The mission of the NTID Research Center on Culture and Language (CCL) is to promote access and education through research, development, and mentorship related to cultural and linguistic characteristics and processes of deaf and hard of hearing communities.
There are too few deaf scientists out there, so the University of Rochester (UR) and RIT have developed a partnership to address this gap. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate program aims to increase the number of deaf scientists in the biomedical and behavioral science disciplines. The program selects top RIT graduate students who are deaf or hard of hearing and wish to pursue a doctoral degree. The Rochester Bridges Program provides them with unparalleled, mentored research experiences at RIT and UR for two years. These scholars are provided individualized attention from a team of scientists who will mentor them. The scholars will also take three or more doctoral-level courses at UR, and receive research stipends, tuition waivers, and conference travel funds.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, this program provides the top deaf and hard of hearing students from higher education institutions across the United States with mentored opportunities in sign language research. Specifically, this program supports students who are conducting sign language research to attend the Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research Conference, the largest international conference for sign language researchers. The program provides ASL/English interpreters at the conference and opportunities for the selected scholars to network with well-known sign language researchers.