Student Life

Recreation and cultural activities are a part of the graduate student experience, and California and Florida are two great places to be a student. There are a lot of activities to do both on and off campus. For a detailed exploration of life in California or Florida, click on the state link.

While we expect the experience of students in Scripps Research's graduate program to be extremely rich and rewarding, we are fully aware of the stresses and pressure placed on today's graduate students. With this in mind, program administrators have put in place a number of ways for students to seek help and guidance with issues of coping with a new environment, dealing with difficult situations and navigating life's challenges in a competitive scientific arena.

La Jolla, a community within the city of San Diego, enjoys some of the best weather in the United States. Mild year-round temperatures allow for daily outdoor activities that include cycling, jogging and hiking. The beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve, adjacent to Scripps Research, offers numerous trails that lead to scenic overlooks and to the beach. And the community’s seaside locale welcomes surfers and paddleboard enthusiasts. Sailing and ocean kayaking are also popular, and you can swim or snorkel the waters off La Jolla Shores beach every summer.

Adventure seekers can hike in the mountains just 30+ miles from La Jolla (and occasionally experience snow) then continue on into the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for further explorations.

Sports fans can watch the San Diego Padres play major league baseball in a state-of-the-art stadium situated in downtown San Diego, then walk over to the Gaslamp Quarter to enjoy its vibrant nightlife. The San Diego Gulls compete in ice hockey and the city will soon host rugby, lacrosse and soccer teams.

La Jolla and the greater San Diego area provide numerous cultural opportunities. Balboa Park, nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park, is home to more than a dozen museums as well as the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Theater lovers can enjoy critically acclaimed performances at the Old Globe (also in Balboa Park), the La Jolla Playhouse (close to Scripps Research) and the San Diego Repertory Theatre, among many smaller theaters throughout the city. The San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera each present an annual season of performances. Outdoor music concerts abound, especially in the summer months.
Scripps Research and its location on Torrey Pines Mesa in La Jolla provide faculty and students with numerous recreational and sports-related opportunities for fitness training and relaxation.

Shiley Sports and Health Center: This 30,000-square-foot addition to Scripps Clinic is located at the north end of the campus. The center offers various programs and facilities, including a state-of-the-art strength and fitness center, an outdoor heated lap pool and all-weather track, a gymnasium and an indoor warm-water therapy pool. Classes offered include aerobics, swimming and ski fitness. Use of the facility can be arranged at no charge for graduate students.

Basketball: A basketball court is available on campus for use on a 24-hour basis.

Jogging/hiking/cycling trails: The La Jolla area provides various recreational trails for use and enjoyment by the community; most may be used free of charge. The nearby University of California, San Diego campus provides several trails for hiking and jogging. These trails include stretch stops and instructions on fitness.

Torrey Pines State Reserve: The Torrey Pines State Reserve also provides many hiking and jogging trails that lead to scenic overlooks and to the beach. This beautiful reserve is located on North Torrey Pines Road just to the north of the institute.

Network for Women in Science: The mission of the Network for Women in Science on the Scripps La Jolla campus is to provide support, guidance and opportunity for female scientists, to create awareness of issues that affect scientific career development and success, to promote diversity at Scripps, and to make a positive difference in the culture of science for the benefit of the entire scientific community. 

Toastmasters: Scripps Outstanding Speakers (SOS) Toastmasters is a group of people dedicated to improving their speaking and leadership skills in front of large and small audiences alike. The diverse backgrounds and varied careers make for lively and engaging meetings. The group meets every Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Immunology East Conference Room. 

Society of Fellows: The purpose of the Society of Fellows is to encourage professional and social exchange within Scripps Research, establish and maintain a program of communication and information exchange regarding the institute for all present and former fellows and sponsor a visiting lectureship program attracting leaders in various research areas. All current fellows, graduate students, professional staff and former fellows are eligible to participate in society activities, and may join the society. Members receive discounts on items such as SOF T-shirts and tickets to SOF events. Members may also participate in the spring and fall travel award competitions sponsored by the Society of Fellows. Activities include guest speakers, luncheons, happy hours, travel awards, trade shows, placement services and more. 

Open Forum Luncheon: Once a month, a small number of students, faculty members and administration are invited to have lunch with the dean of the graduate program. The purpose of this luncheon is to provide a small, informal setting for general discussion about each student's scientific interests and progress, and any topics of interest that relates to student life at Scripps Research. Every student will be invited to attend one luncheon each year.

Scientific Meetings: The graduate program encourages all graduate students to participate in scientific meetings and workshops that can enhance their education. Requests for attendance/participation in scientific meetings must be directed to the student's research advisor. Expenses related to scientific meetings will be shared equally between the graduate program and the student's advisor; however, the graduate program's contribution will be capped at $750. When total expenses for the meeting exceed $1,500, the student's advisor will be expected to cover the full amount in excess of $1,500.

