Welcome to the realm of possibility.

Are you Deaf or hard of hearing? Do you want to become a scientist?  With the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate Program, getting a doctorate degree is now more possible than ever.

Program Intro

Deaf scientists are already out there, however…

While the number of deaf scientists is increasing, there is a still a shortage, as deaf scientists are underrepresented in the behavioral or biomedical sciences. The University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology have partnered together and established the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate Program to address this gap.  With funding from the National Institutes of Health, our program aims to train and prepare eligible students while they are in one of the approved master’s degree programs at RIT.  Our program aims to increase the readiness of eligible Deaf and Hard of Hearing students who plan to apply to a doctoral level program in a behavioral or biomedical science discipline.

Doctoral Preparation

  • RIT Master’s degree in a science discipline
  • Three or more Doctoral-level courses
  • Multiple graduate research rotations

Degree Programs

Navigational Guidance

  • Personalized career development plan
  • Science and academic mentors
  • Deaf graduate and doctoral peer mentors

Meet the Team

Financial Support

  • Tuition paid- 90% first year, 72% second year
  • Conference travel funds
  • Two-years of paid research assistantships


Apply Today to Make Your Science Doctorate a Reality

Each year we will select three students who are beginning their Master’s degree, or are in a BS/MS program, at RIT.  As a Bridges Scholar, you will receive focused training to better prepare for entrance into your chosen
doctoral program, gain laboratory experience, and have the opportunity to present at
professional, discipline-based conferences.


Who Are We?

The Bridges team is comprised of world-renowned researchers – each with their own labs – many who have experience working with Deaf people.  As a Bridges Scholar, you will have the opportunity to garner scientific experience within these labs. The team will collaborate with you on your quest to emerge as a Deaf scientist.

Meet the Team

What’s Happening?

Busy Weekend for Deaf Scientists/Researchers

Busy Weekend for Deaf Scientists/Researchers

June 9-11 was the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) conference hosted at RIT/NTID which brought together over 300 deaf and hard of hearing professionals and interpreters to campus to network and share new and relevant information with others.  With the conclusion of AMPHL on Sunday, many of the attendees headed on over to the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) for the 1st Rochester Summer Research Training Institute that ran June 11-13, hosted at the URMC.  This was an additional opportunity for deaf and hard of hearing professionals to network and learn various aspects of pursuing a research career.  Among the presenters were Dr. Carol Padden and Dr. Caroline Solomon, trailblazers in their...

Bridges Scholars at ACTS 2017

Bridges Scholars Sara Blick and Steven Murdy attended the Association for Clinical & Translational Science 2017 Conference in Washington, D.C., April 19-21.  Each presented a poster about their current research projects and did an excellent job!  Sara presented on “The Role of Platelet Factor 4 (PF-4) in B Cell Differentiation”, under the mentorship of Dr. Craig Morrell.  Steven presented on “Opportunities and Challenges for Precision Medicine and Biomarkers: Regulatory Science Case Study”, under the mentorship of Dr. Scott Steele. Image Description:  Sara and Steven standing next to their respective posters:  Sara to the left and Steven to the...