Indiana Genomics Research Training Program for Data Scientists

The Indiana Genomics Research Training Program for Data Scientists (INGEN4DS) prepares a diverse cohort of master’s degree students in data science to enter the genomics workforce or pursue a doctoral degree in the genomics field. Support for this program is provided by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health (R25HG012325).

Limited funding is available for up to eight qualified applicants each year. INGEN4DS scholars are provided with up to nine tuition credit hours and a stipend ($19,200 in 2023–2024). They also receive travel funds towards attendance at a scientific conference. 

Application requirements

  • Applicant must be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Applicant must be enrolled and in good standing at one of the Indiana University data science-related master’s degree programs at IUPUI (applied data science, biostatistics, computer information science, computational data science, math-applied statistics, mathematics, electrical and computer engineering) or IU-Bloomington (data science, statistical science). 
  • Students enrolled in a bioinformatics program are NOT eligible for this genomics training program.
  • Program benefits
    • Hands-on practical training in analyzing large-scale genomics data sets using advanced data science methods and state-of-the-art computing resources.
    • Coaching and individualized advising from INGEN4DS faculty and staff.
    • Co-mentor teams consisting of one faculty member conducting genomics-related wet-lab research and one computational faculty member using advanced data science techniques.
    • Professional development seminars that expand knowledge of the genomics workforce.
    • Networking opportunities.
    • Presentation and publication opportunities.
  • What scholars can expect to gain from INGEN4DS
    • Real-world training in genomics and highly sought-after job skills.
    • Valuable career development skills.
    • Effective communication skills necessary for working on interdisciplinary genomics workforce teams.
    • Appreciation for career and/or research opportunities in genomics.
  • Dates and work schedule

    The year-long program begins the first week of June. INGEN4DS scholars are expected to commit 40 hours per week, Monday–Friday, during the summer months and 15 hours per week during the fall and spring academic semesters.

    In addition to genomics research, each INGEN4DS scholar is expected to participate in weekly seminars and journal clubs.

  • Funding

    The stipend for 2023–2024 is $19,200. The stipend is not a salary.

    In addition to the stipend, INGEN4DS scholars will receive up to nine credit hours of tuition remission towards genomics-related coursework (does not include university fees, books, or related purchases). INGEN4DS scholars will also receive $1,000 towards research expenses and $1,000 towards travel to a national scientific conference.

  • Application Timeline

    INGEN4DS program application opens.

    Applications are due by mid-February.

    Applications are reviewed and selected.

    Acceptance letters will be provided by mid-April.

    Deadline for students to accept INGEN4DS program offers is May 1.

  • Program Timeline

    June–August (40 hours per week)

    Orientation will occur the first week of June. Social activities will provide opportunities for the INGEN4DS scholars to get to know one another, program personnel, and potential faculty mentors. A poster session will allow the mentors to showcase current projects in their laboratory and help INGEN4DS scholars in selecting laboratory rotations. Additionally, scholars will complete required training in laboratory safety, responsible conduct of research, and workshops on ethics for genomic research.

    INGEN4DS scholars will tour the IU School of Medicine Center for Medical Genomics (CMG), one of the largest genomics sequencing facilities in the Midwest. INGEN4DS scholars will also tour the IU Information and Technology Services (UITS) Computational Facility, which contains world-class supercomputers and data storage systems.

    Short course
    INGEN4DS scholars will enroll in a new course, Introduction to Genomics for Data Scientists (two credit hours). 

    Laboratory research rotations
    Rotations begin the second week of June. INGEN4DS scholars will complete three laboratory rotations, spending three weeks in each lab. Each rotation will be overseen by a faculty co-mentor team of a computational biologist (dry lab) and a bench scientist (wet lab) whose research lab generates large genomics or multiomics data. Depending on the research project, the rotation can be conducted in either the computational or biology laboratory.

    Professional development activities
    Scholars will develop individualized academic and professional development plans in consultation with INGEN4DS faculty and staff. 

    September–May (15 hours per week)

    Research projects
    Following completion of the lab rotations, INGEN4DS scholars, in consultation with their master’s degree program and potential laboratory mentors, choose a co-mentor team. Each scholar will have at least one research project with the potential of leading to a publishable research paper. Scholars will participate in weekly laboratory meetings and will present their ongoing research results. 

    Genomics-related coursework
    Based on the INGEN4DS scholar’s individualized development plan, academic support and additional coursework (three credit hours per semester) will be recommended by the faculty mentors to improve the scholar’s knowledge in the genomics field.

    Genomics data science journal club
    INGEN4DS scholars will attend a weekly journal club and will present a scientific article once a month. 

    Research presentations
    Each INGEN4DS scholar will present their research results at a regional or national computational biology conference. Travel funds will be provided.

    Professional development activities
    INGEN4DS scholars will participate in a weekly genomics and health data science seminar series featuring invited speakers from academia, industry, and health care institutions. Each speaker will introduce the role of genomic data science in their work and will host a Q&A session related to their career path.

    INGEN4DS scholars will receive feedback on a monthly basis regarding their progress toward the goals laid out in their individual development plan. Mid-program evaluations will be held with scholars at the end of October and April. Scholars will present their research progress and discuss their career goals.