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Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences Student Handbook

Policies, Procedures, and Requirements 2020-2021

The full text of the handbook appears below. You may also download this handbook as a PDF.


Table of Contents

  1. Program Introduction
  2. Undergraduate Preparation
  3. Program Overview
    1. Advising
    2. Ph.D. Program Requirements
  4. Quarterly Course Load
  5. Optional Designated Emphasis Course Requirements
  6. Enrollment and Registration Procedures
    1. Enrollment
    2. Half-Time Status & Reduced Fees
    3. Registration
    4. Holds
  7. Filing Fee Status
  8. Evaluation Policies
  9. Grading Policy
  10. General Regulations Regarding Leave of Absence (LOA)
  11. Guidelines For Doctoral Committee and Dissertation Preparation
    1. Written Qualifying Examination
    2. Oral Qualifying Examination
    3. Doctoral Dissertation
  12. Duplication Of Higher Degrees
  13. Time Limits For Completing Doctoral Program Requirements
  14. The Master’s Degree
    1. The Thesis Plan
    2. Comprehensive Examination Plan
    3. Second Master’s Degrees
  15. Academic Disqualification and Appeal Of Disqualification
  16. Grievance Policies and Procedures
  17. Program Funding Commitment
  18. Employment Guidelines & Procedures
  19. Guidelines For Student-Faculty Relationships
  20. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  21. Campus Resource Centers and Website Resources


1. Introduction

Training the Next Generation of Biomedical Scientists

The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences is an interdisciplinary translational research program that incorporates a medical school curriculum with basic science training. The goal is to train independent research scientists, advocates and leaders with skills that allow them to bridge the wide gulfs that exist between clinical medicine and basic science research.

This Handbook serves as a general reference for degree requirements.  Please see the Graduate Program Website for additional details, forms and resources

Since March 2020, UCR has been under State and County COVID19 public health restrictions preventing normal operations. The Biomedical Sciences’ faculty and staff are available 24/7 to help and support students through these uncertain times.

Quick links to campus and School of Medicine Resources for reference of current COVID19 details.


2. Undergraduate Preparation

Applicants for both the doctoral and master’s degree should have completed an undergraduate degree in one of the physical or biological sciences prior to enrollment in the graduate program.  If the applicant does not have further postgraduate coursework, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or a minimum of a B grade equivalent (if GPA is not on a 4.0 scale) is required.  A minimum 3.0 GPA in a postgraduate master’s degree program meets the minimum GPA application requirement if the undergraduate degree was under 3.0.  However, meeting the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance into the program and a higher GPA may increase competitiveness. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general and subject tests are currently waived.

Courses required for admission for both doctoral and master’s degree candidates include one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and calculus and at least two years of biological sciences. Other preferred courses include biochemistry, physical chemistry and computer sciences. For doctoral degree candidates, preferred upper division courses in biology include vertebrate or human anatomy and physiology, embryology, genetics, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and neurosciences.


3. Program Overview

Advising

The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences is led by a Director, a Graduate Advisor of Enrolled Students, a Graduate Advisor of Recruitment and a Graduate Advisory Council (GAC). The Graduate program leadership and the students are supported by a full-time staff member, the Graduate Program Student Services Advisor. The Director of the Graduate Program serves as the program leader, the general liaison between the Division of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate Division and the Graduate Program Membership (Faculty and Graduate Students).

All entering graduate students meet with the Graduate Director, Graduate Advisors and the Program Student Services Advisor upon enrollment. Until students find placement in a thesis lab with a major professor, the Director and the Graduate Advisors serve as the initial guidance committee for the first-year students.  

The Graduate advisor of enrollment plays the primary role of advising incoming graduate students for lab rotations (BMSC261) and aiding student placement in a thesis/dissertation lab with a major professor.  The Graduate advisor is the primary ad hoc counsel for students in all years of the program complementing and supporting the efforts of the student and their guidance/dissertation committees.  If the Graduate Advisor of Enrolled Students is in conflict with a graduate student (example serves as the major professor of the graduate student), the Graduate Advisor of Recruitment and/or the Director of the Graduate Program can serve in this role. The Director of the Graduate Program leads the weekly interactive Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences (BMSC254: Biomed Pizza Friday) attended by all of the graduate students for their entire graduate career.  Once graduate students have identified a major professor, a guidance committee composed of the major professor who chairs the committee, and two additional graduate program faculty is established. Placement in a thesis lab with a major professor and formation of the guidance committee is expected by the end of the first academic year medical curriculum coursework.  

The guidance committee evaluates and fosters the student’s progress toward their degree.  Students are encouraged to meet with their committee members informally or formally throughout the academic year.  However, at minimum, each graduate student must meet with their guidance committee once a year for the annual review of academic progress evaluation (ARPE). For doctoral students, the guidance committee supports and evaluates preparation for advancement to candidacy.  A separate qualifying exam committee is formed to evaluate a written dissertation proposal and the oral exam of the proposal no later than the third year in the graduate program. The qualifying exam committee consists of 4 graduate program faculty and one non-graduate program faculty is nominated by the student in consultation with their major professor and appointed by UCR Graduate Division.  The major professor does not serve on the qualifying exam committee.  

For doctoral students, a dissertation committee replaces the guidance committee after the graduate student successfully completes the qualifying exam and advances to candidacy for the degree. The Dissertation committee is composed of the major professor who chairs the committee and at least two graduate program faculty members with appropriate subject expertise to evaluate and support the student’s completion of their proposed dissertation project. Normative time for completing and defending a doctoral thesis is 5 years.  Normative time for completing and defending a doctoral dissertation is 7 quarters. It is important to note that unexpected events such as Covid-19 can cause delays in students' progress. The guidance and dissertation committees are charged with monitoring and supporting students' wellness and academic needs.

Ph.D. Program Requirements

The aim of the graduate program in Biomedical Sciences is to train Ph.D. scientists in a specific area of research specialization who also have enough general knowledge in the basic medical sciences to apply their research expertise to unraveling the basis of disease. This approach includes understanding not only pathogenic manifestations of disease but also the normal physiologic state. In year one of the Ph.D. program, students participate in a very rigorous medical curriculum coupled with problem-based learning sessions designed to develop analytic research skills in the design and interpretation of experimental models of human pathophysiology. By year two, the primary focus of our students is their dissertation research. In second and third years, students can elect to pursue specialized optional coursework relevant to their dissertation research by enrolling in a specific designated emphasis. Normative time for completion of the program is five years.

