For All Students
Resources for All Current Students
As a graduate student at UNC you should become familiar with the resources available to you. Do not try to solve problems on your own! Knowing where to turn when a problem arises, or how to put a safety mechanism in place before a problem arises, can be an important part of your success.
This page contains information and links to UNC offices, guides, policies, and contacts relevant to bioscience graduate students. If you have a suggestion for a resource that should be added to this page, contact Dave McDonald at email@example.com.
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.
- 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
- 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 LGBTQ identified scientists and allies)
- Student Parents Association
- TIBBS Career Cohorts (groups focused on specific science careers)
- Women in Science (WinS)
UNC Centers that support student communities
- Leave of Absence for Doctoral Students
- Grading and Grade Appeals
- Parental Leave Policy [pdf]
- Residency status for tuition purposes
Graduate Student Professional Federation (GPSF): Advocacy organization for graduate students. GPSF representatives operate the Graduate Student Honor court, advocate for the interests of graduate students on campus committees, fund graduate student groups, and host events for graduate students.
- 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)
Student Wellness Coach: The School of Medicine has a trained mental health provider, Alli Schad, LCSWA, available to meet with students one-on-one to address mental health concerns. Alli provides counseling, referral to resources, and support to students in BBSP as well as MD students. To make an appointment with Alli visit this page. Alli can also be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNC Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS): BBSP students are also eligible to receive counseling and medication management from UNC’s Counseling & Psychological Services. To be seen for the first time at CAPS you do not need an appointment. Walk in hours for initial assessments are Monday – Thursday 9-12, 1-4 or Fridays 9:30-12, 1- 4. 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.
Other resources outside of UNC-CH
- 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 dependants, visit the BCBS Student Blue page.
- 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 (email@example.com)
- Personal Finance for PhDs: a blog and several reasonably priced ebooks about managing finances while on a graduate student stipend
Workshops through Health Sciences Library: HSL offers a suite of individual sessions on topics related to bioinformatics and computational biology. A sampling of the workshops offered are listed below. For course availability, schedule, and further details, please click here.
- Introduction to UNIX for Biologists
- Introduction to Sequencing Technology
- Introduction to Analysis of Next Generation Sequencing Data
- Introduction to Protein Data Bank and Pymol
- Browsing Genes and Genomes with Ensembl and Ensembl Genomes (Full day workshop)
|Probability and Statistics
Other Online Resources
- Your Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Student Services Manager (SSM): Your DGS and SSM are specifically invested in your progress and your well-being. They have experience with common student issues. It is important to keep the program informed if you are having any difficulty that impacts your performance because they can assist in resolving issues.
- Dave McDonald, Office of Graduate Education: Dave can provide advice and coaching to students who are experiencing a difficult issue. Typically Dave will also provide a connection with other appropriate on and off campus resources. Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 919-843-3387. Dave is available any time to answer questions, to advise on an unusual situation, for coaching, or to direct you to resources. You can email her to set up an appointment (email@example.com).
- Hoi Ning Ngai, Associate Dean for Student Affairs: Hoi Ning, based in in the Graduate School, is a resource for all UNC graduate students and can advise especially on unusual or difficult situations. Many students have the misconception that seeking advice from someone in The Graduate School is equivalent to filing a formal complaint. It is important to know this is not the case. The Graduate School is a valuable resource for you at any stage. Hoi Ning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 919-962-6329.
- Office of the Dean of Students: The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) is concerned with the well-being of all students on campus. You do not need an appointment to meet with someone in the Dean of Students office. Walk In Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
- UNC Ombuds: a confidential resource for all UNC-CH students, faculty, and staff. The Ombuds office can offer advice, coach individuals on responding to a situation, mediate conflicts, and more. As with The Graduate School, the Ombuds does not have to be a ‘last resort’ option and is not a formal complaint process. You can contact them anytime, and no one has to know. To make an appointment email, email one of the staff in the office directly.
Novice Guide to Graduate School [pdf]:This guide was developed by the graduate student members of the Professional Development Committee for the UNC Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD). It includes a PhD Glossary of commonly used terms and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. The guide was written for an audience that knows very little about science culture and graduate school so that you can also share it with your family and friends.
Life as a Biomedical Graduate Student at UNC: Check out our video featuring some of our current students describing what life at UNC is like. This video is another great resource to share with your friends and family if they are curious what it means to be a graduate student in the biosciences.
GPSF Resource Guide: Information about life in Chapel Hill, courtesy of UNC’s Graduate Student Professional Federation.
Other resources outside of UNC-CH
David McDonald is available for consultation if you are unsure about how to handle a specific situation or whether it constitutes a policy violation.
The UNC SOM is committed to a positive learning environment that is conducive to learning. Mistreatment can include speaking insultingly, belittling, threatening, attacking, retaliating, and other behaviors. On the above page is also a link to the mistreatment policy which goes into more detail.
- safe.unc.edu: UNC’s portal for information and reporting incidences of discrimination, harassment, interpersonal violence, and stalking.
- File a report: more information about reporting options including anonymous support. Most individuals employed by UNC to whom a student might choose to make a report are considered Responsible Employees and must report these incidences to the Title IX office. This helps the university coordinate a response. Anonymous reporting options are described here.
- Gender Violence Services Coordinators: confidential support staff in the UNC Women’s Center (the GVSC are not responsible employees and can keep conversations confidential)
- Guide to getting support [pdf]
- Detailed guide for Responsible Conduct of Research at UNC-CH
- Report a Research Ethics Violation
- UNC-CH Research Integrity Officers (RIO)
- Register with Accessibility Resources for accommodations in class.
- Register with EOC for workplace accommodations including religious, accessibility, or medical conditions.
Report any Policy Violation: scroll down to select the type of concern you are reporting.
UNC Ombuds: a confidential resource for all UNC-CH students, faculty, and staff. The Ombuds office can offer advice, coach individuals on responding to a situation, mediate conflicts, and more. Contacting the Ombuds office is not necessarily at ‘last resort’. It can be a first step, a place to get advice. Their resources page contains many helpful links on conflict resolution.