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Priority Deadline: March 11


RISE PhD Activities


PhD level RISE students participate in diverse activities designed to assist them towards successful careers in the research sciences. In the process, they...

  • Develop the research skills experience for post-doctoral success.
  • Gain experience in obtaining independent funding.
  • Develop professional skills needed for a successful future in science.
  • Attend scientific conferences and workshops.
  • Learn about the various fields and career paths that they can pursue.
  • Network with scientists from around the country and learn about opportunities.
  • Utilize Program-owned computer technology classroom and laboratory.

In most cases, RISE program activities will be integrated into a student's normal program of study.

Required Courses/Workshops

  • Survival Skills for Scientists Course
  • Grant Writing for Scientists
  • Research Ethics (University or Course)

Other Activities

  • Refresher in Scientific Writing
  • Submission of a Federal Predoctoral Grant (NIH or NSF)
  • Leadership Training
  • Teacher Training
  • StrengthsQuest assessment
  • MARC-U*STAR/RISE Symposium
  • Academic coaching
  • Regular meetings and mentoring by program staff

Laboratory Research

Of primary importance in all science-related PhD programs is for students develop as researchers during their training. The RISE Program provides funding, supporting students in labs independent of mentor or departmental funding.

Technology Laboratory and Classroom (Tech Lab)

student in Tech Lab

RISE participants also take various classes, generally held in the RISE Communication Technology Laboratory and Classroom (Tech Lab). RISE, MARC-U*STAR, and other student and faculty researchers have free access to this laboratory, where they can work not only on their projects, but also on any schoolwork that they need to get done. We encourage students to use these facilities for study groups and to create and practice any presentations that they may have to give. By doing so, they also gain experience in the use of state-of-the-art presentation and instructional equipment.

Program Sponsored Courses and Workshops

The RISE PhD program includes several program-associated courses and workshops designed to help them to practice and learn activities critical to their professional development. Graduate courses include the RISE Seminar and Survival Skills for Scientists.

  • Research Ethics - All RISE doctoral students are required to complete an ethics course, either provided by their department or by a department participating in the RISE program.
  • Technical Writing Refresher Course - At the beginning of the summer after they enter the program, all RISE PhD students will participate in a two-week refresher of writing skills and introduction to technical writing workshop.
  • Survival Skills Course (Bio 5972 or Chem 4972) - The Survival Skills course, taught by Dr. Gail Taylor, provides a semester of intensive professional development activities for Doctoral students. Activities are designed to enhance their ability to understand and present their research and operate professionally in a scientific environment.
  • Grant Writing for Doctoral Students - All RISE PhD students will participate in either a grant-writing course required by their program or a grant writing workshop sponsored by the RISE program. All students will submit a grant to a national granting agency, the NIH or NSF.

RISE Seminar and Lunch with the Speaker

students at lunch

Four times each semester, all RISE students attend a scientific seminar given by a role model scientist or scientist with a background in ground-breaking academic research, government research, or industry. Following the seminar, students meet for lunch with the seminar speaker, providing networking opportunities as well as a chance to interact with other RISE and MARC-U*STAR students.

National and Local Conferences

One of the more exciting activities in which our students participate is the attendance of national scientific conferences. RISE students are funded to attend one conference per year and should plan to do so. PhD students work with their mentors to select the conference that they believe would be most effective for their development as scientists. Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in various local or regional poster presentations.

student presenting poster

Annual Symposium

The first UTSA RISE/MARC-U*STAR Research Symposium took place in Fall 2004 in the Loeffler room of the Biosciences Building. The success of this event has lead program staff to make it an annual event, and even experiment with hosting a symposium each semester. During the symposia, RISE and MARC-U*STAR students give poster and oral presentations. They present research which they performed at UTSA, UT Health San Antonio, and various institutions around the country.

students at symposium
students at symposium

Awards Celebrations

And finally...each Spring and Fall, we host an awards ceremony. Here we both honor our graduates and celebrate the end of the semester. Students from all levels participate and get to know one another while playing games and eating. Program staff and students celebrate our newest graduates.

student award
student award