More Than $175,000 In Professional Development Awards Distributed In 2010-11

Author: Kevin Zeise

During the 2010-11 academic year, the Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame awarded more than $175,000 in professional development awards. These awards allowed students to travel all over the world to present at conferences, receive specialized training at workshops and short courses, conduct research experiments, scour manuscripts, and participate in seminars.


Aside from the primary purpose, attending these activities offered students other excellent opportunities, such as networking, forming peer discussion groups, career development, access to thesis-related landmarks or archives, establishing relationships with fellow students and scholars, receiving feedback or leads from top scholars in the field, practice for defending theses or dissertations, and even connecting with possible future employers.


Graduate students can apply for funding to attend workshops, participate in professional development activities, and undertake research travel through the Graduate Professional Development Application. The awards are funded by three endowments – Joseph F. Downes Memorial fund, Notebaert Professional Development fund, and Zahm Research Travel fund – with three deadlines available each year – September 15, January 31, and May 31.

Students interested in applying for these professional development funds should contact Colleen Turk with any questions about the application.

“…I was able to attend and present a paper at this summer’s International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, UK. … Most importantly, I was able to meet a lively group of other scholars working on similar material, including one person whose translations I had been using extensively and another whose dissertation was a key secondary source for my argument.”
- Brian Hamilton-Vise, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Theology – Christian Ethics

“I believe this seminar not only helped me expand my knowledge on the given topics, but it has also provided me with a precious chance to consider how to improve my dissertation on Transpacific American Studies.”
- Yugon Kim, Ph.D. candidate, Department of English

“I attended two workshops focused on bioinformatics analysis of microarray data. These workshops provided much- needed guidance that has already and will further contribute to my thesis research. The information at these workshops proved very beneficial during my [oral candidacy] exam.”
- Michelle Bertke, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

“[I attended] the Workshop on Macro Perspectives, organized by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and held in Cambridge. It was a superb opportunity to interact with the most renowned economists that work in my area of research. Furthermore, I was able to exchange thoughts and discuss both methods and approaches with graduate students attending top-ranked schools. This was an enriching experience since it gave me the opportunity to interact with very bright students and create links that, hopefully, will prove to be highly valuable in my future professional life.”
- Julio Garín, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Economics