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The overall goal of this NRT program is to train scientists with an interdisciplinary background and conceptual framework to synthesize two divergent fields - plant science and computational/data science - and to integrate knowledge at multiple levels of biological organization. At the end of the program the trainees should be competent in the following areas:

1. Proficiency in core knowledge in plant & computational sciences

Trainees will obtain foundational knowledge in both biology and computation and apply strategies requiring their integration to resolve multi-scale problems through a three-course sequence, research forum, and symposia.

2. Expertise in interdisciplinary research in plant biology & computation

Trainees will have two mentors, one from biology and one from a computational discipline, to facilitate interdisciplinary research and communication. In program activities, biology and computation Trainees will be paired in collaborative teams that write proposals, design, and conduct research projects, and coordinate community-wide research forums and symposia.

3. Development of communication, leadership, & management skills

Trainees will gain verbal and written communication, leadership, and management skills for a wide range of audience, including colleagues, policymakers and the public through courses, forum, proposal development, internships, and outreach activities. 

4. Development of Trainees’ teaching skills

Trainees will serve as a teaching assistant for a minimum of one semester. Trainees will build a Teaching Portfolio documenting evidence of teaching including their overall experience, factors influencing their effectiveness, and how the courses they teach may benefit from infusing interdisciplinary contents/examples. 

5. Development of Trainees’ mentoring skills

Trainees will participate in a Graduate School workshop on effective mentoring, serve as mentors for junior trainees,  undergraduate researchers.