HBCS Predoctoral Training Program

The four-year HBCS predoctoral training program is open to students admitted to any of the following U-M graduate programs:

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Bioengineering
  • Human Genetics
  • Human Nutrition
  • Oral Biology
  • Physiological Acoustics
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience


Training follows the curriculum established by the student's graduate department; the Kresge Hearing Research Institute supplements this curriculum with specific course work and research related to the sensory sciences. The four-year program is as follows:

  • Year One: Students complete basic course work and participate in laboratory rotations to familiarize themselves with research in the sensory systems.
  • Year Two: Students spend time in the laboratory of a faculty sponsor and may engage in preliminary research leading to a dissertation proposal.
  • Year Three: Students take qualifying examinations and submit a dissertation proposal. Students also focus on laboratory research and activities related to the conduct of research, such as advanced seminars in sensory systems, special seminars by outside speakers, journal clubs and research discussion groups.
  • Year Four: Students continue laboratory research and above-mentioned activities related to the conduct of research.

Courses and Seminars

The following courses and seminars are offered as part of the HBCS Program.

Introductory Course: Hearing, Balance, and Chemical Senses

This course is offered by our training faculty through the neuroscience graduate program and is taught in an interdisciplinary format. It focuses on basic information and methodology about these sensory systems, their anatomy, physiology and molecular biology and processing at levels of the peripheral and central nervous system.

Laboratory Rotations

During the first year of the HBCS program,  students are required to rotate through three laboratories, spending 4-6 weeks in each lab. Students may choose from the lab of any KHRI training faculty member, as well as from laboratories of faculty in the student's home department. Students are encouraged to rotate through both a laboratory engaged in hearing research and one engaged in research on the chemical senses that uses different methodologies. This provides the student with a broad orientation on research programs and methodology.

Seminars in Hearing, Balance and Chemical Senses

Both predoctoral and postdoctoral participants attend a series of weekly seminars organized around selected topics in hearing, balance and chemical senses. This series features expert speakers from outside the University of Michigan and local faculty. In order to further the integration among the students, the speakers at the seminar series offer an informal lunch with all students and postdoctoral fellows. This series is an integral part of the training program. See seminar schedule.

Research Seminars and Journal Clubs

Individual laboratories conduct weekly research seminars and journal clubs, during which current research and literature is discussed and analyzed to assess its impact on the development on the field and the research of the individual trainee.

Responsible Conduct of Research

Teaching of responsible conduct in research is a high priority at the University of Michigan. Our predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees are educated in research standards and ethics through classroom and computer-based training programs.

Admission Requirements

Learn how to apply to the HBCS Predoctoral Training Program.