First Year Requirements

Establishing California Residency: If you are a California nonresident student, you are advised to file a Petition for Residence Classification in order to avoid incurring the costs of nonresident tuition in the second year of the program and beyond. To be considered a California Resident for tuition purposes, a student must be physically present with intent to remain in California for one year prior to the residence determination date for the term you wish to be considered a resident. For more information, please visit the Registrar’s website on Residence for Tuition Purposes

In general, the first year of graduate work is designed to provide the student with breadth of knowledge in the field of biomedical sciences with a focused intensive coverage of principles of basic science and their importance in understanding disease covered in the Foundation of Medicine Series. In addition, the students are required to participate in lab rotations that help them get training in Methods in Biomedical Research and identify potential thesis labs. The students also attend Friday and Monday Seminar Series in Biomedical Sciences.

  1. Foundations of Medicine Series BMSC 229, 232, 233, 234 & 235: The foundation of the first-year biomedical graduate curriculum is a year-long series of courses drawn from our disease-based integrated medical school curriculum. This series brings together graduate students and medical students for shared instruction in human physiology, pathophysiology, histopathology, epidemiology and biostatistics. This amalgamation between our medical students and our graduate students is highly innovative and benefits both groups (units vary by quarter).
     
  2. Methods in Biomedical Research BMSC 261: Students in year one of the Biomedical Sciences program are required to participate in research rotations or research tutorials of either 10 week or 5-week duration.  The goals of BMSC261 are two-fold: (a) to identify a thesis lab and major professor to supervise research and (b) to introduce students to laboratory methods and experimental models at the forefront of translational research and familiarize students with faculty members and their research expertise.  While a thesis lab may be identified after only a single research experience, students are encouraged to complete at least two 5- or 10-week research rotations in at least two different labs and preferably in three different labs. Enrollment is required for all three quarters of the first year of graduate education.  (1 unit/quarter).
     
  3. General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC 252: Each quarter, seminar presentations from leading scientists focus on a specific disease-based research topic. In addition to the formal seminar, students participate and have the opportunity to host student-only lunch forums with invited speakers. Enrollment required each quarter (1 unit/quarter).
     
  4. Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC 254 (referred to as Biomed Pizza Friday): This weekly forum is led by the Graduate Director.  In the Fall Quarter, presentations and workshops focus on the conduct of research (including misconduct, best practices, and career progression options). In the Winter and Spring quarters, students, fellows and faculty present and critically discuss their ongoing research while gathering for pizza lunch. Students participate in all three quarters and present their ongoing research each year that they are in the graduate program. Enrollment required each quarter (1 unit/quarter).
Second Year Requirements

By the end of their first year, students have identified their Ph.D. thesis lab. As they begin their second year, students are required to complete a three three-quarter series BMSC 260 A, B, and C.  The BMSC260 series is progression that fosters student preparation for generation of a dissertation proposal and readiness for the qualifying exam (2 units/quarter).

  1. BMSC 260 A, B, C: Topics in Biomedical Research: The purpose of this series is twofold: 1) To help students unlock and integrate the material learned in the first-year curriculum into their formulation of their dissertation projects; 2) To develop skills in communicating with peers, reading scientific literature and incorporating peer review critiques into their experimental plans as well as their written, oral presentations. Specifically, in BMSC260A, graduate students work in small groups and interactive sessions with peers and faculty mentors to practice the process of critically reading and analyzing scientific literature, communicating peer discussions of literature evaluations and applying the information to their project. At the end of BMSC260A, the students have produced a working draft of a publishable review paper. Most of these drafts have served as the foundation for their qualifying exam and a few have been subsequently refined with their thesis mentors and published. In BMSC260B, faculty facilitators lead sessions that explore the theoretical and practical aspects of developing hypotheses, designing and interpreting past research, preliminary results and writing an NIH F31 style research proposal. In BMSC260C, the students submit the proposal for formal written and oral peer and faculty review. The graduate students experience research proposal review in a faculty led mock study section session. In the mock study section, faculty with NIH study section experience, provide NIH style critiques and act out real study section dynamics for the students. The students watch the review of their and their peers' proposals, while being referred to as NIH program officers taking notes on the study section discussion. These F31 proposals serve as the foundation for their written qualifying proposal.
     
  2. BMSC 252: General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences: Each quarter, seminar presentations from leading scientists (both internal and external invited) focus on a specific disease-based research topic. In addition to the formal seminar, students participate and have the opportunity to host student-only lunch forums with invited speakers. Enrollment required each quarter (1 unit/quarter).
     
  3. BMSC 254: Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences: In this forum, students, fellows and faculty meet to discuss issues in the conduct of research (fall quarter) and to present and critically discuss their ongoing research, all while gathering for pizza lunch. Students participate and present each year that they are in the graduate program. Enrollment required each quarter (1 unit/quarter).
     
  4. BSMC 297, 299 Research Requirements: Enrollment in individualized research courses is the formal mechanism for providing students, instructors, the department, and the University with the appropriate credit for time devoted to research. These courses include Individualized Study as well as regular research/lab meetings.
Third Year Requirements

The third year consists primarily of BMSC252, BMSC254 and other advanced seminars. A large part of the student's time should also be devoted to research, with greater specialization leading toward the development of a dissertation problem. Students typically complete major and optional designated emphasis area course requirements by the end of the third year.

Fourth and Fifth Year Requirements

During the fourth- and fifth-year students continue their research work in preparation for defending their dissertation. Students continue to participate in BMSC252 and BMSC254.  Normative time for completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. is the spring quarter of the fifth year.


4. Quarterly Course Load

  1. Each quarter, students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 units.
  2. Beginning in year two, students are required to enroll in a minimum of 8 units of research each quarter. These courses include:
    • BMSC 297 (Individual Studies: pre-qualifying exam research)
    • BMSC 299 (Dissertation Research- for students who are advanced to candidacy)
  3. Each quarter a student is registered, they must enroll in the BMSC 252 and BMSC 254 seminar series.

Sample Schedule For The First Two Years Of The Graduate Program

The schedule outlined below is typical, but individual interests, advisor recommendations, and course availability may lead to any number of variations in the second year.

First Year
Summer Term
BMSC229: Foundations in Translational Research
Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter
BMSC232: Cardiovascular, Renal, and Respiratory Sciences I BMSC233: Gastrointestinal, Endocrine, and Reproductive Health I

BMSC234: Musculoskeletal Medicine
BMSC235: Clinical Neurosciences I

BMSC261: Methods in Biomedical Research BMSC261: Methods in Biomedical Research BMSC261: Methods in Biomedical Research
BMSC252: General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC252: General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC252: General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences
BMS 254: Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC254: Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC254: Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences
Second Year
Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter
BMSC260A: Topics in Translational Biomedical Research BMSC260B: Topics in Translational Biomedical Research BMSC260C: Topics in Translational Biomedical Research
BMSC252: General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC252: General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC252: General Seminar in Biomedical Sciences
BMSC254: Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC254: Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences BMSC254: Graduate Seminar in Biomedical Sciences
8 units of research: BMSC297 or BMSC299 8 units of research (BMSC297 or BMSC299) 8 units of research (BMSC297 or BMSC299)


5. Optional Designated Emphasis Course Requirements

All graduate students admitted to Ph.D. programs may participate in a Designated Emphasis (D.E.), a specialization which should include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application related to two or more existing Ph.D. programs. Graduate students who have completed a Designated Emphasis may be more competitive candidates for positions in their primary disciplines. Courses used for the D.E. cannot be used towards a master’s or Ph.D. degree. The maximum time to D.E. that may be proposed is one calendar year from the quarter in which the candidate advances to candidacy and an overall GPA in the courses taken must be a 3.00. The Designated Emphasis is awarded in conjunction with the Ph.D. degree and is signified by a transcript designation. Application for a Designated Emphasis can be found at http://graduate.ucr.edu/pub_forms.html#DE.

