Northwestern University

Integrating existing graduate resources with new graduate training

The Northwestern University–SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development (DPD) Program is housed within The Graduate School. This new program adds interdisciplinary research proposal training to a preexisting suite of resources that combine disciplinary and interdisciplinary education for students and provide mentoring support and development for faculty. Although the university educates graduate students both within interdisciplinary programs and “clusters” based on themes relevant to students’ research interests, the Northwestern University–SSRC DPD Program introduces a new focus on interdisciplinary research proposal development. As such, the new initiative will complement and enhance The Graduate School’s rich array of research, writing, and pedagogical programs both within and beyond the disciplines that are available to Northwestern students and faculty.

Structure:
The Northwestern University–SSRC DPD Program will offer the following:

    1. Intensive early and late summer workshops;
    2. Funding for summer exploratory research;
    3. Colloquia during the academic year for students to share research developments and present their work; and
    4. Online peer-to-peer and peer-to-mentor engagement throughout students’ participation in the program.

Program Cycle:
Beginning in 2018, the early summer workshop will focus on the methodological aspects of interdisciplinary research, allowing students to compare their research strategies across not only disciplinary boundaries, but also across geographic and thematic lines. Following this workshop, students will embark on exploratory summer research and engage one another’s progress through online conversations. In the late summer, the students will reconvene for a multi-day workshop devoted to proposal writing and critique. Throughout the subsequent academic year, students will continue to collaborate through virtual and in-person colloquia as they develop their proposals and launch fully into dissertation writing and research.

Faculty Engagement:
Faculty will come from multiple departments and clusters to lead the trainings and mentor participants.

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