Welcome to the realm of possibility.

Are you Deaf or hard of hearing? 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.

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.

Streamlined Transition

You will be offered guidance on how to enroll in the University of Rochester doctorate programs, as well as opportunities for internships at U of R labs.

Degree Programs

Connect with Mentors

As a Bridges Scholar, you receive the support of your peers and Deaf and hard of hearing faculty. You’ll also learn strategies from others who have gone before you.

Meet the Team

Financial Support

The program covers some of the Scholars’ Masters’ tuition and offers funds for school supplies, conference travel, and paid research assistantships.


Apply Today to Make Your Science Doctorate a Reality

We will select three students each year to come to RIT for their Master’s degree. 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
science-related 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?

Bridges Scholars attend ABRCMS

Bridges Scholars attend ABRCMS

Bridges Scholars Sara Blick, Jessica Contreras, and Lorne Farovitch are attending the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Seattle, WA, November 11-14.  Accompanying them are Dr. PJ Simpson-Haidaris – Bridges Science Education Director, Dr. Scott Smith – Science Mentorship Director, and Dr. Jess Cuculick – Bridges Science Mentorship Leader.  This has been a valuable experience thus far:  the Scholars are learning tools to benefit them now and in their future careers as researchers, and having many opportunities to network and make new...