Biomedical Sciences offers Designated Emphasis areas in Inflammation and Infectious Disease (IID), Gene Expression and Regulation Studies (GERS), and Cell Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN). For a complete list of course visit, https://biomed.ucr.edu/designated-emphasis.


6. Enrollment and Registration and Procedures

Enrollment

Each quarter, graduate students must pay their fees and enroll in courses by the date indicated in the Schedule of Classes (no later than the third week of classes).  Students are responsible for checking their study lists even if the Graduate Student Services Advisor has enrolled them electronically in courses. All graduate students are expected to carry a full academic course load unless good reasons exist for not doing so. Graduate students are considered to be full-time if they are carrying 12 graduate units. Graduate students may enroll in a maximum of 20 units per quarter. Special approval is necessary in order to exceed this unit limit.

Confirming Enrollment

In order to receive credit for academic work completed and to meet the full-time enrollment requirements for fellowship and academic appointments, it is important that every student verify that their course enrollment through R’Web has been successful as soon as possible and take action to correct enrollment errors and deficiencies during the first three weeks of classes. Students should examine any variable unit courses they might be taking. If the student failed to indicate the actual number of units, the unit value will default to 1.0 unit for the course.

Additionally, any students who were approved to enroll in courses on an S/NC basis should ascertain that their course enrollments accurately reflect this. Students enrolled in research units should make sure they are enrolled with the correct professor. Course enrollment numbers change every quarter.

Half-time Status & Reduced Fees

The regulations regarding a reduction in fees for attending half-time are set by the Office of the President. It is approved only for students who cannot attend full-time for reasons of occupation (full-time employment outside the university), unusual family responsibilities, or poor health. Students cannot enroll in more than six units and may not be advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. The application must be submitted to the Graduate Division two weeks before fees are due unless students want to pay their full fees first. If full fees are paid first, a refund will be processed. In no event may the student turn in a petition after the third week of the quarter. If the student enrolls in more than the allotted number of units they will be billed the amount that was earlier deducted from their fees (one-half of the tuition and one-half of the nonresident supplemental tuition, if applicable).

Students may apply for the entire academic year during the Fall quarter and must notify the Graduate Division if they terminate half-time status prior to the end of the academic year. Half-time students are not eligible for employment on campus or to hold University fellowships.  Prior to candidacy, half-time doctoral students will acquire time to the degree under the Normative Time to Degree Policy at one-half the rate of full-time students for those quarters during which they are approved for half-time study. After advancement to candidacy, all doctoral students will be considered full-time under the Normative Time Policy and for purposes of registering and enrolling. Thus, doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy are not eligible for half-time status. University financial aid is not available for students taking less than six units of course work. If approved for half-time status, eligibility for deferment of student loan repayment obligations may be in jeopardy. Students should consult the Student Business Office of the University where they incurred their debt for specific information.

For more details and links to forms for half-time status visit https://graduate.ucr.edu/regulations-and-procedures#halftime_status_and_reduced_fees.

Registration

Registration is a two-step process:

  1. Enrollment in courses
  2. Payment of fees

R’Web (https://rweb.ucr.edu/) is the campus web service for enrolling in course work, reviewing grades, checking financial aid, billing, degree progress, address changes, etc.

Adding/Dropping Courses

The Enrollment Adjustment process can be completed during open enrollment periods through R’Web and through petitions if after the stated deadlines. Holds must be cleared before attempting to enroll in any course. For information on current paperwork submission practices visit, https://graduate.ucr.edu/regulations-and-procedures#registration. The Student Services Advisor can assist you with completing and submitting this form to the Graduate Division for processing.

  1. Through the second week of classes students enroll in and drop courses via R’Web.
  2. During week 3, students must submit the Enrollment Adjustment Form to add or drop any course. A Late or Retroactive Enrollment Adjustment Petition is also required for adding a course. A processing fee applies.
  3. From week 4 and beyond, students must submit the Enrollment Adjustment Form and the Late or Retroactive Enrollment Adjustment Petition to add or drop a course. A processing fee applies.
  4. From week 7 and beyond, students must submit the Enrollment Adjustment Form and the Late or Retroactive Enrollment Adjustment Petition to add/drop any course. A “W” will appear on the transcript for dropped courses. A processing fee applies.

Holds

Students may have holds placed on their student records, which could affect registration,
enrollment, financial aid, campus services and/or release of academic transcripts for failure to

  • Comply with admission provisions
  • Settle financial obligations with the university
  • Respond to official notices
  • Submit requested documents

Each student who becomes subject to a hold action is given advance notice and ample time to
respond. In most cases, the hold must be released from the initiating office before a student may enroll in classes or receive various campus services. Information on holds can be obtained from the office initiating the hold, as stated on R’Web. Log in to R’Web to view any holds you may have, their description and who to contact to resolve the hold. You will receive an information box when you first log into R’Web and then you can revisit your active holds by selecting the “Holds” icon.

Loss of Courses/Lapse of Student Status

Failure to pay fees by the quarterly deadlines will result in the loss of all enrolled courses and some student privileges, such as receipt of financial aid awards. Students who have lost their courses and financial aid must enroll again and pay all applicable fees, including a $100 late fee. Visit the Registrar’s website for current deadlines: https://registrar.ucr.edu/calendar#payment_and_disbursement

Failure to enroll in courses or pay fees by the end of the third week will result in the loss of all course work and a lapse of student status. All student privileges, such as receipt of financial aid awards and student services, will be lost. Students in lapsed status who seek reinstatement should contact the Student Services Advisor.


7. Filing Fee Status

Students who have completed all degree requirements except for filing their dissertations/theses or sitting for their master's comprehensive exams are eligible for Filing Fee status during the final quarter of residence in lieu of paying student services fees. Students do NOT have to use Filing Fee status. For students writing dissertations or theses, the dissertation/thesis advisor must certify that the committee has read and approved a draft of the manuscript, that only minor revisions need to be made, and no more than 12 hours of faculty time will be required. Students on Filing Fee status pay only one-half of the Student Services Fee (visit Office of the Registrar for current fees: https://registrar.ucr.edu/tuition-fees/quarterly-fees).

