Joining the lab...

Potential members of the lab are expected to have training in quantitative sciences as well as biological sciences, and to be interested in research in biology and genetics that incorporates molecular, statistical, and computational approaches. For an idea of the projects undertaken in the lab, take a look at our publications and descriptions of current research. Are you interested in joining the lab? Below are some tips for how to apply and the kinds of opportunities we have available.

Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellows

We are always interested in hearing from potential postdoctoral and clinical researchers. If you are interested in the projects in the lab or if you have some ideas you think might be fun to work on together, let us know. At the very least, it would be fun to bat some ideas around. The trick here is to find funding - not an easy thing these days. Lab-based funding is sometimes available, but those who are eligible for internal and/or external fellowships (see below) are strongly encouraged to apply to those programs. Interested candidates should write to Trevor Pemberton with a CV, research statement, and contact information for three references. International candidates who are from countries where the primary language is not English - regardless of the language of their instruction - should have a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 100 (on 120.0 scale) - equivalent to a TOEFL CBT of 250 (on 300.0 scale), a TOEFL PBT of 600 (out of 677) with a writing score of 5.0, or an IELTS score of 7.5 (on 9.0 scale).

Federal funding opportunities (Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada only):

Canadian Institute of Health Research Fellowship

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowships

Provincial funding opportunities (Canadian and international candidates accepted):

Research Manitoba Postdoctoral Fellowships

Research Manitoba Clinical Fellowships

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Graduate Students

PhD and Masters students in the lab have typically completed a rigorous undergraduate degree in bioinformatics, computer science, or other quantitative sciences; or in biology with a significant quantitative emphasis. Our goal is to train graduate students to become independent, high quality scientists. Thus, while we encourage collaboration with other lab members and the PI, graduate students are expected to develop their own independent research project. The research options are many and broad; we simply look for a project that falls somewhere under the umbrella of our laboratory's research foci.

Due to the large number of applications we are receiving, we will only consider prospective students who have a GPA of at least 4.0 on the Canadian 4.5 scale - equivalent to a US GPA of 3.7 (on 4.0 scale), a CGPA of 8.5 (on 10.0 scale), or a UK second class (upper division) - and have no grade less than B+ in any biochemistry, genetics, or life science course deemed relevant to the proposed course of study. International students who are from countries where the primary language is not English - regardless of the language of their instruction - also require a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 100 (on 120.0 scale) - equivalent to a TOEFL CBT of 250 (on 300.0 scale), a TOEFL PBT of 600 (out of 677) with a writing score of 5.0, or an IELTS score of 7.5 (on 9.0 scale). In addition, prospective students should become familiar with the department's admission requirements that provide specific details about entry into the different programs offered. Please make sure you meet all these criteria before contacting us.

Independent research experience is desired but not essential; however, diving into a graduate research program without any independent research experience is risky...so we encourage you to search out meaningful experiences and tell us about them when you apply. Lab-based funding for graduate study is very limited; those who are eligible for internal and/or external fellowships (see below) are strongly encouraged to apply to those programs at the same time as you are applying for graduate study. If you do not receive a fellowship, this does not preclude acceptance to the lab; however, applying for these funds is a good indicator of your commitment to joining the laboratory and a genuine interest in scientific research.

A good starting point for applying to this lab is to send an email with your CV and transcripts — and where appropriate your TOEFL/IELTS certificate — attached to Trevor Pemberton introducing yourself, your previous research experience, and why training in this particular laboratory is important for your career. Note that we expect this all to be written in your own words! Do not use a professional writing service or simply copy and paste some very common sentences that are written in sample cover letters on the Internet, such as "I found your research area very close to my interests" or "I searched your website and publications and I found my interests exactly matched with yours". These are meaningless to us and will have a negative impact on your application. Most of the people who use these services and sentences haven't even looked at our website or read a single one of our publications! We prefer you to write sincerely, and with your own style of writing, even if it might have some spelling and grammatical errors. We will contact you only if we decide to proceed further with your application; regrettably, we are not able to reply to every inquiry, and those that do not contain all of the information requested above will not be considered. Please also note that we do not accept students without an oral interview (either in person or via a video conferencing service such as Skype).

Federal funding opportunities (Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada only):

Tri-Agency Canada Master’s Scholarships

NSERC Doctoral Scholarships

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Provincial funding opportunities (Canadian and international candidates accepted):

Manitoba Graduate Scholarship

Research Manitoba Graduate Studentships

Internal funding opportunities (Canadian and international candidates accepted):

University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship

University of Manitoba MD/PhD Program

Supplemental Scholarship Awards:

University of Manitoba International Graduate Student Scholarship

Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation of Canada Graduate Scholarship for Canadian Women [female students only]

Undergraduate Students

We are always interested in hearing from undergraduates who have an interest in human disease and/or population genetics and would like to undertake either their undergraduate honors project or a research internship in the lab. The best way to get in touch with us is through an introductory email to Trevor Pemberton telling us a little bit about yourself and why an experience in this particular laboratory is important for your interests and training, and we'll take it from there. You don't need to have had any experience in a laboratory - we look for motivation, curiosity, commitment and a basic appreciation for the fact that this is a professional research laboratory designed to train future scientists and develop publishable work. Similarly, while having a working knowledge of university-level human genetics would be greatly beneficial it is not essential to begin with. You would, however, need to become familiar with the basic concepts as part of any research project. We will let you know if positions are available, and if there are, schedule a time to meet. In the meantime, you should check out our research page to get a better idea of some of the projects we're currently working on. Also, potential volunteers should check out some of the opportunities for undergraduate research awards (see below).

While honors students will follow a prescribed timetable for completing their project, all volunteers need to commit to either a full summer (approximately 16 weeks) or a full academic years' worth of time in the lab. During the school year, we expect you to work AT LEAST 15 hours per week. During the summer, you are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week and preferably full time. You will have your own project, with the goal of teaching you to be researcher. This means reading the primary literature and being responsible for your project. Our lab is best if you are planning to continue into graduate school.

Federal funding opportunities (Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada only):

NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award

CIHR Undergraduate Summer Student Health Research Award (Computational Biology)

Internal funding opportunities (Canadian and international candidates accepted):

University of Manitoba Undergraduate Summer Research Award

University of Manitoba Med II Summer Research Program [medical students only]

High School Students

There are opportunities for motivated high school students with interest in the sciences and exposure to medical and/or population genetics to participate in our research projects and get a taste of life as a scientist. Our primary criterion for evaluating high school applicants is evidence of a high degree of motivation. Good ways to demonstrate your motivation are to explain in your application what excites you about science, and what about our research in particular makes you interested in this lab. Interested students should write to or email Trevor Pemberton as long as they can commit to working full-time for a minimum of 8 weeks during the summer on a project related to the lab's theme. Students will be required to present their accomplishments at a lab meeting at the end of their tenure in the lab — and should their findings warrant it, have the opportunity to join in the publication of their findings in a prestigious journal.