Outreach Programs: Every summer, the Office of Educational Outreach and Community Engagement invites high school and undergraduate students to campus for an 8- to 10-week internship. This opportunity provides the interns with a chance to learn more about careers in science through one-on-one mentoring by graduate students.
As a graduate student at Scripps Research, you and your dependents are eligible to participate in the Scripps Research Graduate Student Medical Plan. This plan allows you and your dependents to choose from in- or out-of-network providers for all of your medical care needs. The premium for the student will be paid by the school.

Benefits for Scripps Research graduate students begin on the first day of active enrollment and terminate on the last day of the month the student is separated from the program. Coverage is available for a spouse, domestic partner (same sex), and/or children for an additional cost.

A successful apartment search usually takes several days or weeks, particularly for neighborhoods very close to Scripps Research. Rent for a room or an apartment can range from $700 to well over $1,000 per month. The San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego Weekly Reader classifieds are good starting places for vacancies.

Please consider the following tips for finding a place to live: Determine the amount you can afford to pay in rent. Do not forget to include renter’s insurance, cable TV/internet, and utilities such as gas, electric and water in your calculation.

Determine the amount of space you need. The more space you need or want, the more it will cost. What other features are important to you, such as pet policies, proximity to public transportation, and/or laundry facilities?

  • Would you consider living with a roommate? If you are willing to share living space, you could save yourself several hundred dollars per month.

  • Determine how far you are willing to commute to school. Think about the neighborhoods in which you would like to live.

  • Check your credit report. You can request a credit report online from any of the three major reporting agencies. Some landlords or apartment complexes will not rent to people with low credit ratings.

  • Prepare a list of names, address and phone numbers of references and past landlords.


Please consider the following resources for finding a place to live:

  • Scan the apartment listings in the local newspaper.

  • Check online rental web sites.

  • See  Rental Assistance Information.

  • Check  San Diego Craigslist (classifieds).

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the property management. Read reviews written by current and previous renters online.

Jupiter offers beautiful, palm-lined beaches, an easygoing lifestyle and convenient access to all that Florida has to offer. The climate is sub-tropical, with hot, humid summers refreshed by brief, almost daily showers, and mild, dry winters. Because Florida is a popular vacation destination for Americans, there are numerous tourist attractions throughout the state, including Walt Disney World, the Kennedy Space Center and Everglades National Park.

Water activities abound in the Jupiter area. The Jupiter Waterway Trail connects the Loxahatchee River, Intracoastal Waterway and Jupiter Inlet. You can canoe, kayak or paddleboard, enjoying lush stands of cypress and catching glimpses of wildlife that include alligators, manatees, otters and deer. Conservation experts can point visitors to a self-guided kayak tour of a cove where many species of sea turtles congregate. And you can snorkel or dive to explore the coral reefs and marine life—including docile goliath groupers (up to 8 feet long and several hundred pounds)—in the warm waters just off the coast. Families will enjoy collecting seashells on nearby Jupiter Island, ranked among Florida’s best sites for shelling.

Fans of major league baseball can take in the spring training games of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, as well as their minor league affiliates, at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. And motor sports enthusiasts can find plenty of events at the Palm Beach International Raceway. Florida has more than 1,200 golf courses and Jupiter’s Abacoa Golf Club is one of the finest public courses in the southern part of the state.

Harbourside Place, a complex of shops, restaurants and hotel accommodations, is situated along the Intracoastal Waterway and boasts a waterfront amphitheater. And Florida’s largest award-winning regional theater, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, presents top-quality plays and musicals throughout the year, attracting 100,000 people annually.

Scripps Research and its location in Jupiter, Florida provide faculty and students with numerous recreational and sports-related opportunities for fitness training and relaxation.

From world-class golf courses, sailing and kayaking to professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey teams, South Florida is ideal for sports fans and active lifestyles. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the wide array of nearby beaches, nature trails and wildlife refuges, including Everglades National Park.

Campus Fitness Center: The center offers a state-of-the-art strength and fitness center, showers and locker room. Use of the facility is available at no charge for graduate students, faculty and staff.

Beaches: Jupiter is well known for its beautiful beaches. There are many things about Jupiter's beaches that attract visitors: the warm waters for much of the year, shelling, natural surroundings and wildlife, turtle nesting and much more.

Volleyball: A volleyball court is available on campus for use by students, faculty and staff.

Jogging/hiking/cycling trails: The Jupiter area provides various recreational trails, jogging paths and bike lanes for use and enjoyment by the community.

Network for Women in Science: The Scripps Florida Network for Women in Science was established to help build a sense of community among the women on our Florida campus, to network and receive support, and to create a place for discourse on women’s issues (balancing career and family, selecting a career path, etc.). NWIS hosts monthly meetings, designed as informal opportunities to interact with established female researchers and life science professionals, discuss issues related to women in science, or to benefit from professional development seminars and workshops that can help inform and guide one’s scientific career.