Only one quarter on Filing Fee status is allowed. Students who fail to complete their degree programs must register and pay full fees for the following quarter. Students on Filing Fee status may purchase Health Insurance separately through the Student Health Insurance Section of the Campus Health Center (https://studenthealth.ucr.edu/)  at if they wish to be covered.

A candidate on Filing Fee status cannot be employed with any student employment title code (such as GSR, TA, or Associate). Since a candidate on Filing Fee status does not pay registration fees or enroll in units, they are not entitled to University student privileges or use of University facilities except for the Library. Applications can be found on R’Grad and accessed through rweb.ucr.edu.   


8. Evaluation Policies

Each student must meet with their guidance/dissertation committee and complete the Annual Review of Academic Progress Evaluation (ARPE) at the end of each academic year (spring through summer quarter) that the student is in the program. As part of the UCR wide ARPE process, students prepare and share with their guidance/dissertation committee, their own report of their progress to date.  At the annual meeting, the student and their committee evaluates and discusses research progress and progress toward the degree.  After the meeting, the committee completes the ARPE evaluation with recommendations based on the student and committee evaluation.  The ARPE report should include a brief review of the student's work to date, with particular attention to the period since the last report. This report should address academic objectives for the next period. The report should be discussed with the student and a copy should be provided both to the student and the Graduate Advisor. The final report should be submitted to the Graduate Division by the end of each academic year. Students are strongly cautioned against leaving the annual review until the end of summer as faculty may be traveling.


9. Grading Policy

A graduate student must maintain a grade point average 3.0 or better and must receive a grade of B or better in all course work applying to their degree to remain in good standing in the program and in compliance with UCR Graduate Division Policies.

Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC) Grading

Graduate students may take course work on an S/NC basis only when the course description indicates that this is an option. Students who wish to enroll in undergraduate courses on an S/NC basis may petition the Dean of the Graduate Division. The Graduate Advisor must certify that these courses are not in the student's major or program of study. If this is the case, students will not be allowed to use the course towards their degree. Additional information can be found at http://graduate.ucr.edu/gaa_procedures.html#grading. A grade of S is equivalent to a grade of B (3.0) or better but does not count towards the student’s grade point average. No credit is given for a course in which a grade of NC is assigned.

Repeating Courses

A graduate student may repeat only those courses in which a grade of D, F, or NC was received. Repetition of a course more than once requires approval of the Dean of the Graduate Division. Only the most recently earned grade is used in computing the student's grade point average.

Appeal of Grades

The Regulations of the Riverside Division of the Academic Senate state that if a student believes that non-academic criteria have been used in determining a grade, the student shall attempt to resolve the grievance with the instructor of the course through written appeal to the instructor via the chair of the department. If the grievance is not resolved to the student's satisfaction at the departmental level, the student may file a complaint with the Dean of the Graduate Division. The complaint should be filed immediately after the alleged use of non-academic criteria but no later than six weeks after the beginning of the subsequent quarter not including summer. Non-academic criteria are criteria not directly reflective of class performance, such as discrimination on political grounds or for reasons of race, religion, sex, or ethnic origin or for other arbitrary or personal reasons. The procedures for appeal can be found at https://graduate.ucr.edu/gaa_procedures.html#grading.


10. General Regulations Regarding Leave of Absence (LOA)

Leave of Absence

A Leave of Absence is intended to allow the temporary interruption of the student's academic
program. Leaves are granted for the following reasons:

  • serious illness or other temporary disability.
  • the need to concentrate on a job or occupation not directly related to the degree program.
  • family responsibilities.

To be eligible for a Leave of Absence, students must have the approval of their Graduate Advisor, be in good standing, and have been enrolled for at least one quarter. Leaves are not normally granted for more than one year.  Since students on leave do not pay fees, they may not use University facilities or make demands on faculty time. Students on leave are ineligible for fellowships, research grants, or financial aid. A student on leave may not work on any other UC campus. Students on leave cannot take qualifying exams or receive credit for academic work done during the leave period. Applications can be found at https://graduate.ucr.edu/pub_forms.html

Lapse of Candidacy

Candidacy for the degree may be lost after withdrawing or failing to register at the end of a leave of absence.

Unless a Leave of Absence has been granted, students are expected to register for every academic quarter once their graduate studies begin. For the quarter in which the degree is actually awarded, students must either be registered or on Filing Fee status.

In Absentia Registration

Students pursuing graduate study or research outside the State of California for an entire quarter may register in absentia and may receive an 85 percent reduction in the Tuition and Student Services Fees. The health insurance fee, Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (if applicable), and professional school fees (if applicable) are still charged. The research or coursework must be of a nature that makes it necessary to be completed outside of the state of California for at least one full academic term. The work away from the UCR campus must be directly related to the student’s degree program and the work must involve only indirect supervision (correspondence or review of written work) from UCR faculty during the in-absentia period. Lastly, the work must involve no significant collaboration with UCR faculty during the in-absentia period. Students may apply for and receive University fellowships and research assistantships, but not teaching assistantships or serve as readers or tutors. All applications are due by the quarterly deadlines, visit https://graduate.ucr.edu/regulations-and-procedures#in_absentia_registration for exact dates.

Doctoral students must meet the following criteria. They must be advanced to candidacy by the time the in-absentia period begins and may only use in absentia registration for a maximum of 6 quarters. Master’s students must have completed at least one year of course work by the time the in-absentia period begins and may only use in absentia registration for a maximum of three quarters.  Applications can be found at https://graduate.ucr.edu/forms/In%20absentia.pdf.


11. Guidelines for Doctoral Committee and Dissertation Preparation

A doctoral program generally involves two stages:

Written Qualifying Examination

The first stage is spent in fulfilling the requirements established by the program and the Graduate Council. For the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, students must complete the first two years of the outlined curriculum, prepare a written dissertation proposal in the approximate format of a F31/R21 NIH proposal and an oral presentation for evaluation by a qualifying exam committee. When all course work, language, written and oral exams are passed, the student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D.

Oral Qualifying Examination

The Oral Qualifying Examination should be completed by the first quarter of the third year but no later than the spring quarter of the third year. All course requirements and written qualifying examinations must be completed prior to taking the oral qualifying exam. Graduate students in consultation with their major professor submit to the UCR Graduate Division their nomination of a qualifying exam committee composed of at least five faculty members. In addition to requirements imposed by the Graduate Council, four members of the Qualifying exam committee must be members of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and must be voting members of the Academic Senate. 

