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Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy

Revision date(s)

September 1, 2022 (J. Gestwicki)

Graduate Council Approval

Approved November 17, 2022

Article I. Objective

A. Degree(s) offered by the program


B. Discipline: A brief statement on the discipline(s) of the program

The Chemistry & Chemical Biology (CCB) program aims to prepare trainees to be bold-thinking, independent, scientific leaders at the chemistry-biology interface. Faculty and students in the program use molecular approaches, including synthetic biology, computational chemistry, chemical synthesis, structural biology and protein and cellular engineering, to explore important problems in the biomedical sciences.

C. Mission of the Program

The goal of the CCB program is to provide trainees with rigorous, interdisciplinary training in which they apply the fundamental principles of chemistry towards important biomedical problems. The curriculum features “breadth-to-depth” educational opportunities, in which trainees from diverse backgrounds and fields are first immersed in a common set of experiences, including a community circle, core courses, journal clubs and seminars, constructing a shared scientific language and cultivating a respect for the power of differences. From that foundation, trainees personalize their educational experience by selecting research rotations, minicourse offerings, teaching opportunities and, ultimately, a thesis project. Throughout this training, from the first day to the last, we integrate activities that promote responsible conduct of research (RCR), rigor & reproducibility, chemical and biological safety, the embracing of diversity, and the effective communication of science. These essential elements of modern graduate education are delivered in formats that are purposefully varied, including expert-led workshops, courses, self-guided tools, thesis committee evaluations, facilitated peer-to-peer and near-peer discussions and faculty-led sessions. We also feature a comprehensive, integrated career exploration plan; delivered through individual development plans (IDPs), optional internships, career panels, immersive career exploration courses and required, secondary mentors (often from outside academia). Attainment of the Ph.D. culminates with submission of a peer-reviewed thesis and an exit seminar to the scientific community. Through these activities, we aim to promote the excitement, honesty and curiosity that is central to science, empowering our trainees to be impactful leaders of the biomedical workforce.

Article II. Membership

A. Criteria for Membership in the Graduate Program

Faculty membership in the CCB Program is determined by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. Membership is determined by analysis of (i) the appropriateness of the research program to the fields of chemistry and chemical biology, (ii) the candidate’s track-record of effective funding, teaching and mentoring, (iii) their commitment to active participation in graduate program activities, and (iv) evidence of commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). For junior faculty, the promise of these criteria is used.

B. Voting rights

Graduate program matters will be determined by a vote of the Executive Committee.

C. Application for membership

  1. How faculty may apply:

    To become a member of the CCB Program, faculty must formally apply and have their application approved by the Executive Committee. The application package consists of a current CV, a description of contributions to DEI and two letters of support. At least one of these support letters should be from a current CCB program faculty member. Membership in the CCB training program is considered a privilege and a responsibility.

  2. Anticipated contributions that graduate faculty members will perform as a member.
    1. Participation in the program: Faculty in the CCB program are expected to demonstrate their commitment to the training program by regularly participating in program activities. These activities may include teaching in courses; serving as a coach for the journal club series; serving as an academic advisor; serving on thesis and qualifying examination committees; outreach and other activities that promote diversity and inclusivity; participating in recruitment and interviews and service on CCB committees.
    2. Mentoring and teaching in the lab: Program faculty are expected to maintain a productive and inclusive training environment. Relevant measures may include evidence that the laboratory environment is welcoming to and supportive of trainees from all backgrounds; that lab students produce rigorous and reproducible publication-worthy research; that lab students complete their degrees in a timely manner; and that students successfully transition into careers in the scientific workforce.
    3. Participation in faculty mentor development activities: Eligibility to accept a CCB student for thesis work requires that the faculty member has participated in at least 60 minutes of formal mentor training (such as Graduate Faculty Development Program Trainings or the DEI Champion’s Training), in the most recent academic year. The CCB Program also encourages faculty to seek additional mentorship development opportunities on an ongoing basis. Faculty who undertake significant activities outside of the University-sponsored training may petition the program to allow these activities to satisfy the mentor development activity requirement in a given year. The Director may also grant temporary accommodations of up to 12 months upon request.
  3. Compliance with University policies and Program values:

    Program faculty are expected to comply with all university policies and uphold the values of the training program, including but not limited to the University Code of Conduct (APM-016); UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment; the UC Policy on Discrimination, and the Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace; scientific misconduct and/or financial improprieties.

