Connaught Summer Institute on Synthetic Biology


The Impact Centre at the University of Toronto is convening
our third annual Summer Institute on Synthetic Biology.

Understand how to relate your discoveries to societal challenges

The general consensus is that the technologies enabled by synthetic biology will have tremendous impact on the lives of Canadians and communities around the world. But realizing this potential depends on our ability to train the next generation of researchers to work in this area and to translate this knowledge into societal benefits.

Learn about the latest developments in synthetic biology

Synthetic biology is highly interdisciplinary and calls for expertise ranging from engineering control theory to fundamental molecular biology. Communication and a cross-disciplinary perspective are crucial. Biologists need to understand enough engineering or biochemical dynamics to understand what a colleague needs to measure to resolve their question about response rates, while mathematicians and theorists need to appreciate the vast complexity of biological systems enough to understand the limits of simplification and abstraction.

Broaden your skills and get trained in essential research techniques

This five-day workshop will bring together the best and brightest Canadian and international graduate students, postdocs, and academics from the various areas that underpin synthetic biology to foster rich discussion about the central questions in the field. The objective is to break down silos and get everybody to learn how to communicate across disciplines.

Sponsored by University of Toronto’s Connaught Fund

The summer institute is sponsored by University of Toronto’s Connaught Fund. This is the largest internal university research funding program in Canada, with over $124 million awarded to U of T scholars since its creation in 1972. The fund supports emerging and established scholars in conducting transformative research to help meet societal challenges.

June 6 - 10, 2016

Apply now

We would like to invite Canadian and international graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and academics working in synthetic biology.

We strongly encourage applicants from a range of disciplines. Regardless of whether you are a pure theorist or pure experimentalist, this workshop will have something for you. Our goal is to broaden the backgrounds of researchers with a strong grounding in one field underlying synthetic biology but who would benefit from learning the fundamentals of another.


Key Dates

April 30           Application deadline
May 20            Notification to applicants
May 31            Program announcement
June 6 – 10      Summer Institute
June 13 -17     Techno (optional)

Participants who arrive to the workshop serious about commercializing their synthetic biology work can apply to attend the Impact Centre’s flagship entrepreneurship training program (Techno) after the Summer Institute.

Contact for more information and application forms. Potential Techno candidates will be asked to go through an interview process done separately from the application to the Summer Institute. Please note that the admission to the summer workshop does not guarantee admission to Techno.