Of these four committee members, one member must be in the student's major area of study and at least one member must be outside the student’s area of study. The fifth member of the committee is designated as the “outside member” of the must be a voting member of the UC Academic Senate who does not hold an appointment in the graduate program for Biomedical Sciences.  Please note that ~2/3 of the Graduate Program Faculty have appointments outside of the Division of Biomedical Sciences. Therefore, if a faculty member is a member of the Graduate Program (even if they are not in the Division of Biomedical Sciences), they cannot be the “outside member”. The outside member represents the faculty at large and acts most importantly, as a "third party ensuring fairness."

Special expertise in the area of the student's dissertation is not expected; this member's academic field may be unrelated to the field of study of the student and the other committee members.

The chair of the Qualifying Committee must be a member of the graduate program faculty and a faculty member of the Academic Senate. Any nominations representing an exception must be justified in a memo to the graduate advisor and the graduate Division. All committee members should normally be voting members of the UC Academic Senate. Individuals seeking exceptions to these requirements for committee membership must hold a Ph.D., be qualified for a UC faculty appointment and must be supported by a memo of justification from the Graduate Adviser. A memo need not be written for those holding Adjunct faculty positions unless they are being nominated to serve as the sole chair.

For Cooperative Extension Specialists a vita and memo of support should be forwarded the first time that they are nominated to serve. Thereafter a memo of support is only necessary if they are nominated to serve as the sole chair of the committee. The oral exam must be held on a single day. A passing performance requires that no more than one committee member vote to fail. If a student fails the qualifying examination, the committee should make a recommendation for or against a second examination and specify what part or parts of the original exam are to be repeated (written, oral, or both). Ordinarily, the second examination is not administered until at least three months have elapsed. A third examination is not permitted.

For more information on the regulations for the nomination of dissertation committees, please see https://graduate.ucr.edu/dissertation-and-thesis-submission

Doctoral Dissertation

The second or in-candidacy stage is devoted primarily to independent study and research and to the preparation of the dissertation. The doctoral dissertation must be an original work of research in the candidate's chosen field of specialization. The dissertation committee determines the acceptability of the dissertation and in the Graduate Program of Biomedical Sciences it is customary for the committee to require that the student 'defend' its contents in a Final Oral Examination (Final Defense).  For the dissertation defense all members must be physically present. In exceptional circumstances, determined in advance of examination scheduling and approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division, one member of the examining committee (not the chair) may participate via video (e.g., Zoom) or telephone conferencing. Exceptional circumstances may include but are not limited to- travel for research, or permanent residence, outside of the United States; participation in academic or research travel within the United States that cannot be shifted to accommodate the intended date of the oral examination or defense; hospitalization or other medical conditions that make it impossible to be physically present. Please note that for the period of the State and County COVID19 Public Health Restrictions, all exams including the Dissertation exam are required to be held by remote Zoom or Zoom analogous methods. Once the dissertation is approved the student must file a copy of their dissertation electronically with the Graduate Division.

Regulations on the format and filing deadline dates can be found at https://graduate.ucr.edu/dissertation.html. Quarterly workshops are given on how to prepare the format and file electronically. An original signature page must be filed with the Graduate Division as well.
To review current regulations and procedures included forms for the dissertation visit, https://graduate.ucr.edu/regulations-and-procedures#doctoral.


12. Duplication of Higher Degrees

The duplication of higher degrees is discouraged on the same basis as the duplication of the
bachelor’s degree. Students already admitted to a Ph.D. program at UCR may not petition to pursue a second Ph.D. program once admitted. They may pursue a master’s degree in another field if the departments and Graduate Dean approve.


13. Time Limits for Completing Doctoral Program Requirements

At UC Riverside, normative time is the period of full-time registration required to earn the degree. Advancement to Candidacy: Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. students should take their oral qualifying exams and be advanced to candidacy within nine quarters, but no later than the campus normative time of 12 quarters.

Dissertation Defense

If the student enters BMSC with no course deficiencies or other remedial work, normative time for the Ph.D. is 15 quarters.

Exceeding Normative time

All students should complete their degree within the program's acceptable progress limits (normative time to degree plus one year). If a student exceeds these time limits due to special circumstances, a timetable to completion (or timetable to exams) must be approved by the Graduate Dean.


14. The Master' Degree

The MS program has three objectives: (1) to serve as a discernment and preparation program for students deciding whether their next steps should be in medicine, research or other fields (2) as a dual degree for M.D. students willing to add an additional year of study to conduct research in a specialized area (M.D.-M.S.), and (3) as a terminal degree enabling career progression in multiple fields including biotechnology, science advocacy and public outreach. Unless otherwise stated in the program description, the normative time required master's students to complete their program of study in six quarters.

The MS Program requires completion of 36 units of which 8 units have to be focused on research. Besides the required core curriculum (BSMC 202, 252, 254 and 299), faculty mentors can make course recommendations as students’ progress in the program to satisfy elective requirements. With the consultation of the Graduate Program Director and Advisors, students are placed in labs based on their preferred area of research, prior research experience and lab availability. A guidance committee is formed at the time of enrollment in consultation with the assigned faculty mentor. In addition, an Individual Development Plan (IDP) must be filed with the program at the end of the student's 1st term. The student can complete the MS program with Plan I (Thesis) or Plan II (Comprehensive Examination). This decision is made in consultation with the guidance committee and the choice can be changed up to degree completion. For a full description of the MS program, please see https://biomed.ucr.edu/masters-curriculum.

The Thesis Plan (or Plan I)

Out of 36 units, at least 24 units will be graduate-level courses. 12 units must be in graduate research for the thesis (BSMC 299). None may be transfer units from a university outside of the University of California. In addition to requiring an acceptable thesis, the department may require an exam to confirm that the student has an appropriate knowledge of the discipline.

Thesis Committee

A Master's thesis committee consists of three members and is nominated by the graduate program. Once approved by the Graduate Dean, the committee becomes responsible for the student's academic guidance and evaluation. Generally, all three members of the committee are Academic Senate members and generally but not always from the graduate program of Biomedical Sciences. Sometimes the third member is from another graduate program. The chair of the committee should be from the Graduate Program of Biomedical Sciences and is usually the student’s assigned faculty mentor. If the Graduate Program would like to appoint a faculty member from outside the program as the committee chair, a memo of exception must accompany the nomination of the committee.

The Comprehensive Examination Plan (or Plan II)

Out of 36 units, at least 18 units will be graduate level (200) courses. None of these may be in research units. None may be in transfer units from a university outside of the University of California. The candidate must take a Final comprehensive examination, the content of which is determined by the student’s advisory committee. No more than two attempts to pass the exam are allowed.
For details on committee approval and applying to advancement to candidacy visit, https://graduate.ucr.edu/regulations-and-procedures#masters.

