Grad Program

Comprised of a small cohort of 3rd- and 4th-year doctoral students from across the University of Notre Dame, NDIAS-Graduate School Fellows will participate in a year-long program aimed at increasing their ability to conduct research in an interdisciplinary setting, developing their research communication skills, and cultivating their professional and scholarly network.

The NDIAS-Graduate School Fellowship program will provide three types of support to its participants. Each Graduate Fellow will:

1) Advance research and accelerate dissertation progress

Fellows will initiate a “covenant” with her or his dissertation director and/or Director of Graduate Study, defining an individual writing goal for the year and setting reasonable and measurable ways of achieving it. They will be assisted in achieving their research goals through:

Weekly Research Seminars

Graduate student asks about philosophy behind a poem

Graduate Fellows will meet for weekly research seminars convened and led by the Director of the NDIAS and the Institute’s Faculty Fellows to workshop original research and receive training in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research methods. The seminar will be taken for GRED credit.

Research Bootcamps and Writing Accountability Groups

Participants will be given access to productivity-boosting research “bootcamps” over breaks and will attend regular writing groups with other members of their cohort.

Research Funds

Each student will receive $400 in research funds to be used to travel to conferences, visit scholarly archives, purchase research materials, etc.

2) Develop research communication skills

From the outset of the program, students will have the opportunity to assess their written and verbal communication skills and determine an individual plan for refinement and growth. Over the course of the year, students will develop and deliver presentations to scholars both inside and beyond their disciplines, those in broader academic communities, and the general public. To aid their communications development, Graduate Fellows will participate in:

Communications Training and Skill-Building Workshops

Students will join NDIAS Faculty Fellows for twice-yearly communications workshops lead by elite training groups, e.g., TED, Duarte, and editors from The New York Times.

3) Expand professional and scholarly networks

Students in the cohort will build on the scholarly networks they are already developing in their home department. Beginning with the relationships formed among the interdisciplinary members of the cohort and extending to the faculty and staff engaged with the program, each participant will establish mentoring relationships with individuals at the NDIAS and in departments other than their own. These networking opportunities will be bolstered by:

Access to NDIAS Network and Events

Graduate Fellows will have access to all NDIAS events, including the end-of-the-year conference, and will be invited to dinners and receptions with Faculty Fellows and visiting faculty.

Aims Of Grad Program

Eligibility and Expectations

  • NDIAS-Graduate School Fellows must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of Notre Dame and be in good standing.
  • Applicants should be in their 3rd or 4th year of their program during the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Attendance is expected at the fall and spring break Research and Writing Bootcamps, at Institute lectures and meals with Faculty Fellows, and at the communications workshops on August 17-19, 2019 and in January 2020 (date TBD).

Application Information

Applications will be accepted online between February 1 and March 1. To apply, applicants will need to submit the following:

  • A cover letter describing their research and its relation to the year’s theme (the 2020-2021 theme is “the nature of trust”); reasons for their interest in the NDIAS-Graduate School program; and prior experience in research seminars, peer-writing groups, or other supplementary training.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae.
  • A brief statement from their academic advisor stating her or his support of the application. (This need not be a formal letter of recommendation; rather it can be a simple statement of support.)

If you have questions about the program, please contact Paul Baschko, Assistant Director for Research and Outreach, at