Concordia University


Canada's first training program for Synthetic Biology

Supported by the NSERC-CREATE program

Synthetic Biology Applications (SynBioApps)

Training program

The nascent field of Synthetic Biology is growing at an astounding pace, and Concordia is a leading institution in developing this expertise in Canada. To further enrich the education of students interested in Biological Engineering, we present SynBioApps: Canada’s first Collaborative Research and Training Experience (NSERC-CREATE) program focused on Synthetic Biology and its real-world applications.

Participating researchers bring a range of expertise including computer modeling, organism and protein design tools, DNA and RNA construction methods, and bioinformatics. Facilities include Canada's first functional Genomics Foundry, and research laboratories across three academic institutions.

Multidisciplinary opportunity

To cultivate tomorrow’s leading synthetic biologists, participating students will be immersed both academic and industrial synthetic biology applications.

Students will learn how to design and construct cells and proteins for the development of new products related to human health, green technologies, and fundamental biological investigations. As well as methods of DNA construction and data gathering using the latest in automated equipment, bioinformatics tools will be applied to understand the use of computational modeling and design in synthetic biology.

In addition, students will get cross-disciplinary training and internship opportunities through industry and government partners as well as Concordia’s District 3 Innovation Center to explore commercially viable opportunities in their field of research.

Through training in theory, lab techniques, ethics, entrepreneurship and communications, this program will foster the next generation of highly qualified synthetic biology professionals, and promote opportunities for women in the field.

Program goals

  1. Synthetic biology knowledge base
  2. Capacity for scientific research & problem solving
  3. Design skills for both product & process
  4. Advanced automation tools for genome building and editing
  5. Structural & functional genomics data analysis
  6. Computational simulation & use of design tools
  7. Capacity for independent & team-based projects
  8. Oral communications & technical writing capability
  9. Innovation, entrepreneurship and other business skills
  10. Knowledge of legal & ethical issues, and social & environmental awareness


The first cohort of this program will begin in September, 2018. For more information, please see details about the program's announcement in NOW News or contact Orly Weinberg at

While this program is primarily for graduate students, there is also funding available for undergraduates who will also be encouraged to participate in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM).

Application details

Students can get more information about doing graduate work at Concordia University, and the minimum admission requirements for MSc and PhD applicants. While SynBioApps offers training and fellowships, students must also be admitted to their academic department of choice (as listed above). Opportunities exist for students to participate in training while studying at partner institutions as well.

Scholarship support is available for graduate studies in the area of synthetic biology for highly qualified individuals applying to the program. Application for SynBioApps fellowships should be submitted no later than January 15, 2019 for students commencing their studies in the autumn of 2019. Interested applicants should have a minimum GPA equivalent to 3.4/4, and should submit:

  1. A brief letter of intent (1-2 pages) showing clear comprehension of the field, and goals for future work or participation in the field of Synthetic Biology and related applications
  2. A current CV
  3. A copy of transcripts
  4. The names and contact information for two references

Application documents can be sent to This opportunity is open to Canadian and foreign students, and women are encouraged to apply. Application to SynBioApps is meant for the designation of fellowships and participation in the training program; students should note that acceptance into the university also requires you to apply formally via an academic department. While application to SynBioApps does not guarantee acceptance at the university, being accepted into the program with an awarded fellowship will positively impact on your academic application.

If you have any questions or would like more information about how to apply, please send a message to

Follow @SynBioAppsCU on Twitter

Industry & government

Internships at the following organisations offer practical experiences:

mara renewables









The following institutions will also contribute to the training element of this program:

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