Second Master’s Degrees

Master’s degree students in the graduate program for biomedical sciences, only need the approval of the Graduate Program and of the Graduate Division to continue in the Graduate program for the Ph.D. Completing coursework for the master’s degree does not remove the requirement to complete the first year medical curriculum required for the PhD degree in the Graduate Program for Biomedical Sciences. The form to apply can be found at https://graduate.ucr.edu/pub_forms.html.

International students must submit a new letter verifying financial support for the duration of their studies before approval can be granted by the Graduate Division.


15. Academic Disqualification and Appeal of Disqualification

University Policy

A student who fails to meet departmental program requirements may be recommended for academic disqualification of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from
continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.0) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing. Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree, and poor performance in major courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.0) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their Department. University guidelines governing academic disqualification of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in the Regulations and Procedures manual, https://graduate.ucr.edu/regulations-and-procedures.

Program Policy

In addition to the standard reasons noted above, students who fail to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all upper division (100 level) and graduate (200 level) coursework related to the degree will be disqualified. Students are considered to be making unacceptable progress and become subject to dismissal when:

  • they have 12 or more units of "I" grades outstanding
  • the overall GPA falls below 3.00
  • the quarterly GPA falls below 3.00 for two consecutive quarters
  • they fail to take their oral qualifying exams within five years
  • they fail to fulfill program requirements such as exams or research in a timely and satisfactory manner
  • they fail to pass comprehensive or qualifying examinations in two attempts, or
  • they have not completed their degree within one year after reaching the program’s normative time.

Academic disqualification cases are considered by the Graduate Advisory Council (GAC). If deemed appropriate, and subject to the approval of the Program Director, a recommendation for academic disqualification of graduate status is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate Division. Grounds for a recommendation for academic disqualification include a pattern of unsatisfactory performance in other coursework; failure of a qualifying examination; substantial violations of professional or ethical standards. Academic disqualification may also be initiated by the GAC for insufficient progress toward the Ph.D. degree as evidenced by a failure to obtain the degree within six calendar years following admission to the program or three years following advancement to candidacy. If deemed appropriate and approved by the Program Director, a recommendation for academic disqualification of graduate status is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate Division. Students are informed by GAC when actions concerning them are under consideration and also when a recommendation is to be made to the Dean of the Graduate Division. Students may provide a written statement to the GAC prior to these deliberations, explaining any extenuating circumstances regarding the matters that are under review. A recommendation for academic disqualification may be appealed to the Program Director. If the recommendation is upheld, an appeal may be made to the Dean of the Graduate Division.


16. Grievance Policies and Procedures

The UCR School of Medicine (SOM) is committed to a positive learning environment to educate and support our graduate students, medical students and residents.  Each of us has a responsibility to uphold the SOM values, and to create a respectful and inclusive learning environment.   
 
SOM has developed policies outlining the process of reporting and responding to allegations of student mistreatment (please see SOM website for policy 950-01-006 detailing the Student Grievance Committee and SOM appeal processes).  In addition, the UCR School of Medicine is committed to a policy of non-retaliation and will take appropriate steps to protect individuals who raise concerns in good faith.

  1.  The first step in addressing conflicts is often for students to consult with faculty advisors/major professors.
  2. If speaking to one’s advisor is inappropriate for a particular problem or if additional input is needed, the conflict may be brought to the attention of the Graduate Advisor or Program Director, or the Chair of the Division/Department in which the major professor’s faculty appointment is in.
  3. If the options in point B are viewed as insufficient or inappropriate, students may report their grievance directly to the SOM Student Affairs Office, via the secured SOM website, through their class representatives, to the student grievance committee via email at Grievance@medsch.ucr.edu or via other faculty or staff.  Students will be notified by the chair of the student grievance committee within 72 hours of receipt of their concern. All correspondence will occur using a UCR based secure email.  Students or any person affiliated with UCR will be allowed to submit a complaint or allegation anonymously via a dedicated 24 hour phone number (951-827-7826)
  4. If issues are not resolved within the Program of SOM, students can consult the Office of Ombuds Services. If necessary, the Graduate Division will refer students to the appropriate Dean as the final resource for resolution of grievances. Please bear in mind that it is expected that conflicts will first be addressed within the Graduate Program or SOM before resolution outside of the Program or SOM is sought.
  5. Reporting options are available for students who experience discrimination, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking. These options include:

UCR encourages anyone to report such an offense as soon as possible after its occurrence, in order for appropriate and timely action to be taken.

Sexual Harassment

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which all persons who participate in University programs and activities can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including sexual. Specifically, every member of the University community should be aware that the University does not tolerate sexual harassment and that such behavior is prohibited by law and by University policy. It is the intention of the University to take whatever action may be needed to prevent, correct, and if necessary, discipline behavior that violates this policy. If you would like to talk to someone about sexual harassment or file a charge, please contact the Title IX/Sexual Harassment Office. Visit for more information, https://titleix.ucr.edu.


17. Program Funding Commitment

The Program provides 5 years of guaranteed financial support to all entering graduate students.

In Year 1, students are guaranteed 12-month minimum salary/stipend (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring).

In Years 2-5, students are guaranteed a minimum of 12-month salary/stipend (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring). Each student’s support source(s) are crafted on an individual basis. The salary/stipend for a student may vary across quarters, depending on the source of funding.In years 2-5, it is important to remember that the Program's funding guarantee is for each 12-month period.

The various funding sources do not all provide a fixed monthly income flow. To ensure the funding guarantee, the Financial and Administrative Officer tracks each graduate student’s funding throughout the year.

A large part of the funding to meet the Program’s commitment to students will come in the form of offers of Research GSRs (from faculty grants), Clinical and Technical GSRs (from the Graduate Program) and TAships (Dean of Medical Education). The Program distributed clinical/technical GSRs are one-year appointments.  Applications for Medical Ed and Program distributed TAships and Clinical/Technical GSRs are completed in the spring for the following academic year. Students are free to choose not to apply and/or to decline the positions. The Graduate program offers several internal fellowships each year based on merit-based student applications for Pease and Burden Fund Awards in addition to multiple short term UCR Graduate Division Fellowships. All of these funding sources support the Program in meeting the Program’s student funding commitment.


18. Employment Guidelines and Procedures

Academic Employment (Teaching & Research Assistants)
Criteria for Appointment

Teaching and Graduate Research Assistantships are offered through academic departments. GSRs are normally arranged with individual faculty members or, in some cases, with the department. TAs and GSRs:

  1. Must be making acceptable progress toward the degree (see definition above for fellowship holders)
  2. Must be advanced to candidacy within 12 quarters after entry
  3. Must have no more than seven units of Incomplete grades.
  4. Must maintain a 3.00 GPA
  5. Any student who was born in a country where English is not the official language or who indicates on their application for admission that English is not their first language must pass an English language competency exam before performing duties as a TA.
  6. If a PhD student has not advanced to candidacy within 12 quarters or is beyond time limits for acceptable progress, a timetable must be approved by the Graduate Dean.

