Climate for Success


The Program in Chemical Biology is committed to providing a climate for success for all our students. We are dedicated to providing opportunities for students to learn and grow during their graduate career, not only academically but professionally as well. 

University of Michigan Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative

As part of the University of Michigan's Strategic Plan on enhancing diversity and increasing inclusivity, the Program in Chemical Biology has joined with its administrative home, the Life Sciences Institute to develop a strategic diversity plan. A planning team with members drawn from many roles at the university — including graduate students, postdocs, administrators, tenured faculty and research staff — work together to ensure hiring, training and programming all promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Program Activities

Since students and faculty in the program are scattered all over the extensive university campus, we provide a large number of social events throughout the year. Some of these events are focused on research and professional development, including our Fall and Spring Retreats; others are more social or focus on recruiting, such as our Interview Weekend and Holiday Party. The program also hosts speakers or workshops a few times a year, focused on research or professional development. 

The program also has a robust Student Council. This student group arranges monthly chalk talks, provide opportunities to network and develop professional skills, and organizes several social events for the greater student body over the year. Many of our students are involved in outreach and community building, including volunteering and taking leadership roles in FEMMES, Young Science Innovators at the University of Michigan, and participating in Portal to the Public at UM's Museum of Natural History and the Detroit Zoo.

Career Development

Throughout the academic year, Rackham Graduate School hosts workshops, seminars and networking opportunities for graduate students in general, as well as for those in the physical and life sciences specifically. (View a list of current events.) The program also hosts several events just for chemical biology students or hosts events with the Life Science Institute (LSI) Trainee Committee, as well as the Medical School.

Funding Opportunities

Through the Rackham Graduate School, there are numerous options for student funding. Below is an edited list.

  • Rackham Conference Travel Grant – for those presenting a poster or paper at a conference ($900-$1,400/year)
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship Program - competitive fellowship to support outstanding doctoral students
  • Rackham International Student Fellowship and Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship - competitive fellowship specifically to support outstanding international students
  • Graduate Student Research Grant – for covering research related expenses (lab equipment and supplies, research-based travel, etc; $1,500-$3,000)
  • Graduate Student Professional Development - to support short-term experiences that promote the development of professional skills which will further a student’s career goals ($400)
  • Graduate Student Emergency Funds – to help meet the financial needs of students who encounter an emergency situation or one-time, unusual or unforeseen expense during their degree program (up to $2,500)
  • Shapiro/Malik/Forrest Awards – to assist graduate students with interest payments on unsubsidized educational loans
  • King Chavez-Parks Initial, Future Faculty Fellowship Program

Rackham also has a Rackham Merit Fellowship program that is a highly competitive, program-nominated, multi-year award. This fellowship program helps sustain the academic excellence and inclusiveness of the Michigan graduate community, one that embraces students with diverse experiences and goals, and who come from many educational, cultural, geographic, and familial backgrounds. Rackham Merit Fellows are invited to participate in special programming throughout your academic career at Michigan. This programming is designed to support both professional and academic development, as well as offer the opportunity to expand personal and professional networks. Some topics and strategies that will be discussed include:

  1. Learning how to develop a productive relationship with multiple faculty members
  2. Developing core communication skills
  3. Engaging in career exploration
  4. Building community for personal and professional support