Direct Track Application

All IDEAS Direct Track applicants apply for admission to IDEAS and the Ecology PhD Program at the same time. Please follow the Graduate Program Process (Odum School of Ecology), making note of these additional, IDEAS-specific steps:


IDEAS is designed to provide doctoral students with four essential skills:

  • A strong conceptual foundation in infectious diseases spanning sub-cellular to biosphere scales
  • Advanced technical and modeling skills providing an analytical toolbox for moving fluidly across scales
  • Diverse professional development opportunities and communication training
  • A global perspective on infectious disease issues

Academic and Professional Requirements

Students must maintain a B average in all coursework and satisfactorily progress through the IDEAS program requirements:

  • A three-course series in the area of infectious diseases (ECOL 6150, ECOL 8510, and ECOL 8530)
  • At least two graduate-level journal clubs
  • Participating in IDEAS-sponsored computational workshops and science communication workshops
  • Completing a semester (or summer)-long internship
  • Incorporating an interdisciplinary perspective into the dissertation research

Criteria for Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated based on the admissions guidelines set by the Odum School of Ecology. For admission to IDEAS, the following criteria will also be taken into consideration:

  • Incorporation of two or more scales of biological organization (e.g. molecular, cellular, organismal, population) into proposed research
  • Alignment of research goals with the program goals (e.g. desire for advanced quantitative training, integration of empirical/quantitative/cross scale approaches, interest in gaining experience across job sectors)
  • Student’s background and fit for the program

Application Materials

Application DUE DATE: December 1, 2019.

Application Instructions:

Please submit the following materials to be considered for admission:

[Required for Ecology application, step 1]

Compose a brief research statement (one page, single-spaced) describing your graduate educational and research goals. This statement should identify your general area(s) of interest, articulate the fundamental concepts that underlie those interests, outline potential research problems, and specify your career objectives. Include in your research statement your purpose for pursuing a graduate degree. Your statement should be well-organized and concise, demonstrating your ability to articulate important problems in your discipline.

IMPORTANT: You should prominently list your potential mentors at the end of your statement.

[This is an additional requirement for your IDEAS application.]

Discuss your motivation for applying to the IDEAS program. The essay should describe how your background has prepared you for IDEAS training and how the program aligns with your future research and career goals. Please limit your response to no more than 500 words.

IMPORTANT: Both essays (Statement of Purpose and Supplemental Essay) should be included as a single document, which is to be uploaded onto page four (4) of the UGA graduate application.

IMPORTANT: Electronic requests for letters of support do NOT go out to your designated recommenders until AFTER you submit your UGA graduate school application in its entirety.

Since all materials are due to the IDEAS program by December 1st, it is critical that you complete your application in a timely fashion (i.e., well before December 1) so that your recommenders have a reasonable amount of time to compose a letter of support on your behalf by the stipulated deadline. They will receive a link to access a secure page where they can submit your recommendation via the Web.

Additional Instructions:

  • Please combine your Statement of Purpose and Supplemental Essay into a single PDF which is to be uploaded onto page four (4) of the UGA graduate application).
  • During Step 1 of the Ecology admissions process, identify at least two (2) faculty with whom you might be interested in doing your graduate research. You should consider mentors whose research is centered at different biological scales of organization. Information on potential IDEAS faculty mentors (and their relevant research scales) can be found here.  Please name these potential mentors at the end of your Statement of Purpose.
  • While filling out the online UGA graduate application, select IDEAS as your “Specialization Option” under the Major: Ecology (as on the screen shot below).
illustration: "Any Questions?" on chalkboard

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