UCSF Cell Design Institute MS Scholarship

The goal of the UCSF/SFSU Cell Design Institute program is to train MS students to enter research careers in cell biology and cell engineering, in collaboration with the UCSF department of Pharmacology and the Wendell Lim labthe Hana El-Samad lab, and the Kole Roybal lab.

The CDI program will train students primarily through the Masters of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology, however, qualified MS students majoring in Microbiology and Physiology may qualify as well.

Program Description

The UCSF/SFSU Cell Design Institute program will provide a comprehensive slate of lab and lecture courses, thesis research internships, professional mentoring, and community service opportunities to ensure that our students possess not only scientific and technical proficiency but also a thorough grasp of the ethical implications of the technology and the ability to communicate effectively with a general as well as a scientific audience. 

The research internships will provide students with training in state-of-the-art facilities in the laboratories at the forefront of cell engineering research. Students completing this program will gain knowledge and the experience necessary to work to successfully enter PhD degree programs or the biotechnology workforce. Our graduates from this master’s program will be fully prepared to contribute to the growth of a vibrant cell engineering and biotechnology industry that is fully reflective of the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in our state.   

Program Highlights

  • 2-year Master of Science program in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Integrated program of academic course work in cell biology, ethics, and science writing
  • Two-week cell engineering lab training workshop at UCSF
  • 21 to 24-month master’s thesis research project in cell biology at UCSF
  • Mentoring from research faculty, academic faculty, graduate students and peers
  • Research activities include lab meetings, journal clubs, retreats, and opportunities to attend and present research at national meetings
  • $21,000 stipend + In-state Tuition per year of the program for 2-years contingent on successful research progress and completion of academic course work


All applications require the following:

  • Apply to SF State University, if you have not already done so. Find CSU/University application information HERE
  • The application deadline was 3/15/21. For more information about our fellowships, you can submit an Applicant Profile throughout the year: HERE

You can upload the following items with the SEO online application or email them directly to seo@sfsu.edu:

  • Statement of Purpose describing your educational goals, career goals and interest in science. Also describe how participation in the SEO programs will benefit your future goals. 
  • Copy of your unofficial transcripts 
  • Two letters of recommendation emailed directly to seo@sfsu.edu.

We strongly encourage you to apply on-line, however if you are unable to do so please contact the SEO Office for an alternate, paper application packet.