Getting Involved - Groups and volunteering

There are many opportunities to get involved in the Hopkins and Baltimore communities. Among these, there are several organizations that typically see the most BME PhD student involvement that may or may not be of interest to you. While getting involved in extracurricular activities and groups is not a requirement to complete your PhD program, they are excellent ways to make friends and network with other outstanding students at Hopkins. Below are a few organizations that may be of interest to you. 

  • The Graduate Student Association (GSA): This student council is formally recognized by JHU SOM and is acts as the liaison between the graduate students who mainly work at the hospital/medical campus and the School of Medicine itself. This council sets funding for each student group (and sets aside funds for BME PhD students) and hosts several impressive activities throughout the year. Getting involved as an executive committee member can help get you in contact with top level JHU SOM Administrators. The GSA also regularly awards active participants with travel grants to attend conferences.
  • The Graduate Representative Organization (GRO): This student council is just like the GSA but is specialized to represent graduate students who mainly work at the Homewood campus at JHU. The GRO acts as a liaison for Homewood graduate students with the top level JHU administrators. They provide funding for social events, travel grants, and host multiple activities throughout the year to help graduate students network with one another.
  • THREAD: This organization was started by JHU BME PhD Alumni. THREAD specifically engages under-performing high school students confronting significant barriers outside of the classroom by providing each one with a family of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources. THREAD's mission is to foster students’ academic advancement and personal growth into self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens. The main idea is to support student achievement by threading their connections and networks with members of the local community, including JHU members. Each year, THREAD seeks for graduate student volunteers to assist with mentoring and tutoring for high school students.
  • Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH): This organization was initiated by JHU President Ronald Daniels as a collaboration between the state and city governments with industry partners. P-TECH offers a school-to-industry pipeline for students from any background who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The program partners with Baltimore City Public Schools and the Baltimore City Community College to provide a guided pathway for high school students to higher education. P-TECH students begin in their first year of high school and remain with the program until completion of their associate's degree or equivalent. P-TECH regularly seeks graduate student mentors for their high school students, and JHU BME PhD students currently represent 30% of their mentor population. To get involved as a mentor for high school students, please contact David Maestas at
  • Many other student groups exist, some specific to the School of Medicine and Homewood campuses. These two links should have all of the officially recognized graduate student groups: