Signature Programming

OBGD hosts a series of signature programs that have been developed to provide an informative and enjoyable training environment for our affiliated students. Programming spans areas critical for success in the sciences, including (but not limited to) academic enrichment, professional development, wellness and community engagement. For a full schedule of programs, please visit our Calendar of Events.

Examples of our programs include:


OBGD students at retreatThe OBGD Annual Retreat is a fun-filled 3-day retreat for all underrepresented graduate students in the basic sciences. Students participate in teambuilding exercises, hear scientific presentations from their peers and from a keynote speaker, and participate in workshops designed to both reflect on and improve their life as a graduate student at Duke. 


OBGD students listening to a seminarThe OBGD Monthly Workshop is a co-led by faculty and senior graduate students and addresses a different professional development or academic topic each month.




Students eating during Dinner and Dessert event

Dinner and Dessert is a monthly event designed for faculty and administrators to form mentor/mentee relationships with underrepresented students by speaking informally and honestly about they made different life decisions and how they found professional success.



Dissertation Support Group Meeting

Dissertation Support Group is designed for students within one year of writing their dissertation to discuss dissertation issues and pressures, thesis committee composition, writing strategies, and coping skills.




Exam Prep Group

Preliminary Qualifying Exam Preparatory Group is designed for students within six months of taking the exam to discuss issues such as understanding how to write a successful proposal and how to effectively communicate their topic.




Student Meeting with Dr. Sherilynn Black

Open Door Lunches provide an opportunity for minority graduate students to spend time with the OBGD Director on a regular basis and receive support and guidance in a relaxed, confidential manner.




Logo of CAPS ProgramOBGD and Duke Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) partnership promotes and support mental and emotional health for underrepresented graduate students through a series of wellness programs and workshops.