Program Information

Evaluation of GDBBS Programs

Implicit in the Divisional structure is the assumption that from time to time it may be necessary to restructure Graduate Programs in order to accommodate changing local and national needs. Programs that have lost their vigor or competitiveness need to be refocused. Likewise, it may become advantageous to form new graduate Programs or expand existing ones. To respond to such needs and to assure optimal use of training funds and faculty it is necessary to have uniform and realistic expectations for Graduate Programs. The performance of our Graduate Programs should be periodically reviewed for fulfillment of these expectations.

The following guidelines govern the evaluation of the performance of Programs within the GDBBS. Criteria are suggested that can be used to evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of existing Programs with regard to Training Faculty, Student Pool, National Need, Course Curriculum, and Administration. It is expected that successful Programs will meet all of these criteria during each review. Generally, an application for a new training area would be expected to document how the proposed Program would meet or exceed the criteria used to evaluate existing Programs.

Review Mechanism

The Director of the Division will appoint a three or four member Ad Hoc Review Committee. All Ad Hoc Committees will specifically exclude current Program Directors and Departmental Chairs, although their views may be sought by the committee for evaluation of Programs. At least two individuals from outside the university will be included in the Ad Hoc Review Committees. Each Review Committee will review individual Programs when requested by the GDBBS Director, with the expectation that each Program will be reviewed every five years. In addition, the Director of the Division may request a review of a Program at any time. The reports of each Review Committee will be forwarded to the GDBBS Director and the GDBBS Advisory Committee. After formal acceptance of the report by the Advisory Committee the report will be available for inspection by any interested faculty member.

Programs that fail to meet the minimal criteria will be placed on probation and required to correct any insufficiencies identified by the Review Committee within one year. The Division Director will recommend to the Deans of the Graduate School and School of Medicine that Programs with a history of such problems will be phased out. In this event, the Program will cease to admit new students and will maintain active administrative functions only until all enrolled students finish their degree requirements.

The GDBBS Advisory Council will review new Program proposals and make recommendations to the Director, based on the capability of any proposed new Program to meet the criteria outlined below.

Review Criteria


  • Programs should have an adequate number of participating faculty.
  • Programs should show continued ability to provide faculty to fill the positions of Program Director, DGS, Recruiters, and Executive Committee members.
  • Core Curriculum - Programs should have a defined core curriculum. Advanced courses in the curriculum should be distinct from those of other Programs. Both core and advanced courses should be offered on a regular basis; preferably every year for core courses and at least every other year for advanced courses.
  • Advanced Courses - Programs should offer a number of advanced courses sufficient to fulfill the educational needs of its students. These should be specifically listed and may include courses taught by Division faculty from other Programs.


  • The following examples are among the ways in which Programs can demonstrate a national need and market for the students they train:
  • Training Support - Program faculty should be associated with successful predoctoral training grants, or as sponsors of individual student fellowships. Association with a training grant by a particular faculty member would be counted in each Program with which that faculty person is affiliated.
  • Employment Prospects for Graduates - Evidence of employment opportunities for Program graduates should be documented. This might include a summary of job advertisements in international journals, professional society announcements, requests for research proposals in the training area, availability of training grant funds, or industrial support of training in the Program area.
  • Employment History for Graduates - A large proportion of Program graduates should be employed in scientific careers. Employment history of graduates should be collected by the Division office biannually and be made available to the Ad Hoc Committee to be included in the review.


  • Qualified Applicant Pool - For at least 2 of the previous 3 years a Program should have received a minimum of 20 applications from prospective students who meet both GDBBS minimum requirements and NIH requirements for predoctoral fellowship trainees.
  • Qualified Matriculating Pool – At least 90% of the students admitted to a Program should meet minimal GDBBS requirements.
  • Student Progress - A minimum of two-thirds and a maximum of 90% of the students admitted should finish the Ph.D. degree. Students should complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within an average of 5.5 years.

National Need for Training in the Program Area

  • Faculty will be limited to membership in two Programs. Individual faculty can request an exception to this rule by submitting a written request to the Executive Committee of the Division. If approved, application may be made for membership to an additional Program.
  • Programs should have a minimum of 12 faculty who are eligible to serve as primary dissertation mentors according to Graduate School regulations, and who have had peer-reviewed extramural support for a minimum of 3 of the last 5 years, or are in years 1 or 2 of a three year or longer term grant.
  • The Program must have written guidelines for evaluating faculty participation, and a clearly documented mechanism for removal of non-participating faculty from the Program.

Programs Should be Able to Recruit, Matriculate, and Graduate High Quality Student