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?

World of Wonder in Science seminar, February announcement

Be sure to join us for Dr. Jess Cuculick’s World of Wonder in Science seminar this February! It will be on Wednesday, February 15th from 9-10:30 AM in SDC-1310. Here is the description from the poster which can be found with a brief image description, below: Dr. Jess Cuculick, ’98, ’02 is an associate professor of the Department of Liberal Studies at the college of NTID. Dr. Cuculick coordinates the Applied Liberal Arts Associate degree program and is the Professional Development Director for the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate program (www.deafscientists.com) which is housed in the NTID’s Center on Cognition and Language (NCCL). She is also the co-director for the Deaf health literacy project. In the past, Dr. Cuculick has been involved with community-based participatory research (CBPR) with the National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) at the University of Rochester, such as breast feeding and cardiovascular health perspectives in the Deaf community. February 2017 Image description: Bridges logo, followed by event announcement. A picture of Dr. Cuculick is to the left of the above event description, followed by the title “Off the Beaten Path: Dr. Cuculick’s Academic Journey” and the date and location...

Jeff at PSB 2017

Check out Jeff’s trip to Hawai’i for PSB 2017!

University News covers Bridges

Bridges’ Program Director Dr. Peter Hauser and RIT/Bridges alumni Jessica Contreras and Lorne Farovitch were interviewed for RIT’s University News. Check out the article for a link to RIT’s University News story.