The group meets every second Wednesday of the month, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., in B214 on the Scripps Research Florida campus. Examples of topics at past gatherings include: Networking 101, Ideas for Non-traditional Careers in the Life Sciences, Meet the PI, Balancing Work and Family, Best Practices in Social Networking, Holiday Potlucks and Yoga Classes.

Graduate Student Committee: This committee, comprising graduate students from all class years of both the Chemistry and Biology programs, represents the interests and concerns of the student body.

Toastmasters: Scientifically Speaking Toastmasters' mission is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth. Founded in 2011 at Scripps Research in Jupiter, Florida, we are one of more than 14,000 Toastmasters International Clubs around the globe. Our club is open, inclusive and supportive. We bring together career-minded professionals from different organizations and industries in North Palm Beach County.

Society of Research Fellows: The Society of Research Fellows (SRF) is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization whose goal is to enhance the professional, academic and social lives of postdocs within the Florida campus community. In part, we strive to achieve these goals through organizing various professional and social events. These events are designed to provide a networking platform for career development and to foster a sense of community among the diverse set of postdocs at Scripps Research.
Graduate Program Journal Club: Present and discuss interesting articles at monthly journal club meetings with fellow students.

Monthly Happy Hour: Social gathering with other graduate students and research associates at a neighborhood establishment.

Research Fest: Present oral and poster presentations to our local scientific community held on the Florida campus.

Scientific Meetings: The graduate program encourages all graduate students to participate in scientific meetings and workshops that can enhance your education.

Education and Community Outreach: This is an opportunity to improve scientific and communication skills, share enthusiasm for science with local schoolchildren and members of the public and improve teaching skills by mentoring a high school or undergraduate student.

Science Career Panels: Join a group of fellow graduate students to discuss the ins and outs of training to become a scientist.

Science Saturdays: Participate in a half-day education program designed to explore the wonders of DNA and neuroscience for high school students.

“CELLebrate” Science: Get involved with our community’s largest annual science festival at The Gardens Mall. Lead hands-on science demonstrations for children and families.

Summer Internships for undergrad and high school students: Sharpen your skills at communicating complex scientific topics and help spark a passion for research with the next generation of scientists.

Life Science Technology Hub: A monthly event for life science technology professionals. Meet other professionals connected with the life science industry from sectors in biotech, pharma, research, CROs, bioinformatics, medical devices, academia, instrumentation, lab services, venture capitalists, intellectual property and IT, among others.

BioFlorida: BioFlorida is Florida’s bioscience industry association. Its mission is to represent and advocate for the state’s biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. All Scripps employees have a free membership.
As a graduate student at Scripps Research, you and your dependents are eligible to participate in the Scripps Research Graduate Student Medical Plan. This plan allows you and your dependents to choose from in- or out-of-network providers for all of your medical care needs. The premium for the student will be paid by the school.

Benefits for Scripps Research graduate students begin on the first day of active enrollment and terminate on the last day of the month the student is separated from the program. Coverage is available for a spouse, domestic partner (same sex), and/or children for an additional cost.
The Florida campus of Scripps Researchis located in the northern part of Palm Beach County, one of the most scenic and culturally diverse areas of the United States. It is known for its incredible natural beauty, vibrant culture and excellent weather; however, South Florida is more than just year-round sunshine, picturesque palm trees, turquoise Atlantic waters and endless miles of beaches. It has a lower cost of living than many other major cities. To learn more about everything Palm Beach County, click click here.

A successful apartment search usually takes several days or weeks, particularly for neighborhoods very close to Scripps Research. Rent for a room or an apartment can range from $800 to well over $1,000 per month. Palm Beach Post and Craigslist are good starting places for vacancies.

The adjacent Honors campus of Florida Atlantic University occasionally has temporary housing available in their dormitories. Email or call (561) 799-8828 to inquire about availability.

Please consider the following tips for finding a place to live:
  • Determine the amount you can afford to pay in rent. Do not forget to include renter’s insurance, cable TV/internet, and utilities such as gas, electric and water in your calculation.
  • Determine the amount of space you need. The more space you need or want, the more it will cost. What other features are important to you, such as pet policies, proximity to public transportation, and/or laundry facilities?
  • Would you consider living with a roommate? If you are willing to share living space, you could save yourself several hundred dollars per month.
  • Determine how far you are willing to commute to school. Think about the neighborhoods in which you would like to live.
  • Check your credit report. You can request a credit report online from any of the three major reporting agencies. Some landlords or apartment complexes will not rent to people with low credit ratings.
  • Prepare a list of names, address, and phone numbers of references and past landlords.
  • Please consider the following resources for finding a place to live:
    • Scan the apartment listings in the local newspaper.
    • Check online rental websites.
    • Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the property management. Read reviews written by current and previous renters online.