Lead meaningful advances
Your Research Matters, You Matter
Graduate students at Notre Dame do not simply uncover new findings and contribute research that matters to their field—they also cultivate leadership qualities that will allow them to advance truth, beauty, and innovation with conscientiousness for the communities their findings affect.
Within the context of a community of like-minded peers, graduate students are endowed with resources aimed at developing them into leaders. The Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation, for example, funds the Society of Schmitt Fellows and the Arthur J. Schmitt lecture series. These initiatives aim to promote student leadership in the spirit of Catholic teaching. Other student groups, like the Graduate Student Government and Women Leaders in STEM, provide venues for students to develop leadership skills through practice.
As our students blaze trails in the library and laboratory, we are dedicated to empowering them to launch their findings from positions of leadership. This effort relies upon the synergy of several factors: our students’ abilities to thrive in their training environment, their passion for uncovering research discoveries, their willingness to grow as ethical exemplars in their fields, and their development of promotional and teaching skills so they can share their expertise effectively. As our students work to contribute research that matters in the world, we look forward to watching them excel as experts in their fields today, and leaders in the world tomorrow.
LASER is a unique, and selective, training opportunity for graduate students at Notre Dame. In this program, you will develop your leadership skills while engaging the real-world context of your research. As members of the LASER cohort, students learn leadership and social engagement with 15 other excellent PhD students from a variety of disciplines all so that they'll have the knowledge, skills and perspectives to steer their work and their career in the right direction for them and maximize positive social impact. LASER is a year-long training and development opportunity for all Ph.D. students who will be in their 3rd or 4th year of study. Participants in this program will receive course credit and a certificate.
Funded by the Arthur J. Schmitt foundation, the Society of Schmitt Fellows is a student-run organization that aims to promote morality, justice, and leadership qualities. The society meets monthly to provide a forum for Schmitt fellows to accomplish their three main goals: promoting community outreach, encouraging social and collaborative interaction among fellows, and communicating with the Schmitt Foundation and Schmitt fellows outside Notre Dame.
The Arthur J. Schmitt lecture series through the Center for Ethics and Culture also offers a venue for dynamic conversations surrounding constructive approaches to contemporary leadership.
Other Student Leadership Groups and Opportunities
The leading center for scholarly reflection within the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition, the Center for Ethics and Culture's signature event is a fall conference that draws scholars from renowned institutions and engages with pressing contemporary questions, from bioethics to religious freedom to constitutional integrity and more. The Center also concerns itself with student formation, developing reverence for beauty and the arts, and promoting a culture of life
Invested in the social responsibility that derives from research and education, the Center for Social Concerns offers several opportunities for students to develop leadership qualities. These include a multi-disciplinary immersion course in social justice called the Common Good Initiative, the Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement and Public Scholarship (CEPS), Social Concerns Seminars, workshops, conferences, international travel, and more.
Postdoctoral scholars on campus serve as leaders in their departments, setting positive examples for undergraduate and graduate researchers. Notre Dame is dedicated to supporting these campus leaders through the efforts of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs, which provides programming, networking opportunities, fellowship, and special events for postdocs. Qualified candidates should also consider joining the Office's Moreau Faculty Development Program.
Under the motto "God, Country, Notre Dame," the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs promotes a culture of leadership on campus by supporting service men and women who exemplify leadership qualities for the Notre Dame community. Students can get involved and develop leadership qualities by participating in the Warrior Scholar Project, attending community events that support military veterans such as Storm the Stadium, and more.