Program Structure and Timeline

Through its University Initiative, the DPD Program is working with administrators and faculty at participating universities over three years to design, initiate, and then establish interdisciplinary dissertation research proposal training programs that will become part of the regular educational offerings they provide their graduate students.

Year one (January–December 2017): Faculty and students of participating universities will take part in interuniversity trainings organized by the DPD Program.

  • Two faculty and twelve students from each university will participate in interuniversity spring and fall dissertation proposal workshops organized by the DPD Program. This training is intended to provide participating institutions with first-hand insight into the aims, structure, and execution of the previous DPD Fellowship Program’s model. Between the workshops, students will undertake exploratory summer research to refine their proposals.
    • During this year, the DPD Program will convene representatives from participating universities to assist them in designing on-campus trainings for the following year.
    • The DPD Program will cover the costs of the above activities, including stipends of $7,500 for each of two faculty members to participate in the first year’s interuniversity training program and summer research funds of up to $5,000 for each student participant in the program. It will also provide up to $10,000 per university to cover startup costs related to participation in this initiative.

Year two (January–December 2018): Participating universities will implement their own on-campus dissertation proposal development training programs with support from the DPD Program.

  • Each university will design and carry out its own campus-based training program.
  • To foster collaboration between faculty and students, both within and potentially between universities, the DPD Program will provide them access to its online commons platform, where participants can post and find assignments, comment on one another’s work, engage in group forums, and obtain key documents and resources.
  • The DPD Program will convene workshops for faculty and administrators from participating universities to discuss interdisciplinary approaches to graduate pedagogy and mentoring, evaluate the results of their on-campus trainings, refine their plans for the final year, and consider possibilities for collaboration between universities.
  • The DPD Program will cover two-thirds of the direct costs of each university’s on-campus program (up to $100,000) and all the costs for administrators and faculty to participate in the DPD Program–convened meetings.

Year three (January–December 2019): Each university will take on full responsibility for organizing and financing its on-campus training program.

  • Each university will carry out and evaluate its own trainings, making adjustments to suit its educational goals, structures, and resources.
  • The DPD Program will continue to provide access to its online commons platform to promote faculty and student collaboration within and between universities and will again convene (and cover the costs for) assessment and planning workshops for faculty and administrators.
  • The DPD Program will provide funds (up to $20,000 per university) to support new activities that will expand on-campus programs and/or interuniversity collaboration.
  • Once the third-year trainings have been completed, the DPD Program will organize (and cover the costs for) a conference at which participating university administrators and faculty will share insights about the design, implementation, and outcomes of their dissertation proposal training programs with representatives of additional universities interested in exploring how similar programs might be established on their own campuses.

Program Timeline

October 28, 2016: Application deadline.
December 2016: Participating universities selected; applicants notified of decisions.
February 2017: Initial planning meeting with representatives from participating universities.
June 7–11, 2017: Year one spring interuniversity workshop for faculty and graduate students of participating universities (Pittsburgh, PA).
June–August: Student summer exploratory research period.
September 13–17, 2017: Year one fall interuniversity workshop for faculty and graduate students from participating universities (Minneapolis, MN).
January–December 2018: Year two interuniversity consultations and implementation of on-campus training activities.
January–December 2019: Year three interuniversity consultations, implementation of on-campus training activities, final fall evaluation and program promotion conference.
December 2019: DPD Program’s University Initiative closes.

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