Funding Opportunities

Current Assistantship Opportunities
Recruiting new graduate mBiome cohort researching microbiomes in all contexts!

The Penn State Microbiome Center is recruiting Ph.D. and M.S. fellows to a unique cohort (mBiome) to start Fall 2020, focused on microbiome research across the university. Through activities associated with the Microbiome Center, the mBiome Fellows will engage in interdisciplinary research discussions and trainings. The goal of the trainings will be to increase technical skills in microbiome research and professional development to spur students to create the graduate programs and careers they desire.

For additional information contact the faculty listed with the positions below or the Director of the Microbiome Center.

Select an opportunity below to display details

Summary
The Davenport Lab is seeking Ph.D. students to start in either the 2020 or 2021 academic year interested in investigating the relationship between humans and our microbiomes using a genomic perspective. Projects available include both evolutionary and medical questions. Our lab uses a mix of wet-lab and computational techniques. Please see the research and openings descriptions on the lab website or contact Emily for more information.

Contact
Emily Davenport

Summary
Plants recruit and nurture a diverse community of microbes — the microbiome. In natural and man-made ecosystems, root-associated microbiomes considerably expand the plant’s genomic and metabolic capabilities, providing essential life-support functions such as nutrient acquisition, modulation of immune responses and (a)biotic stress tolerance. The overall aim of this project is to investigate the effects of plant genotype on root microbiome assembly and function, with a specific focus on microbial functions enhancing plant tolerance to drought. The student will have the possibility to use various tools, including molecular biology, bioinformatics, statistical and simulation modeling, and laboratory experiments. The overall goal is to better understand the impact of drought on plant microbiomes and harness the potential of specific microbial functions that help the plant to cope with such stress in natural and agricultural settings.

Contact
Francisco Dini Andreote

Summary
The Barbercheck Lab is seeking one Master’s student to start in the 2020 or 2021 academic year. The student will examine the effects of biotic and abiotic stress in mediating endophytic colonization by the fungal insect pathogen, M. robertsii in field, greenhouse, and laboratory-based studies. The student’s project can focus on the prevalence of endophytic colonization of corn grown from non-inoculated and M. robertsii-inoculated seed in on-going organic cropping systems experiments; the relative ability of M. robertsii to establish colonization in corn by seed and soil inoculation under non-competitive and competitive conditions in greenhouse tests; the effects of drought and soil saturation on recruitment and establishment of endophytic M. robertsii by corn, and on plant growth and defense gene expression; or the effects of the interaction of abiotic stress and biotic stress from the black cutworm.

Contact
Dr. Mary Barbercheck

Summary
The Couradeau Laboratory is seeking one Ph.D. student to work toward degrees in Ecology, Bioinformatics and Genomics, Biogeochemistry, or related graduate program at Penn State University with an emphasis on soil microbial ecology and soil microbiomes. Our lab uses interdisciplinary approaches to probe the active fraction of soil microbiomes and understand their contribution to soils emergent properties. In collaboration with the P.I., the student will develop a project using various tools from molecular biology, microbiology, omics and advanced imagery.

Contact
Dr. Estelle Couradeau