Once appointed as TAs or GSRs students are expected to continue to adhere to the above requirements and to enroll in and complete 12 units of course work or research each quarter. Graduate students may not be employed more than 50 percent time or 20 hours per week during the academic year in any combination of appointments. During quarter breaks and in the Summer they may be employed full-time. The length of service for a Teaching Assistant or Associate is limited to 12 quarters. The Graduate Dean upon written request by the department may make exceptions. However, no one may serve in a teaching title for more than 18 quarters of service. No exceptions are made.

TA Duties

The following is expected of all TAs:

  1. To attend, to the extent required by the department or supervising faculty, all meetings of the class in which he or she is doing laboratory work, section discussions, or grading of papers or exams.
  2. To consult with the professor in charge of the course as to grading policies, course content, procedures, and proctoring.
  3. To attend all meetings of classes, sections, and laboratories for which she or he is personally responsible. Failure to meet regularly scheduled classes for which the TA is responsible constitutes a dereliction of duty and may be grounds for termination of employment. If there is a good reason for absence, the TA must inform the department and arrange for a substitute.
  4. To make proper and thorough preparation for each class, lab, or section for which she or he is responsible.
  5. To assign the amount of written work proper to the lab or section for which she or he is responsible, and to read and grade the written work thoroughly and as rapidly as possible.
  6. To post office hours at least one hour per week per section or laboratory, depending on the course, and to hold those office hours without fail.
  7. To report grades accurately and on time to the instructor in charge of the course.
  8. To give grade books to the instructor in charge at the end of the appointment.
  9. To maintain a professional attitude toward all students in his or her classes at all times. The ethical standards of behavior for faculty instruction apply equally to Teaching Assistants.
  10. To notify the supervising instructor as soon as the TA anticipates any workload related issues that may result in a violation of the workload article of the ASE/UC contract.
Salaries

The salaries of Teaching Assistants depend on the percentage time appointment. The amount
Graduate Student Researchers are paid depends upon a variety of factors. Visit Graduate Student Employment a detailed breakdown on salaries, https://graduate.ucr.edu/graduate-student-employment.

Graduate Student Health Insurance and Remission Programs

The Graduate Student Health Insurance (GSHIP) is paid for all TAs, Teaching Fellows, Associates, Readers, Tutors, and GSRs employed 25 percent time (10 hours per week) or more. Additionally, they receive a remission of the Student Services Fee and Tuition. GSRs are eligible to have the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition remitted when they are appointed as a 45%-time GSR for the full quarter, are not receiving other forms of support that fund Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and meet all of the eligibility requirements for a GSR title. Students must work the entire quarter to be eligible to receive the fee remissions and if they do not, then they are responsible for repaying these fee remissions.

Students who can demonstrate comparable insurance coverage from another source may apply to be exempted from the GSHIP plan. For the waiver form and information on this go to
https://studenthealth.ucr.edu/graduate-students
. Students awarded the exemption have the GSHIP fee removed from their bill but do not receive any monetary compensation. Contact the graduate department or Graduate Division for further information regarding these remission programs.

Union Representation

All Teaching Assistants, Associates, Teaching Fellows, as well as Readers and Tutors, are covered under a collective bargaining agreement between the University and CASE/UAW. Students employed in these titles are required to pay either union dues or a fair share fee for union representation. GSRs are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement and do not have to pay these fees/dues. The contract can be found at
https://graduate.ucr.edu/resources-and-policies#labor_relations_and_the_university_of_californiaunited_automobile_workers_labor_contract_

The union can be contacted at CASE/UAW, 5015 Canyon Crest Dr., Suite 206, Riverside, CA 92507 or (951) 369-8075 or http://www.uaw.org.


19. Guidelines for Student-Faculty Relationships

The Graduate program in Biomedical Sciences seeks to foster and integrate best practices for productive beneficial student-faculty relationships during the graduate education. Students and faculty are encouraged to submit comments and suggestions to the Graduate Advisor or the Program Director so this document can be updated accordingly. In addition to these guidelines, the Program also highly recommends A Guide for Graduate Students at a Diverse University, published by the University of Michigan, and available at http://www.rackham.umich.edu/downloads/publications/mentoring.pdf.

If you have questions or concerns about your relationship with your advisor or other faculty members, do not hesitate to consult the program leadership (Graduate Advisor, the Program Director, or Division Chair). Students may be offered counsel on strategies to address concerns with the advisor. Consultations with the Graduate Advisor, the Program students Director, or Division Chair will be kept confidential, with the exception of matters that must be reported by law (i.e., sexual harassment (https://titleix.ucr.edu/)  or assault; danger to self or others (https://counseling.ucr.edu) . Students may also request that the graduate leadership facilitate a discussion together with the faculty advisor. Please always note that the campus Ombuds is also a ready source of confidential advice and is NOT a mandatory reporter of any types of information discussed.

Purpose

There are different views of ideal advising relationships and good advising relationships that take many different forms. However, there is a widespread agreement, that certain responsibilities and rewards are an inherent part of mentoring relationships between student and faculty members. The purpose of this document is to describe the basic expectations that should hold for healthy advising relationships. It will recommend ways of ensuring that these expectations are met and that relationships are beneficial to both parties. We hope to increase awareness of the factors that produce a valuable partnership in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. The advising relationship will ideally foster students' confidence, skills, and grounding in theory and research. It should be their doorway to participation in the academic profession. When a student is not making adequate progress toward a degree or is not engaging in a developing program of research, it may be due to a problem in the advising relationship. Students who feel the necessary support is missing from their advising relationship are encouraged to communicate their needs, discuss possible remedies, to their advising committee and if all fails to perhaps find a new mentor. It is important that students feel empowered to recognize problems in the advising relationship early on and actively seek guidance in addressing them. Although doctoral students are admitted with an assignment to a faculty mentor and lab, they are foremost admitted into the Program. The Program has a responsibility to support students and ensure that degree progress can be made within an advising relationship.

Good mentoring relationships are the norm at UCR. Many cite the quality of these relationships as the basis of our Program’s excellent reputation for successful graduate students who have a successful future research career. We hope these guidelines will promote the development of productive and mutually enjoyable partnerships between students and faculty.


