TILT:  Training in Interdisciplinary Laboratory Techniques


 bullet point Full-time CSU students majoring in biology, chemistry or physics who would like to participate in TILT in the Summer of 2019 are invited to apply during the Spring 2019 semester. Please apply using the current TILT APPLICATION FORM.  Submit it to the RISE administrative staff listed at the bottom of the form.

bullet point What is TILT?

A nine week summer workshop (M – F, 9 AM – 5 PM) that introduces undergraduates to how to undertake biomedical research. The focus of the program is hands-on training in interdisciplinary biomedical laboratory techniques emphasizing advanced instrumentation.  Click here to look at a sample schedule of TILT activities.

bullet point What is the main objective of TILT?

TILT is part of a federal government-sponsored initiative to increase the number of minority students pursuing doctoral degrees in biomedical disciplines. 

bullet point What are the TILT activities

check markTraining Projects : These are research-based projects in which several students work with a scientist on a defined, biomedically-related problem. Each student completes two training projects in the program. For each project, a hypothesis is made and tested for a particular research area. Students work independently and as a member of the group to design experimental approaches, perform experiments, analyze data, and present findings.

check mark Laboratory Technique Workshops: Faculty experts coordinate and facilitate workshops related to the Training Projects. Workshops allow students to become comfortable with research instruments and techniques. Students learn how to follow an experimental protocol, troubleshoot problems, operate equipment, and prepare reagents. Workshops will include:

  • Extraction and isolation techniques of natural products
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Isolation of DNA from cells
  • Handling rodents
  • Microscopy techniques
  • Growing cells in culture
  • Protein analysis
  • Organic synthesis
  • UV/VIS spectrophotometry and fluorometry
  • Research ethics and responsible conduct of research.
  • For recent TILT faculty and workshop topics, click  here


check mark Skills Workshops : Sessions in which students develop skills required of every science professional, including biomedical researchers. Development of these skills is essential for a full appreciation of careers in biomedical research. These workshops include:

  • How to find information.
  • How to critically read a scientific report.
  • Using computer applications to facilitate analysis of research data.
  • Scientific Storytelling: Preparing a written research report.
  • Using PowerPoint to prepare a cohesive oral presentation.
  • Laboratory etiquette: How to navigate in research.

check mark Special Activities : Each week, we will have special “developmental” activities in the program. These will include group discussions about the goals and objectives of the program, assessment of workshops and activities that have taken place, visits by former CSU students who have chosen careers in biomedical research, and activities suggested by student participants.

bullet point What will TILT provide for me, the student participant?

  • Students are remunerated at a rate of $10.00 per hour. (Note: The pay is subject to taxes and social security deductions).
  • An opportunity to learn laboratory skills which will enhance employment opportunities.
  • The chance to develop skills in scientific writing, data analysis, and speaking, all of which will benefit academic development.
  • Valuable insight into a career in biomedical research: Is this a viable career choice for me?
  • The opportunity to gain experience in techniques and equipment that is far beyond the scope of the average undergraduate experience.

bullet point What will TILT ask of me, the student participant?

  • Regular and timely attendance at TILT sessions
  • Time management skills that result in the prompt completion of assignments
  • A willingness to contribute to group activities
  • Communication of concerns to TILT faculty
  • An honest day’s effort for a day’s pay
  • Honest consideration of continuing your education beyond the baccalaureate level and a career in biomedical research (at the PhD level)

bullet point How do I apply for the TILT Summer Project?

Normally participation in the TILT Summer Project is by recommendation from a faculty member of the Departments of Biology or Chemistry and Physics or RISE administrators Drs Potluri or Sherman. But you are also welcome to download and submit the completed  TILT APPLICATION FORM to either of the RISE Administrators or directly to the TILT PI, Dr Erhart.

bullet pointMinimum participation qualifications

Participation in TILT and the RISE program is open to registered CSU undergraduates who (i) are majoring in one of the STEM disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics or mathematics), (ii) are a US citizen or possess an immigrant visa, (iii) have a minimum GPA of 3.00, and (iv) have an interest in a career in biomedical research.


Dr Mark Erhart

Dr. Mark Erhart,

TILT Workshop Coordinator
Room SCI-282
Phone: 773-995-2432
e-mail: maerhart@csu.edu

2016 TILT group picture
 2016 TILT workshop students

2015 TILT students
2015 TILT workshop students

2014 TILT group

2014 TILT workshop students

2013 TILT students

2013 TILT workshop students

 TILT 2012 group picture

2012 TILT workshop students

TILT student group, summer 2011

2011 TILT workshop students 

TILT 2010 student picture

2010 TILT workshop students


The TILT research skills 9-week summer workshop is a part of the Chicago State University RISE Program funded by the NIH/NIGMS grant R25 GM059218.

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Page updated 03/27/17