D. Emeritus Status

Emeritus faculty with active research programs may remain members of the program and are afforded the following rights: they may attend and participate in program activities (including meetings and administrative committees), may teach graduate courses, and may serve on student committees. Emeritus faculty on the Executive Committee may vote on policy and bylaw issues related to the program.

E. Review of Membership

Each faculty member’s standing in the program shall be routinely reviewed at least once every five years. Initial review will be performed by the Director and Associate Director and final decisions made by the Executive Committee. Faculty can be asked to leave the CCB program for failing to provide a minimal level of service (e.g, teaching, committees) or when their research or mentoring activities are no longer considered to fit the criteria for membership.

  1. Obtaining relevant information:

    To ensure compliance with these requirements the Program Director(s) and Executive Committee need to have the relevant information about faculty conduct. While information about faculty participation in program events and training is readily attainable, information about other types of violations may be difficult to obtain if, for example, the University is not forthcoming with information about faculty violations of University policies, or an individual who experiences a hostile interaction in the workplace does not report it. Thus, considering the different types and sources of information that are needed, the CCB Program proactively seeks to track compliance with these requirements in multiple ways, as described in section 4.2 below.

  2. Violations of program expectations for faculty conduct:

    The Graduate Program Directors, Executive Committee, and Program Coordinators are in frequent communication with trainees, faculty, the Graduate Division, and the University administration to monitor for compliance with all membership policy requirements. This can include reports from the Bias Response Team (once it has been established) or other communications from the Graduate Division, and communications from the University administration about faculty violations of the University Code of Conduct. The Executive Committee will promptly revoke program membership at any time upon learning about faculty conduct detrimental to the program or the safety and welfare of its members. Examples of evidence of this type of detrimental conduct include (but are not limited to), official findings by the University that a faculty member has violated Title VII or IX, or legal determinations of guilt (including settlements out of court) that may not have resulted in a University sanction.

    In addition, faculty may also be put on suspension or removed from the program for conduct that has not resulted in a University or legal sanction but nonetheless has been determined by the Executive Committee to be detrimental to the program or the safety and welfare of its members. This may include serious or sustained actions that create a hostile work environment such as a pattern of racist, sexist, or homophobic remarks or behavior, or a significant lack of professionalism or integrity. The CCB program expects all of its faculty members to represent and uphold UCSF values of Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence (PRIDE).

    The Executive Committee will develop a course of action on a case-by-case basis. For example, faculty who are found to have violated Title VII or IX will be removed from the program immediately and are generally not eligible to reapply (see Section 4.5 below) whereas the plan of action to address less severe violations may include interventions by program leadership, mediation, additional training, etc. before a decision to suspend or remove a faculty member from the program is reached. In any of these cases, the program may seek guidance from University offices and resources, such as the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of the Ombuds, and the Graduate Division.

F. Membership Appeal Process

If membership is denied or not renewed, faculty can appeal to the Executive Committee for reconsideration. The Committee may grant an opportunity to maintain temporary membership for a 12 month interim period before an additional review. All efforts will be made to accommodate any students impacted by these decisions.

Article III. Administration

The administration of the program and its activities will be vested in the Program Director(s) and an Executive Committee.

Article IV. Graduate Program Director

A. Director and Associate Director appointment process

The graduate program Director and Associate Director will be nominated in consultation with the Executive Committee and approved by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Committee.

B. Director and Associate Director terms of service

The Director and Associate Director commit to serving for at least 5 years unless extenuating circumstances call for a shorter term.

C. Duties of the Director

The Director: a) provides overall academic leadership for the program; b) develops and implements policies for the program; c) represents the interests of the program to the campus and University administrators; d) calls and presides at meetings of the Executive Committee; e) calls and presides at meetings of the program; f) is responsible for coordinating all administrative matters with the Graduate Division and the program administrators; g) manages the budgets of the program; h) takes responsibility for the submission of competitive and non-competitive renewals of the training grant (and is often the Lead PI of the training grant); i) submits course change or approval forms; and j) is responsible for the accuracy of all publications related to the program including web pages and catalog copy.

