The COMBINE  program is meant to be undertaken alongside a PhD degree program in computer, mathematical, physical, or life sciences (see curriculum page for more information) by students who have completed at least one year of graduate study. Applicants must be current University of Maryland, College Park graduate students.

We are now accepting applications for COMBINE fellows. COMBINE fellows will play an important role in advancing UMD’s innovating graduate training in interdisciplinary science in the area of network biology.  We are counting on fellows to be engaged and help shape this new program. All individuals accepted into the program will be designated “COMBINE fellows,” whether or not they receive NSF stipend support.

NSF Stipends: Approximately six 12-month NSF stipends ($34,000 for the calendar year) will be offered to COMBINE fellows. To be eligible for an NSF stipend, an applicant must have at least 2 years remaining until they complete their PhD and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. We encourage students to apply to be COMBINE fellows even if they are not eligible to receive an NSF stipend.  NSF stipend recipients must agree to complete all the required COMBINE components (see curriculum), but they need not finish all components in the 12-month period during which they receive a stipend.

Opportunity: COMBINE fellows (including those who receive stipends and those who do not) will have access to and priority for COMBINE components, including COMBINE’s new advanced interdisciplinary coursework, travel funding for interdisciplinary conferences, career development resources, internship opportunities with partner participants, and cross-disciplinary mentoring. For many COMBINE fellows, network biology will be the primary focus of their dissertation. For others, it will serve to augment and enhance related investigations. We expect that network biology will be an important component in at least one chapter of each COMBINE fellow’s dissertation.

Applying to COMBINE for Fall 2017 (for current UMD PhD students): You can apply using the form found here. Read on for more details.

We are now accepting applications for COMBINE fellows for Fall 2017. Applications must be received by August 15, 2017 for full consideration. The application process is the same for those who are seeking an NSF stipend and those who are not, with a few exceptions noted below. If you are seeking an NSF stipend, you can request the start date of your funding to be anytime from January through August 2018 (earlier start dates may be possible under special circumstances). All new COMBINE fellows are expected to take the two main COMBINE courses in the 2017-2018 calendar year: CMSC828O (Network Analysis across Scales, Fall 2017), and PHYS798N (Data Practicum, Spring 2018) (see curriculum for more details). The Fall course is scheduled to meet TR 9:30am-10:45am. Applications to the COMBINE program require the following:

  1. A current CV
  2. A half to one page statement of your interest in the COMBINE program.
  3. A one to two page statement of  your research interests. This statement should cover both your prior research experience and your interests for future research.
  4. A UMD transcript (unofficial is okay).
  5. An undergraduate transcript (unofficial is okay).
  6. One or two letters of reference.

How to submit your application: You will submit items 1-5 by using the COMBINE Application form found here. For item 6, please ask you references to send their letters to with the subject “Reference letter for FirstName LastName”.

All application components, including letters of reference, must be received by August 15, 2017 (11:59pm ET) for full consideration. All applicants who submit by August 15, 2017, will receive a response by September 1, 2017.


Non-applying UMD PhD students and prospective UMD PhD students:  Typically, students join the COMBINE program on their second year of graduate studies or later. If you are interested in COMBINE but you are not eligible or ready to apply yet, please fill out the interest form found here. We will place you in our records and remind you of upcoming COMBINE events and deadlines.