Synthetic Biology Education

EBRC is committed to improving education, training, and workforce development in engineering biology. This includes establishing engineering biology to be on par with other STEM fields and ensuring that the U.S. education system produces qualified engineering biology practitioners for roles in research, manufacturing, and throughout the scientific enterprise. The working group facilitates sharing and promotion of high-quality materials and resources for use at all levels, including masters degree and community college programs. Through various programs and dynamic industry engagement, EBRC aims to develop the engineering biology workforce and train the next generation of engineering biology industry and academic leaders.

Programs & Activities

  • Education & Outreach Activities

    Workshops, short-courses, classroom activities and hands-on training opportunities to share education and training tools in engineering biology.

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  • Industry Internship Program

    The Industry Internship Program is a four-month summer program, administered by EBRC, giving students valuable industry experience. Participating companies host one or more PhD-candidates on-site, providing the opportunity to introduce […]

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  • Mentorship


    The EBRC Student and Postdoc Association established this program to link students and postdocs with EBRC industry and government partners in an effort to provide a fertile research network and promote best practices for responsible innovation. Through this program, graduate students and postdocs are provided with valuable career support and professional guidance, especially those interested in careers outside of academia.

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Activities in Development

EBRC has a number of education-related activities in development by the Education Working Group. These activities and programs are currently in the information-gathering and organizational stages and we expect to roll them out soon. If you would like more information about these activities, or would like to contribute, please get in touch.

  • Curriculum Modules

    This initiative aims to build on existing resources to produce valuable teaching materials for course instructors and assistants. We are building up-to-date, agile and adaptable curriculum modules for teaching synthetic biology – including dynamic classwork, lab protocols, data analysis and homework, reading and recitation, and quiz and exam materials.

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  • EBRsee

    A multimedia-based promotion of science for the public, EBRsee is an initiative to produce short, animated or live action videos and podcasts on concepts in engineering biology to increase public awareness and engagement.

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  • K-12 Standards and Curriculum

    The Education Working Group aims to develop and update Kindergarten through High School education standards and curricula for the teaching of concepts of engineering/synthetic biology. The Working Group is currently investigating existing standards and building relationships with educators to advance this initiative.

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Featured Synthetic Biology Videos

View even more synthetic biology videos and podcasts on our Media Resources page.

  • Synthetic Biology In Space

    Synthetic biology might enable humans to live on another planet. Watch to learn about the capabilities we have and how we can engineer biology to survive and thrive in space.

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  • What is a Gene Drive?

    “Gene drives” are a hot topic in biotechnology…

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  • EauD’coli

    The 2006 MIT iGEM team makes normally stinky smelling bacteria smell like bananas and mint!

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  • Programming Living Bacteria

    A very accessible video overview of synbio, designed for the general public with engaging and clear animations.

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  • iGEM Style

    Arguably the video that popularized the tradition of iGEM song parodies.

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Working Group

The Education Working Group is responsible for coordinating educational resources, information, and activities among educators and practitioners in engineering biology-related fields. This group develops programs that support education at all levels and works with industry partners to understand workforce needs.

Chair: Javin Oza
Staff Director: Emily Aurand

Education News

  • November 6, 2020

    EBRC Industry Internship Program – student application portal is now open.

    Apply now to the Summer 2021 Industry Internship Program. Application deadline is December 4, 2020.

  • September 28, 2020

    Read EBRC’s response to the National Defense Education Program’s RFI

    Read EBRC’s response to the DoD’s Request for Information (RFI) on Biotechnology Education and Workforce Development. (August 2020)

  • August 19, 2020

    The Genetic Code Kit: An Open-Source Cell-Free Platform for Biochemical and Biotechnology Education

    Layne C. Williams, Nicole E. Gregorio, Byungcheol So, Wesley Y. Kao, Alan L. Kiste, Pratish A. Patel, Katharine R. Watts and Javin P. Oza. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

  • August 19, 2019

    Check out our new “Synthetic Biology Media Resources” page

    … and subscribe to EBRC’s YouTube channel to watch more than 170 videos about synthetic biology!

  • July 8, 2019

    Expanding access to engineering biology – STEM outreach in high schools

    EBRC SPA member Kathryn Brink authors a Nature Communities blog post about increasing engagement in STEM through outreach, providing a first-person perspective about bringing engineering biology to underserved communities.

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