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
  • Scientific 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?

ABRCMS 2017 in Phoenix, AZ

ABRCMS 2017 in Phoenix, AZ

Bridges Scholars Steven Murdy, Victoria Popov, and Jeff Shaul are attending the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Phoenix, AZ, with Bridges Faculty Dr. Jess Cuculick, Dr. Peter Hauser, Dr. PJ Simpson-Haidaris, and Program...

Bridges Scholar and Faculty attend HARC 2017

Bridges Scholar and Faculty attend HARC 2017

Dr. Jess Cuculick, co-director of NCCL Deaf Health Lab and Bridges Professional Development Director, and Dr. Mike McKee, NCCL collaborator, gave great presentations on deaf individuals’ health literacy at the International Conference on Communication in...

Bridges Alum Lorne Involved in Field Research

Bridges Alum Lorne Involved in Field Research

"This experience of doing qualitative data collection in Tinian, Saipan, and Palau was filled with many inspiring and amazing stories. I used to think that being deaf would have many barriers, that I'd never have this opportunity of having the access to local natives'...