What to Expect From Your Advising Relationship
Basic Expectations

At a minimum, students can expect advising relationships to provide:

  1. Guidance with ongoing research
  2. Guidance in planning professional progress and achieving necessary milestones
  3. Opportunities for and assistance with professional publications and conference presentations
  4. Letters of reference required for professional opportunities
  5. Financial support (often in the form of Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions)
  6. Facilitation of exchange of ideas (lab meetings)

At a minimum, faculty members can expect advising relationships to provide:

  1. Opportunities to exchange ideas with intelligent and motivated students
  2. Opportunities to collaborate on research projects and publications
  3. Fulfillment of their professional responsibility to advise and mentor students
  4. Gratification that they are training a new generation of scholars
  5. Competent research assistants
  6. Exposure to new areas of research and new statistical techniques as a result of their students' interests and expertise
  7. Letters of evaluation required for professional advancement

Note: These letters of evaluation are the primary method through which advising is given weight in the promotion of faculty members. This is an opportunity for the student to evaluate their faculty mentor and any shortcomings or helpful suggestions to the Professor to better serve students' interests in the future.

Variable Expectations

Below are six aspects of the mentoring relationship that tend to vary across advising relationships. Expectations regarding these aspects should be mutually understood throughout the advising relationship. Negotiation of these expectations is often informal, and mutual understanding may well be reached with little discussion. The activities of the advisor and advisee will evolve naturally to meet the changing needs of the student and changing demands of research projects. The important thing is that both parties are aware of what to expect and feel that they can safely raise the issue if expectations are frequently unfulfilled.

  1. Frequency and method for scheduling advising meetings: There appears to be a common belief among some faculty members that advising meetings should occur roughly one to eight times a month, depending on the current needs of the student and the research project(s) in progress. Within these guidelines, however, there are several different ways to schedule meetings. Here are some ways advising meetings might be arranged:
    1. Advisor and advisee set up a regular meeting time and/or advisor holds a lab meeting attended by all of his/her students to ensure continuity and frequent communication.
    2. Advisor and advisee set aside a weekly meeting time.
    3. Advisor is available to advisee on an "as needed" basis, usually by appointment, and occasionally, by stopping by the advisor's office. The important thing is not that faculty are always available, but that they are available for meetings on a regular basis (e.g., at least once a week).
  2. Preparing for advising meetings
    1. Advisee should come prepared with ideas, questions, or results to discuss.
    2. Advisee should submit a written summary beforehand for the advisor to prepare feedback.
  3. The advisor may return a written draft with comments or discuss it with the student during their meeting. The important thing is to make this turnaround time explicit to both parties and then to honor this commitment.
  4. It is important to develop a shared understanding of the timeline for the advisee's progress through the doctoral program.
  5. During and after finalizing the research project, it is important to have mutual agreement about the advisor's participation. Discussion on authorship of potential publications.
  6. Clarify expectations about the amount of work that the student will accomplish. This applies primarily to paid GSRs.


20. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Professional Development and Racial Equality

The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences has a longstanding interest in recruiting, training, and fostering a diverse community of students and faculty in an equitable environment. However, the campus, SOM, the Division and the Graduate Program are undergoing a period of renewed evaluation identifying internal contributions and possible solutions to ongoing racial inequities and disparities in response to the national and UCR student led protests and discussions.  As part of this reflection and as part of involving all voices and, the Division and the Graduate Program have committed to implementing an Anti-Racist Agenda into their three-part Research, Service and Teaching mission.  Our goal is not to perpetuate the centering of the majority as the absolute standard, but to provide the permission and support for multiple, alternative, and non-binary perspectives in the implementation of training, research and service. To ensure this agenda is sustained, the Division of Biomedical Sciences has just this academic year established a Call to Action Task Force Committee, composed of faculty, staff, and graduate students from within the Division of Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. This committee is charged to evaluate Division practices, policies and opportunities. This committee is charged to Call all in the Division and the Graduate Program to action based on these ongoing evaluations.  Lastly, the committee is charged with identifying metrics so that the efficacy of implemented changes and actions can be assessed by the Graduate Program, the Division and SOM for their efficacy in expanding the growth and success of our students, staff, fellows and faculty experiencing racism and prejudice. This committee reports to an executive committee comprised of the Chair of the Division, the Division Financial and Administration Officer (FAO), the Director of the Graduate Program, the SOM Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of Medical Education, the chair of Division non-Senate Academic Appointees and the President of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Association.

The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences seeks to integrate Professional Development in all aspects of its program. Graduate students continue their professional development through participation in local and national conferences as participants, presenters, and organizers.  Access is critical to address inequities and disparities in Graduate Training and Career Development. Specifically, the ability to attend conferences and outside training may be limited if left only to the resources of the major professor. To ensure all of our graduate students have sufficient access to outside resources regardless of the funding levels of their faculty advisors, the Division of Biomedical Sciences administratively and financially supports multiple (free registration) conferences hosted locally by the Southern California Eukaryotic Pathogen (SCEP) Initiative, the Division and its three centers: Breathe, Center for Molecular Medicine (MolMed), and the Center for Glial-Neuronal Interactions (CGNI). Graduate students are encouraged. in accordance with their areas of interest, to attend and participate in the monthly meetings of these centers as well as their annual symposiums with invited speakers and trainee poster/oral presentation sessions.  Graduate Students have opportunities to play meaningful leadership and organizing roles in determining the format and focus of conferences hosted by the Division Centers as well as the Division’s Ultimate Biomed Retreat.

For doctoral degree students, access to conferences and outside training are supported by one additional mechanism. After successful completion of their first year and assignment of a major professor for their research, second year doctoral students are awarded a $5000 travel grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide students with funds to attend conferences and outside courses (ex CSHL courses) of their own choosing rather than their faculty advisor.  Often these funds are used to attend conferences in areas of study being considered for post-doctoral studies. Fund disbursement must be requested and approved prior to travel and are subject to oversight of the Graduate Program Director (to ensure academic rigor of proposed conference/training course) and to the Division Chair and FAO (to ensure compliance with applicable travel guidelines by UC and the state). Please contact the Program Student Services Advisor for application details.

Lastly, students are encouraged to engage as leaders and participants in all aspects of the program’s recruitment efforts and outreach opportunities. When representing themselves as members of the UCR community, graduate students are requested to consult with the Graduate Program and Division staff, advisors, Director, FAO and/or Chair to ensure compliance with state and UC mandated training and applicable state and UC policies.  The Graduate Program and Division welcome applications for faculty and staff support of student led activities and are happy to facilitate mechanisms for student acquisition of activity-appropriate mandated training.  Examples of Graduate led activities include Blood Donation Drives, meals on wheels activities, mentorship of peers, undergraduates, and local K-12 students.  Graduate students also participate in panels and presentations to showcase their experience in the graduate program. In all of these activities, graduate students are actively developing transferable skills (communication, teamwork, innovation, problem-solving) to enhance their training not only as a scientist, but as a well-rounded member of a community.


21. Campus Resource Centers and Website Resources

Special note: UCLA’s Psychology Department Graduate Student Handbook was used as a resource for updating the BMSC student handbook.