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School of Medicine & Dentistry / Academic Affairs / SMDFC (School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council)

School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council

School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council (SMDFC) Officers, 2023 - 2024

 Naveen Mysore, Ph.D., M.D.Naveen Mysore, Ph.D., M.D., SMDFC Chair

Annette Sessions, M.D.Annette Sessions, M.D., SMDFC Associate Chair

Calvin Cole, Ph.D. Calvin Cole, Ph.D., SMDFC Secretary

Adam Simning Adam Simning, M.D., Ph.D., Past SMDFC Chair

The School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council (SMDFC) (formerly the Medical Faculty Council, MFC) has long provided a forum for faculty discussion and communication with School leadership. With an eye toward improving faculty's communication and connectedness to School governance (in part as a response to the AAMC Faculty Forward survey), MFC members drafted a revised charter for the approval of our School faculty, which was approved in July 2013.

Q: Why do we need a School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council (SMDFC)?

A: A vital, active SMDFC is an important mechanism for discussion and expression of faculty views, and for improving communication between our faculty members and School leadership. Items from School leaders for information or discussion can be brought to faculty in our Departments and Centers directly by their SMDFC representatives, rather than solely through department chairs and center directors. Faculty concerns also can be brought directly to School leaders in the Dean’s Office by the SMDFC.

Q: How did the SMDFC revise the charter?

A: The revised charter includes the following main changes:

  • Making it clear that the SMDFC works closely with the Dean’s Office, particularly with the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will coordinate SMDFC meeting agendas with the SMDFC officers to ensure that the desired communication and alignment of efforts take place.
  • Allowing more flexibility in how each department selects its representative, while providing for alternate representatives and accountability for engagement so that all faculty members have active representation in the SMDFC’s work.
  • Changing the SMDFC officers’ structure to provide more continuity of this leadership group across the years.
  • Making it clearer that, while the SMDFC retains the right to call special faculty meetings independent of the Dean’s Office, this is to be done only under special circumstances after consultation with the University President.
  • Allowing SMDFC electronic voting for time-sensitive issues requiring SMDFC approval.

Q: What are some of the accomplishments of SMDFC?


  • Invited speakers to inform SMDFC members on a variety of topics.
  • Participated in the process related to the Dean's reappointment.
  • Provided a competitive travel award twice per year (2 Clinical, 2 Basic Science per year).
  • Provided input to the revised promotion/tenure criteria adopted in 2014.
  • Composed the required elements of the annual faculty review adopted in 2015.

The Charter and By-Laws describe the purpose, officers, representatives, and functions of the Medical Faculty Council.

School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council Charter & By Laws

CV Materials:

Here is the link to the CV Template and CV samples: Faculty Regulations page

The following is the membership list for the School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council. Also below is the same list with photos of members.
SMDFC Membership List
SMDFC Membership List with Photos

The following is an updated listing of all SMDFC members with a new field showing when each representative's term ends. While our new Charter gives each rep a 3-year term, we decided that for these initial SMDFC appointments we would arbitrarily assign the rep terms to be either 1, 2, or 3 years. That way, as of 2015 every rep will have a 3-year term but staggered, so only 1/3 of the SMDFC turns over in any given year. Therefore, one-third of the current reps have terms that end this July. Such reps are certainly welcome to let their Chair know if they want to be considered to re-up for a new 3-year term. (The Charter allows reps to serve up to 2 consecutive terms on the SMDFC.)

SMDFC Member List Dept. End of Term

RFA SMDFC Travel Award

School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Student/Trainee Travel Awards 2024 Request for Applications (RFA)

The School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council wishes to announce travel awards to support University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry (URSMD) medical student, graduate student, post-doctoral trainee, clinical resident, and clinical fellow presentations at meetings of national organizations. Two travel reimbursement awards of up to $1,000 will be given this funding cycle (one for clinical research and one for basic sciences research). This award is best suited to advanced students for whom conference attendance can be expected to have the largest career impact. The most competitive applications will thus be from presenting authors (either poster or platform presentations) who are in mid to late stages of their education experience, as opposed to early students and middle authors.

Eligible applications for the current cycle are for travel between March 1, 2024 and August 31, 2024 

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2024, at 6 p.m.

