About BTP

What is the Biotechnology Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison?

NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences logoThe NIGMS-funded Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison provides foundational training for a diverse group of pre-doctoral students engaged in cutting-edge research across the interface of the biological, physical, and engineering sciences.  BTP fosters an environment that welcomes all scientists. The program and its trainers believe diversity of all kinds — such as underrepresented groups, those with disabilities, and scientific diversity — enhances educational, personal, and scientific outcomes. Having started in 1989, the program is one of the oldest and largest in the United States.

Students who are applying to BTP’s participating graduate programs and are interested in the research group of a BTP trainer are eligible to be nominated for the program. Students in BTP receive funding for their stipend and tuition but also have all student fees (called segregated fees at UW­–Madison) covered by the program. If you are interested in BTP, feel free to read about the Program Outcomes. BTP trainees must be studying in the lab of one of the many faculty trainers. For information on how to become part of the program, look to the Nomination page.

What is biotechnology?

Biotechnology is the broad use of biological systems to create a technical product or process. It is vital to growth and innovation in the United States and across the globe. Since 1989, a group of multi-disciplinary faculty ranging from across campus have served as trainers for a diverse group of student trainees taking advantage of the opportunities BTP offers. Alumni of BTP go on to successful careers in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, entrepreneurship, and academic research — serving as postdoctoral fellows, university professors, and government or industry scientists, and more.

What will I do in BTP?

BTP consists of four major components that enhance the Ph.D. dissertation program and career prospects: 1) development of a cross-disciplinary minor; 2) BTP seminars and coursework to enhance understanding of the biotechnology industry; 3) responsible conduct of research seminars with students from across campus; and 4) industrial internships and other opportunities to interact with industry scientists; and much more.

What are the benefits of BTP?

Trainees get to market themselves as being part of a prestigious NIH training grant. BTP provides a unique training experience at UW–Madison by bringing trainees and faculty together from four schools and colleges. Our focus on cross-disciplinary research and the importance of an internship for the effective training of scientists and engineers distinguishes us from other training programs on campus.

Our goal is to have all BTP trainees complete our program requirements, publish leading research in the discipline of their choosing, graduate with a Ph.D. degree, and then go on to successful careers in industry, government, academia, law, or other areas.

UW–Madison’s resources, coupled with those of the BTP program, make it an ideal place to perform important research. For example, the university has been in the top 10 in national research spending every year since 1972 and is sixth in patents among U.S. universities (2016). Start your journey with UW–Madison and BTP.