Peer Mentoring

The Chemistry GLC is a group of students who ultimately care about helping other graduate students navigate the graduate school experience. To do this, the CGLC coordinates a variety of peer mentoring activities to prepare younger graduate students for the different tasks that they will encounter throughout their PhD program. If you are interested in participating or helping the peer mentoring program, please contact the current Peer Mentor coordinator Marco Lobba (

First Year

When first year students arrive in August, the Chemistry GLC provides an orientation presentation to welcome new students to Berkeley and highlight important steps the new students should take in their first few months. During orientation week, current graduate students serve on discussion panels focused on the various research areas at Berkeley (physical, inorganic, theory, etc.). First year students are welcome to attend any and all panels to learn about the research groups at Berkeley from a students’ perspective. Additionally, first year students are assigned a current graduate student to be their first year mentor. This mentor will be available to help the new student navigate the first year smoothly.

In the second semester, two programs are provided for the Synthetic and Chemical Biology Divisions. For Synthetic Division students, older students hold a discussion panel about the first year report and provide example first year reports. For ChemBio students who must make a decision about which group to join at the end of the third rotation, a panel of older students discusses their decision-making process and why they chose the group they did based on their own rotations. These two panels are held in March/April.

Second Year

Two panels are held in the beginning of August for the second years who will take their qualifying exam during the upcoming academic year. A Physical Division panel and a Synthetic Division panel are composed of third years and older students who have completed the GRC/GRS and qualifying exam process. Topics at these panels include preparing for the seminar presentation, studying, and the actual exam itself.

Third Year

The CGLC would like to provide post-qual third-year mentoring, especially focusing on career options, navigating student-advisor conflicts, and pushing through the third-year slump. If you are interested in helping us design and implement these initiatives, please contact the CGLC.