The purpose of this award is to assist students and trainees in the URSMD to attend important national or international meetings at which they will present their research and make professional connections. We hope this will assist mentors with limited funds to promote their trainees’ professional success. We also intend for this award to serve as a means of recognizing outstanding research on the awardee’s CV. Funds may be used for registration and travel costs to national or international meetings. This award may be given in the form of reimbursement for a meeting where an applicant has already presented their research, or for anticipated meeting travel for presentation (reimbursement provided after travel). Applications will be accepted for:

  1. Submitted abstracts that have not yet been accepted to the specified meeting within the above specified dates
  2. Abstracts that have been accepted to the specified meeting within the above specified dates
  3. Abstracts that have been accepted and already presented at the specified meeting within the above specified dates

Note: The next RFA will be released in April of  2024 for travel between March 1, 2024 and August 31, 2024. Please look for the formal request for applications in the Spring.

Instructions to Applicants

Submission components: Applications for this travel award should be submitted as a single PDF containing the following components:

Cover sheet (see below)

Conference submission

  • Copy of the abstract (unedited) submitted to the meeting.
  • If the abstract has already been accepted for presentation at the meeting, please include a copy of its acceptance containing the indication of the type of presentation (e.g., poster or oral).
  • If you are submitting more than one abstract for the same meeting, please limit your application to describe no more than two. Both must be presented by the applicant. The work in both abstracts must be connected to the applicant’s main research area, so that it may be described appropriately within the personal statement.

Personal statement (limit to 1 page)

  • The Personal Statement should briefly describe the science to be presented in straightforward language intended for reviewers who do not have expertise in the field. The applicant should also address the importance of attending the meeting to the applicant’s career and the steps the trainee will take to help develop her/his career through attendance.

Applicant’s current CV

Recommendation Letter from the Applicant’s Mentor

Submission Details:

  • Applications that are not in the requested PDF format will not be processed.
  • Please include the attached cover sheet, fully completed, as it contains information that is important for processing your application.
  • The distinction between submitting the application for "clinical science" or "basic science" should be determined primarily by the type of study and not the type of meeting to be attended. If an investigator is uncertain if the project should best be judged as a “clinical” or “basic science” application, please forward the abstract to the SMDFC Associate Chair (Dr. Annette Sessions), who will make a recommendation.
  • Please combine all application materials into a single PDF with formatted title: “SMDFCTravelAward-applicant’s last name-Basic/Clinical”. (If applicant’s name is Jane Doe applying for Basic Science award, the title of the PDF would be: “MFCTravelAward-Doe-Basic”.
  • Please deliver PDF by email to JoEllen Gilfus in the Office of Academic Affairs at: Please use the PDF title as the subject line of the email.

Instructions to Mentors

The applicant’s mentor should provide a letter of support for the application in which the following are addressed:

  • Promise shown by the applicant for growth and contribution in her/his discipline
  • The significance of the meeting where the work has been submitted
  • The potential for this experience to advance the trainee’s career
  • The quality of the work that will be presented
  • Form Letters offering support for multiple students are strongly discouraged. 

Selection Process:

Applications will be scored by three independent reviewers, and an average will be used. Scoring will consider the specific evidence from materials presented by the applicant and the mentor in the following areas:

  • Trainee’s experience and/or commitment towards scholarly work
  • Significance of the meeting
  • Potential for this meeting to advance the trainee’s career
  • Quality of science

Notification of awards will occur approximately 3-4 weeks after application deadline.

Other Terms:

This award specifically funds travel to meetings at which the applicant will be presenting his/her/their work. Therefore, if the chosen award recipient is an applicant who submitted a “not-yet-accepted abstract” for this award, and the abstract is ultimately not accepted to the meeting, the applicant will forfeit the award.  The travel award will then go to the next highest ranking abstract in its category (clinical or basic research).

We request that the applicant notify the SMDFC Associate Chair if other travel funds have been awarded for the same abstract and meeting during the review of this grant, so that their application may be withdrawn.

For questions, please contact:

Annette Sessions, M.D.
SMDFC, Associate Chair
(585) 275-2838

Cover Sheet:

School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Council Travel Award
Application submission cover page

Applicant name:

Intramural Box #:

(Note: Notification letters will be mailed via intramural mail.)


Mentor name:

Should this work be considered for a clinical or basic science travel award (check one)?

  • Basic Science
  • Clinical Science

Application cycle (check one):

  • Fall, for travel between September 1, 2023 and February 29, 2024 (Deadline December 15, 2023)
  • Spring, for travel between March 1, 2024 and August 31, 2024 (Deadline May 31, 2024)

Meeting and dates (must fall within the specified travel dates above):

Components in addition to this cover sheet:

  • Abstract as submitted, with acceptance notice (if applicable)
  • Applicant CV
  • Personal statement (one page)
  • Mentor letter of support