D. Duties of the Associate Director

The Associate Director will work closely with the Director to carry out all duties described in (C) above. The Associate Director will serve as chief officer of the Group in the absence of the Director. In the CCB program, the Associate Director is tasked with overseeing DEI activities across the program and Committees.

Article V. Committees

A. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Director and Associate Director, plus at least four faculty selected from the membership and one faculty who is not a member of the CCB program. All members have voting rights. The faculty members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a five-year term, which is renewable.

Election of faculty members of the Executive Committee: nomination shall be made by e-mail to the Program Director or Associate Director, or the Program Administrator. Elections shall be conducted by a vote of the Executive Committee.

The principal duties of the Executive Committee shall be to determine and implement policy for the good of the program, determine program membership, and to represent the interests of the program generally to various universities and other agencies.

The Executive Committee shall meet at least annually. Additional meetings and executive sessions may be held as deemed necessary. In some cases, decisions can be made by email without calling a meeting of the committee members.

B. Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee shall consist of faculty members of the CCB program, including one Chair. The committee members will review and rank the written applications to select applicants for an interview, and will assess interview evaluations to select applicants for admission. These final evaluations must include comments from at least two current students. The Chair and the Program Associate Director are tasked with evaluating the DEI efforts of the Committee.

C. Curricula Committee

The Curricula Committee shall be composed of the Director, Program Administrator and the course directors for CCB’s core courses. This group will work closely with aligned graduate programs on scheduling and designing joint courses. This Committee will meet as-needed to solicit feedback and evaluate CCB graduate coursework.

D. Fellowship Committee

The Fellowship Committee shall be composed of the Director, Associate Director and Program Administrator. Additional members can be recruited from the Executive Committee, especially in instances of potential conflict-of-interest. This group will solicit nominations student opportunities, including fellowship nominations. The goal of these efforts are to balance opportunities across students and research groups.

Article VI. Student Representatives

When needed, student representatives are self-nominated or nominated by the CCB students and faculty. The Fellowship Committee will then select the student representative from the list of nominees. The term of service and voting rights of the student representative will be determined by the Chair of the relevant Committee.

Article VII. Graduate Advisers

CCB students are assigned multiple mentors and advisors by the program. Incoming 1st year students are assigned an Academic Advisor, who focuses on issues that are commonly encountered in the first year (e.g, selection of rotations, coursework, etc.). At the end of the 1st year, CCB students select a Thesis Advisor. The selection of the Thesis Advisor requires approval by the Director and Associate Director. In the Spring quarter, students discuss thesis opportunities with faculty and then submit a ranked list to the Program Administrator. These choices are first confirmed with the faculty member and then final assignment made via email. Every effort is made to assign first choice. No more than two students can join a single research group in any one cycle. Note that MSTP students will keep their MSTP advisors and operate on a different timeline.

Article IX. Quorum

All issues that require a vote must be:

  • Voted on by at least 50% of the Executive Committee Membership
  • On graduate program matters other than amendment/revision of bylaws, passage requires a supporting vote by at least 50% supporting vote of the members voting.
  • On amendments and revision of bylaws: passage requires a supporting vote by at least two thirds of the members voting.

If balloting is conducted via e-mail or web-based technology, 10 days must be provided for expression of opinions about the proposal prior to the acceptance of votes; the program must allow 14 days for votes to be returned or before the “polls are closed.”

Article XI. Amendments

Amendments to these bylaws may be made in accordance with program’s quorum policy in Article IX. Program members may propose amendments by petition to the program Chair. The program Chair, or relevant program committee, may ask for revisions from the faculty who submitted proposed amendments before forwarding the revisions to the membership for review and voting. Quorum, voting and passage is prescribed in Article IX. All amendments and revisions must be submitted to the Graduate Council for review and approval; changes in the bylaws will become effective upon approval by the Graduate Council.