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Interview Materials

We are pleased to invite you to interview with Van Andel Institute Graduate School. The following materials are designed to help you understand our strengths, our unique Ph.D. program in molecular and cell biology, and the outstanding and collaborative scientific environment at VAI.

Though we will conduct interviews virtually, we hope these materials highlight the exciting opportunities and dynamic learning environment at the Graduate School. We also have included resources to help you learn more about Grand Rapids, Michigan, the wonderful city we call home.

Van Andel Institute Graduate School Resources

Van Andel Institute Graduate School’s Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology is a research-intensive, interdisciplinary program that prepares students for successful careers as independent investigators. Students receive in-depth training in the latest techniques across fields and disease areas, including epigenetics, genetics, cancer, neuroscience, metabolism, immunology, structural biology, bone biology and more.

All Van Andel Institute Graduate School students follow a similar curriculum schedule, with most courses being completed during the student’s first and second years. Years three through five are heavily focused on the student’s dissertation work as well as professional development.

Year 1 Curriculum 5-Year Curriculum Core Competencies Problem-based Learning



Advantages of Our Program

  • Rigorous, research-intensive and problem-based learning
  • Grant-writing training beginning in the first year of study
  • Exceptional scientific environment
  • Access to state-of-the-art Core Technologies and Services
  • Relocation allowance
  • Starting annual stipend of $36,000
  • Health, dental and vision insurance
  • $2,000/year for travel to scientific conferences
  • Laptop of your choice

About Grand Rapids

Why Grand Rapids? Simply put, because it’s the best. But don’t take our word for it — US News and World Report named Grand Rapids no. 19 on its “100 Best Places to Live in the US” for its “healthy job market, affordable housing, and outdoor recreational activities” and Vogue Magazine listed Grand Rapids as one of the top places to buy a home in 2018 (see a full list of Grand Rapids rankings, here). Whether you’re in search of a beach, a craft brew, unique cuisine or the world’s biggest art competition, Grand Rapids and West Michigan have something for everyone.

Living in Grand Rapids Medical Mile The Economist on Grand Rapids ExperienceGR