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Program Highlights

Work Hard, Play Hard

The BGG Program offers numerous social activities throughout the year.  For example, there are program picnics with food and games, regular student social outings, and program retreats.  Our program strongly believes that there should be a good work/life balance for students, and we encourage students to explore hobbies and interests outside of academia. We also take pride in the collaborative relationships that exist between our students and faculty.

BGG Student Lounge

First Year BGG students have access to a reserved student lounge. Equipped with individual work spaces, refrigerator, coffee machine and text books, the lounge provides both quiet space and a dedicated space for group work.

Peer Mentorship Program

The BGG Program cares about supporting students as they complete their academic and scientific pursuits.  The Peer Mentorship Program in BGG pairs up senior students with first-year students to assist them in navigating course work, lab rotations, and research design.  Though all students have faculty mentors, the Peer Mentorship Program is designed to foster collaborative relationships between students and to widen first-year students’ circle of support at the University.

Student Directory

Graduate Student Society

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) is a student-run organization that advocates for graduate students to the University administration. The GSS serves as a liaison among graduate programs and sponsors academic and social events for the graduate student community.

Center for Professional Development

The CPD is a resource for all matters related to developing your career and to help you reach your goals.  Resources include a scientific writing coach and a career coach to help you with writing a resume, job search strategies, writing grants, preparing for your qualifying exam, writing your thesis, networking and job interviews.  

Writing Specialist

Elaine Smolock received her PhD in Pharmacology and Physiology from Drexel University College of Medicine. She then joined Dr. Brad Berk’s lab in the Cardiovascular Research Institute for a 3-year postdoc and was one of the founding members of our Postdoctoral Association. She returned to Dr. Berk’s lab in 2011 as a Research Assistant Professor and has now joined the Center for Professional Development's team. Elaine has been awarded pre and postdoctoral fellowships from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association and has authored multiple scientific publications.

Career Coach

Eric Vaughn received his Master’s Degree in Education in College Student Affairs from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.  He has worked within the career services area for over 10 years including Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Florida; Doane College in Crete, Nebraska; Wells College in Aurora, New York; and the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center in Rochester, New York.  Eric also is a member of the Rochester Area Career Development Association (RACDA) and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. 

Center for Professional Development Writing Services Career Services 


University of Rochester Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (URBEST) is  unique, NIH funded program that supports innovative approaches to broaden graduate and postdoctoral training, including internship possibilities and professional networking.  


Science Communications Opportunities

In an increasingly collaborative world the ability to successfully communicate ideas is key to success. “Science Communication for Diverse Audiences” (IND 426) is a unique course that offers a hands-on approach to improve science communication skills with both scientific and non-scientific audiences. 

Living in Rochester

The city is home to the country's premier Supermarket (Wegmans), many popular sports teams (Red Wings baseballAmerks hockeyRhinos soccer), art (The Memorial Art Gallery) and music (Eastman School of Music, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Annual Jazz Festival), as well as professional local and national programs on stage (GEVA Theatre).

Rochester is located an hour away from 2 “natural wonders of the world”…Niagara Falls  and Letchworth State Park (the Grand Canyon of the East). The region’s spring and summer are beautiful, with the summer months kicked off with the annual Lilac Festival and subsequently dominated by a variety of festivals almost every weekend. The fall is also picturesque, drawing travelers to the region from across the country for the turning of the leaves. The winters are snowy, and are great for skiing, ice skating, and other such activities.

Living in Rochester