The University of Georgia leads the charge in dynamic STEM education through its launch of a graduate research traineeship program (IDEAS). This novel program of study integrates various biological disciplines as related to infectious disease, quantitative training, and media communication. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to grasp the interconnection inherent to the different scales of biological organization.


Graduates can expect to move fluidly and confidently throughout the academic and professional sectors as our curriculum is structured upon the training of superior scientists apt at effectively addressing the complex challenges related to infectious disease dynamics in changing ever-changing environments.


IDEAS devised a PhD curriculum comprised of the four essential objectives for scientific research.


  • A strong conceptual foundation in infectious disease biology that spans the sub-cellular to biosphere scales
  • Advanced technical and modeling skills that provide an analytical toolbox for moving fluidly across scales
  • Transferable skills fostered through diverse professional development opportunities and communications training
  • A global perspective on infectious disease issues


These learning objectives are achieved through a unique blend of interdisciplinary curricular elements, participation in professional development activities, and through independent and collaborative research.


The University of Georgia is the ideal setting for transformative graduate training in infectious disease ecology. UGA has over 100 faculty working in the area of infectious diseases. These faculty, representing eight different schools and colleges, are members of a cross-campus umbrella group, the Faculty of Infectious Diseases, which promotes interdisciplinary and integrative disease research across campus.


Amidst this highly collaborative and dynamic atmosphere, the IDEAS program introduces a new model of student training that goes beyond all other pedagogical research methods found previously on campus.  This focused program, structured on integrated research and learning, serves as a fitting compliment to ongoing campus-wide efforts to enhance infectious disease training in addition or other interrelated graduate programs at UGA. These efforts include:



As such, we are committed to capitalizing on the partnerships between our program and these across campus to engage students from other disciplines in the training of new curricular and professional development activities provided through IDEAS.

IDEAS: From Byte to Benchtop to Biosphere