Program Details


Our Values


We are committed to building an inclusive and equitable training and research environment that supports a diverse cohort of trainees, faculty, and partners. We strongly encourage and welcome applications from candidates representing all forms of diversity.

We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O’odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.

Innovative Ecosystem Genomics MS/ PhD Curriculum


NRT trainees major in one of the core graduate programs, with mentorship or co-mentorship by NRT faculty, completing discipline-specific courses on a normal schedule that encompass foundations in both ecosystem and genomic sciences, the two pillars of the BRIDGE. Where appropriate, trainees will fulfill their major requirements via courses taught by NRT faculty and affiliates while completing an Ecosystem Genomics minor (PhD students, through a new Graduate Interdisciplinary Program) or certificate (MS students).

Trainees also enroll for two consecutive semesters in our weekly Ecosystem Genomics Seminar, which features special training sessions, invited speakers and in-class discussions.

Cultures of Science Training


Cultures of Science Training is based on the insight that truly transdisciplinary research is not just a technical challenge, but also one of bridging cultural differences among disciplines. The Cultures of Science research and training embraces science as a culturally infused practice with distinct and diverse ways of knowing. Each first year trainee will participate in workshops focusing on the special professional opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary research.

Teaching/Outreach Experiences


Every NRT trainee will have the opportunity to mentor an undergraduate or high school researcher for at least one semester or summer, with a focus on students from thriving minority-recruiting/ retention programs at UArizona and through local partners in Tucson. Trainees will gain professional skills by teaching in an undergraduate course relevant to their discipline and completing 20 hours of public engagement, with opportunities to serve as judges at local and regional science fairs and to present at UArizona public outreach events.

Team-based Research Internship Experience


Research training will be fostered through ‘ecosystem genomics’ opportunities in settings such as UArizona or national labs, startup or established companies, crop research institutes in the U.S. or the Philippines, or experimental facilities such as the Ecotron in France or Biosphere2 at UArizona. NRT trainees will assemble into teams to develop their research project ideas into proposals over the course of the first year, present these for feedback at the annual Convergence Institute (see below), and then implement the research at the site. We aim for research teams to publish their results as co-first authored work in a process that develops their team-based skills to address the challenges of interdisciplinary work.

Professional Training and Development


NRT trainees will receive training in professional leadership and communication at a half-day, engagement-style workshop led each year by university and partner leaders. NRT trainees will also participate twice per semester in active-learning, 2-hr seminars led by key NRT faculty.

Convergence Institute


Each summer, our NRT community comes together for a 3.5 day summit meeting that is equal parts science, training, inclusion, professional development, and science communication. Year one NRT trainees advance proposals and receive supportive feedback. Returning trainees present results from their team-based research experiences. Participants expand their skills in outreach, inclusion, and professional collaboration in a transdisciplinary setting. This is the flagship event of our program in which we grow and celebrate our diversity and scientific endeavors.