profession.