Dimensions of Wellness
BBSP supports students by promoting UNC’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Explore each of these dimensions to learn more about what resources are available to support your complete self. For mental health support including how to contact our Wellness Counselor, see the “Emotional” tab below.
UNC students, alums, and postdocs are also creating spaces for scientists of all levels to connect over topics of research, life, and wellness:
- PhD Balance, a community empowering graduate students, founded by Susanna Harris (Microbiology & Immunology PhD candidate)
- PhDivas podcast, co-hosted by Liz Wayne, PhD (UNC postdoc)
- Straight from a Scientist podcast, co-hosted by Connor Wander (Pharmacology PhD candidate)
Graduate school is rigorous and demanding. Many graduate students struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness during their training. While it is common to experience these issues, you don’t have to suffer. With help you can manage your symptoms and live a balanced, fulfilling life. Below are a few of the options available to BBSP graduate students. If you are unsure where to turn, you may reach out to Dave McDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-843-3387) for a consultation. While Dave is not a trained mental health provider, he is able to direct students to appropriate resources.
Student Wellness Coach: The School of Medicine has a trained mental health provider, Amanda Hall, MSW, LCSW, LCASA. Amanda is available to meet with students one-on-one to address mental health concerns by providing short-term counseling and referral to additional resources. To make an appointment with Amanda, email her at email@example.com.
UNC Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS): In addition to Amanda Hall as our BBSP-specific CAPS counselor, students can also go directly to CAPS to be seen for urgent needs without an appointment for counseling or medication management. CAPS is located on the 3rd floor of the Student Health Clinic. If you do not know where CAPS is located or are uncomfortable walking over there on your own, Dave McDonald and others in the OGE are available to walk with you. In addition, CAPS has a phone line that is available 24/7 for immediate needs, and you can find out how to contact them on their website.
BBSP Virtual Mindfulness Room: If you need to take a break, explore the different interactives in this virtual space.
Other resources outside of UNC-CH
The Graduate School Handbook: All policies and procedures set forth by the UNC Graduate School, the unit which governs all BBSP-affiliated PhD programs. Below are direct links to some commonly requested policies.
- Leave of Absence for Doctoral Students
- Grading and Grade Appeals
- Parental Leave Policy [pdf]
- Residency status for tuition purposes
Accessibility Resource Center: ARS is an office dedicated to supporting students in academic settings with physical disabilities, learning differences, accommodations for medical conditions, and other accessibility concerns. If you believe you need an accommodation in class or in lab, you must self-identify with ARS before anything can be put in place. ARS can also help you navigate testing for ADHD or other learning differences. For workplace accommodations see the EOC Accommodations page.
The Learning Center: UNC’s Learning Center support students in their academic pursuits. Academic coaching can help any student get organized approaching lab work, reading papers, or create a study plan for your qualifying exams. If you have ADHD, or if you think you might, consider participating in the Graduate Student Working Group which is focused on time management, work life balance, motivation, and accountability (register here or for more information, email Miranda Elston). If you do have ADHD or a learning difference, read more about the ADHD/LD services available to you or make an appointment with an ADHD specialist who can help you navigate graduate school and maximize your success.
The Writing Center: UNC’s Writing Center supports student writing in a variety of ways. All UNC students can schedule an in-person appointment with a writing coach or submit writing samples to an online coach who will provide specific feedback. This set of guides on scientific writing can be helpful to those who want to improve their writing skills. International students for whom English is a second language can access a wide variety of resources including writing groups, courses, and speaking groups. All international students will want to check out these guides for helpful ESL tips on academic writing.
UNC Chapel Hill resources
- Emergency Funds: Dean of Students Emergency Fund and the GPSF Emergency Fund
- Funding Opportunities
- Stipend and Tax information from The Graduate School
- Veterans Benefits: contact Jan Benjamin, UNC’s VA Certifying Official (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Carolina Cupboard: on-campus food pantry that provides food at no cost to students who are facing food insecurity. Contact them at email@example.com.
- Free food opportunities: PhreePhood on Twitter
The OGE offers training and resources to help graduate students prepare successful funding applications. Some of these resources include:
- F31 and NSF preparation workshops: these are announced via the TIBBS listserv and are open to all trainees
- Successful graduate student grant proposal examples (click here for a password protected library containing NSF, F31, and American Heart Association proposals from UNC trainees)
- Personal Finance for PhDs: a blog and several reasonably priced ebooks about managing finances while on a graduate student stipend
Cultivating a network of friends and colleagues is an important strategy for success as a professional. UNC has a wide variety of communities available to graduate students, some focused around STEM and some around other identities.
- Advocates for Carolina: a disability advocacy group
- Allies for Minorities and Women in Science (AM WiSE)
- ATLAS-Link: a Slack group for UNC students living with chronic illnesses
- Black Graduate & Professional Student Association
- Carolina Indian Circle
- CF-Link: a Slack group for UNC students living with Cystic Fibrosis
- Carolina Hispanic Association (CHispA)
- First Nations Graduate Circle
- Graduate & Professional Student Federation: Advocacy organization for graduate students. GPSF representatives advocate for the interests of graduate students on campus committees, fund graduate student groups, and host events for graduate students.
- Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (administered by the Office of Graduate Education)
- Initiative for Minority Excellence (administered by The Graduate School)
- Minority Student Caucus
- Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
- STEM Pride (for LGBTQIA+ identified scientists and allies)
- Student Parents Association
- Women in Science (WinS)
UNC Centers that support student communities
A list of Chapel Hill’s religious centers can be found here.
Health Insurance: graduate students are covered by a combination of Campus Health Services and Student Blue RA/TA plan. Read this flyer [pdf] for a quick overview of how the two work together. For information about what the Student Blue plan covers, and for information on adding dependents, visit the BCBS Student Blue page.
TIBBS Career Cohorts (groups focused on specific science careers)
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