University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Minnesota Obesity Center

Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training (MnOPT)

The MnOPT program at the University of Minnesota is dedicated to providing innovative interdisciplinary training for the next generation of biologic, behavioral, and clinical obesity prevention scientists.

The Fellowship Experience

The program offers training for up to four predoctoral fellows who may be accepted in one of several University of Minnesota PhD programs, as well as up to four postdoctoral fellows with MD, PhD, or equivalent degrees. The positions offer up to a 4-5 year appointment for predoctoral training or a 2-3 year appointment for postdoctoral training with a flexible start date, tuition benefits, a competitive stipend, and support for scientific meeting travel and other training experiences.    

Trainees will engage in research that focuses on the biology of obesity, clinical research on human obesity, and applied studies of treatment and prevention in community settings. Central to the MnOPT mission is having a strong mentoring environment for trainees organized around three training tracks: basic sciences, clinical studies, and epidemiology/behavioral research. There will also be active efforts to facilitate transdisciplinary training between the three areas in order to broaden trainees’ disciplinary horizons.

Trainees will receive interdisciplinary training through a required two-semester course sequence and regular seminars. They will participate actively in research. They will be mentored in communicating study findings in written publication formats and in oral presentations, grantsmanship, research ethics, and career development.

Training goals are accomplished by matching trainees with faculty mentors who guide trainees in the development of the technical expertise and skills they will need to be successful, independent researchers. There are 35 potential faculty mentors in the program. 

Application Process

If interested, an application should be submitted electronically as a single doc or pdf file to:

MnOPT Application (.doc)

Robert W. Jeffery, Ph.D.
Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training Program
Division of Epidemiology & Community Health
University of Minnesota School of Public Health
1300 South 2nd Street, Suite 300
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454-1015

Phone: (612) 626-8580
Fax: (612) 624-0315

**An electronic copy should be sent to the Program Coordinator, Kerrin Brelje

Training slots for May 2010 have been filled. Please visit for future calls for applications.

The Minnesota Obesity Training Program is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH Grant 1T32DK083250–01A1).

The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access and opportunity to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status or sexual orientation. In adherence to this policy, MnOPT advocates the use of recruiting and search processes to enhance participation of racial minorities, women, persons with a disability, and Vietnam era veterans in the training program.