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Welcome from the Associate Dean

Donita Robinson, PhD

What an exhilarating time to begin graduate study in biomedical research! The explosion in new discoveries coupled to rapid advances in technology make it possible to tackle virtually any fundamental biological or biomedical question that motivates you. Many of the most exciting developments have been made working at the interface between two (or more) disciplines. For this reason, today’s scientific researchers need to be collaborative, communicative, and imaginative. We develop these professional qualities in each of our 15 graduate programs starting from your first weeks in BBSP. Explore this Prospective Students section for details about how the BBSP structure can be tailored to your specific goals.

What makes graduate study at UNC so special? In large part it’s the community of outstanding students and faculty working together. We recognize the integral role our graduate student population plays in the research enterprise, and students are involved in internationally competitive projects from the beginning – no waiting on the sidelines for you!  For this reason many of UNC’s outstanding contributions to the frontiers of knowledge are the discoveries of dedicated and talented graduate students. Moreover, our programs are remarkably flexible with a great many options to customize your training experience and make it exactly what you need to grow as a scientific leader.

UNC Chapel Hill ranks 6th nationally in federal funding for research (as of 2021), and many of our individual departments and graduate programs are ranked in the top 10 as well. We attract the best and brightest faculty, and we house the most sophisticated equipment in modern core facilities that are accessible to the entire community for both data collection and training. Our distinguished faculty are international leaders, members of the National Academy of Sciences, NIH Merit Award winners, and Nobel laureates. Visit the Faculty Directory section to see the tremendous breadth and depth of research pursued at UNC.

Our graduates hold leadership positions in multiple professions: academia, biotechnology, public policy, education, scientific writing, and more (see alumni outcomes data here.) Becoming a top-notch independent scientist requires more than strong experimental skills however. We have established a remarkable collection of professional development resources that is unsurpassed anywhere else to support you throughout your graduate training. These resources include specialized certificate programs, guidance with proposal writing, and career counseling. Explore the Professional Development (TIBBS)  and Community pages for more information about career support and unique growth opportunities .

All of these elements come together in Chapel Hill with its natural beauty, pleasant weather, multicultural offerings, and relaxed living environment. I invite you to explore this website to see how UNC will launch your unique scientific career.

Donita Robinson
Associate Dean for Graduate Education
Director of BBSP