VI4 Education Programs

The Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation (VI4) is deeply committed to the development of our next generation of scientists. We we strive to provide a collaborative, interactive research environment where transformative science is achieved. 


The Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation (VI4) Germs, Defenses, & Diseases (GDD) Research Program provides two research training opportunities:   

  1. One opportunity is part-time that that runs through the school year. This is a great opportunity for sophomores, juniors and seniors attending Vanderbilt or a college/university in the Nashville area.   
  2. The other opportunity is full-time and runs during the summer months. This opportunity is available to all rising sophomores, juniors and seniors.    


The objectives of the GDD Undergraduate Research Program are three-fold:

  • To provide substantive research experience to undergraduate students in areas of infection, immunology and inflammatory diseases, and pathophysiology
  • To provide opportunities to learn critical thinking through review of the literature and presentations of research papers
  • To prepare students for careers is biomedical science research and education 


  • Sophomores, juniors and seniors or rising sophomores, juniors and seniors
  • GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Must have taken college biology, chemistry and/or biochemistry
  • Letter of recommendation from a biology or chemistry course director/instructor
  • US citizens, permanent residents and international students will be considered

Additional Information  

Recruitment to the research opportunity during the school year is through faculty nominations. Nominations are solicited from the VI4 research faculty by the program coordinator in September/October of each year. Students are welcome to contact Sebastian Joyce, directly by email, regarding nominations and participation in the program. In some cases, financial support may be available through a work study program. Most students use this opportunity to earn research credits as part of their undergraduate degree program. Financial support is not provided for research leading to course credits. To learn more about this research opportunity, contact Sebastian Joyce.

Recruitment to the summer research opportunity is through applications to the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy (VSSA). VI4 will support one or two Research Scholarships for the summer program, each up to $5,000.00 for the entire period to cover living expenses. This summer program starts at the beginning of June and runs for the next 9—10 consecutive weeks. The summer program has two components: laboratory research and seminars. The seminar series is organized by the VSSA. Questions regarding eligibility and applications can be directed to Questions regarding VI4 research Scholarship can be directed to the program coordinator.

Online application deadline for the summer program is February 1st of each year; click here to start the application through the VSSA.

Check out our 2018 Progress Report

Questions? Contact the VI4 Germs, Defenses, & Diseases Program Coordinator, Dr. Sebastian Joyce.

The Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease (CBID)Training Program is meant to attract and prepare young researchers to address the growing threats associated with infectious disease. The program is fundamentally grounded in research and trainees are educated in key foundational concepts and tools. CBID trainees will have a summer internship experience at a major pharmaceutical company that is actively engaged in antimicrobial drug discovery.

Funding Opportunity Description

Two of the primary goals of the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, & Inflammation (VI4) are:

  1. To organize the community of scientists at Vanderbilt and Meharry that study various aspects of infection biology, immunology and inflammatory diseases.
  2. To provide increased opportunities for interactions among VI4 Faculty.

Mini-­sabbatical fellowships are meant to achieve both of these goals by fostering collaborative training opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows within the laboratories of Institute Faculty. These fellowships seek to provide funds that will allow trainees to expand their technical expertise and enhance their research projects through short-­term training experiences in the laboratory of another VI4 Faculty. The hope is that these fellowships will expand the technical capabilities of the community while facilitating collaborative research among VI4 Faculty.

Two types of fellowships are expected:

  1. INTERNAL FELLOWSHIPS to permit trainees to work in the laboratory of another VI4 Faculty.
  2. EXTERNAL FELLOWSHIPS to permit trainees to work in a laboratory outside of Vanderbilt, and are meant to support the acquisition and subsequently to disseminate new expertise, scientific tools or approaches within Vanderbilt.

Number of Fellowships, Funds, & Budget

  1. Each INTERNAL FELLOWSHIP in 2018 will be for $4,000.00. THREE-­to-­FIVE awards are anticipated in 2018.
  2. No budget is required fo r INTERNAL FELLOWSHIPS as the expectation is that the allocated funds will be used to support the proposed training experience.
  3. The budget for EXTERNAL FELLOWSHIPS are flexible based on need. Requests for EXTERNAL FELLOWSHIPS should include a reasonable itemized budget and a justification.


All participating faculty must be members of the VI4.

Application Materials

  1. One paragraph description of the proposed training opportunity and how it will enhance the trainee’s current research project (think big!). The introduction of new technological and experimental approaches to the research project as a consequence of the mini-­sabbatica must be clearly stated.
  2. Those seeking support for EXTERNAL FELLOWSHIPS should provide an additional paragraph describing the necessity to leave Vanderbilt to acquire the new technology and a plan to disseminate it to other interested VI4 laboratory or laboratories.
  3. Short letter from each of the two participating faculty members confirming willingness to support the proposed training.

Send Inquiries and Submissions to Sebastian Joyce in a single collated PDF by email:

VI4 Seminar Series



Virtual VI4 Seminar with Dan Barouch, M.D., Ph.D. on June 16th on Zoom! See the VI4 newsletter for webinar info.


Check out the VI4 Newsletter for webinar information!