Post-Academic Careers

Posted on January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized by Melinda

You have decided you don’t want a tenure-track job. How do you explore other career paths and make yourself competitive for the job of your choosing?

Read a book. Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius, So What are You Going to Do with That?: Finding Careers Outside of Academia, 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press, 2007. 160 pages.

Check out websites. Versatile PhD ( helps graduate students identify, prepare for, and excel in possible non-academic careers.

Devise an Individual Development Plan. Individual Development Plans (IDP) set out your goals for cultivating skills that will make you competitive on the job market for the career of your choice. For more information see:
• Jennifer A. Hobin, et. al., “You Need a Game Plan,” Science Careers, 7 Sept. 2012.
• MyIDP ( is a free tool for students to use in exploring career goals and determining how best to follow that career path.

Go to professional development workshops offered at Notre Dame.
Exploring Career Options
This is a 5-week workshop series for anyone who isn’t sure what career path to take either in or out of academia. Throughout the series we will conduct self-assessments, brainstorm potential jobs, discuss resources for finding jobs, and put together application materials so that when the time comes to apply, you will be ready! Appropriate for all disciplines.

CV to Resume Workshop
In this workshop you will learn the difference between curriculum vitae (CV) and resumes, and learn how to turn your CV into a resume.

Utilizing Online Resources in the Job Search
Learn how to use LinkedIn, Go Irish, and other online resources in your job search.

Elevator Pitch Essentials Part 1: Preparing the Pitch
An elevator pitch is a 30-second to two-minute, well-prepared description of your research. Learn how to create it, rehearse it, and tailor it for a specific audience. In this session you will learn the skills that you will need to craft your elevator pitch.

Elevator Pitch Essentials Part 2: Practicing at a Reception
Students will take the research spiel they developed on their own or in the Elevator Pitch Essentials Part 1 and will practice giving the pitch to other students, faculty, and administrators from a wide range of disciplines. The setting is a reception that the Graduate School hosts in support of this event. Business casual attire is requested.

Make an appointment with Graduate Career Services. Graduate Student Career Services ( ) provides career-related support to Notre Dame graduate students and postdocs through a variety of programs and services designed to expand the number of professional opportunities. Use the tools they offer in their office and online to help you decide what career direction is most appropriate for you.

Prepared by Melinda Gormley, Ph.D., Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values,
Passed out at the Lunch & Learn Series event held January, 17 2014.

Center for Digital Scholarship at the Hesburgh Libraries

Posted on September 12, 2013 in Hesburgh Library, Research by Mandy

Over the summer the Hesburgh Libraries has been preparing for a busy fall. The Libraries as a system is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Hesburgh Library building throughout the 2013-2014 academic year. Coincident with the year-long celebration is the opening of a new service and location within the Libraries: The Center for Digital Scholarship. You can learn more about the Center and its services through our library website. As you read, we invite you to visit and explore opportunities to extend your own research and scholarship.

Join Notre Dame faculty and students and alumni, along with special guests, as we celebrate the opening of the new Center for Digital Scholarship within the Hesburgh Libraries. Mark your calendar for the grand opening event scheduled November 1, 2013 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. with formal programming beginning at 4:45 p.m.

Center for Digital Scholarship at the Hesburgh Libraries Opening Reception and Program – November 1, 2013

In the interim we invite you to consider your own research and how you might extend analysis of texts that you study, use geographic information services to visualize important aspects of your findings, or discover what it takes to manage large research projects that include data creation or locating large data sets. Staff are on hand in the Center for consultation and support as you consider your options and begin your work. As the fall semester progresses, please watch for announcements about introductory sessions on the areas of expertise supported and other programming.

Fellowship Opportunity in Natural Resource Management or Policy

Posted on May 20, 2013 in Uncategorized by Melinda

Under the umbrella of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), the Center for Aquatic Conservation (CAC) is pleased to announce four semester-long fellowships to award for next academic year (Aug 2013-May 2014) to graduate students in any University of Notre Dame department. The primary purpose of these fellowships is to foster research that connects scientific, technical, or policy analysis with natural resource management or policy. Proposals are due June 10th. For more information, see the announcement.


Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Awards

Posted on April 24, 2013 in Kaneb Center by Carolyn Rodak

On Tuesday, April 16, the Kaneb Center and the Graduate School held their annual awards dinner to honor the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award winners.  This award honors graduate student instructors and TAs whose teaching demonstrates excellence in the classroom or laboratory.  Chris Maziar, acting dean of the Graduate School, and Kevin Barry, director of the Kaneb Center, presented recipients with their awards following a keynote speech from Daniel Myers, vice president and associate provost for faculty affairs.

grading methods

Visit the press release for more information and the list of recipients:

Graduate Courses in University Teaching and Learning (GRED)

Posted on March 4, 2013 in Kaneb Center by Carolyn Rodak

Are you interested in learning more about discipline-specific teaching and learning in the university setting? The university offers short credit-bearing summer graduate courses on university teaching and learning in various fields!  Consider taking one of this year’s courses:

GRED 60612: Effective and Exciting Teaching in Social Sciences and Humanities

GRED 60640: Designing and Teaching Your First Biology or Chemistry Course

GRED 60501: Teaching Engineering Tutorials and Laboratories

GRED 60601: Preparing for an Academic Career in Physics, Math, and Engineering

GRED 60301: Multi-modal Communications: Sharing Your Research with Multiple Audiences

GRED 60642: Active Teaching and Learning

GRED 60610: How to Teach Effectively and Prepare for an Academic Career in the Humanities and Social Sciences

For more information visit : and see the 2013 brochure at

10 Helpful Online Resources for Improving Public Speaking Skills

Posted on February 12, 2013 in Career Center by Jody

Public speaking ranks as one of the top phobias for Americans however it is one of the most essential skills for grad students to master. Whether it is giving presentations for colleagues in your department or at a national conference, teaching in front of undergrads, or giving a job talk, public speaking is a critical skill for grad students to practice and master.  This article recommends ten articles, videos, and podcasts that provide tips and advice to help you reduce your anxiety and become a better presenter.

This post was contributed by Charles Sipe, Executive Editor for Teacher Certification Degrees, a career site with dozens of interviews with current teachers and helpful teacher career resources.


1.“Giving an Academic Talk”

Written by Jonathan Shewchuk, a Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley, this piece emphasizes the importance of using image-rich and text-minimal slides. He goes on to cover the differences between the clew and onion models of content presentation, rhythms of speech and the pause that refreshes, proper prop usage, and a slew of examples of common public speaking errors.


2.“Everything I Know About Presentations, I Learned in Theatre School”

Approaching public speaking through the lens of the theater is how Darren Barefoot advocates improving one’s public speaking skills. In this article, Mr. Barefoot suggests framing the content of a speech in stories, anecdotes and metaphors in an effort to keep an audience riveted. By embracing the skills employed by actors on stage, from costumes and set-design to speech tempo and the narrative arc, the tips in this article can make your next speech an Oscar-winning performance.


3.Scott Berkun Talk at Google (Video)

In a public pitch for his book “Confessions of a Public Speaker,” Scott Berkun describes the evolutionary origins of public speaking fears, modifying factors in your environment that are within your control, presentation practice as a form of respect for your audience’s time, tricks for sparking interest, and the importance of a 5-7 minute rhythm.


4.Toastmasters International Articles

Long a respected authority on public speaking, Toastmasters International offers a wealth of information on its website pertaining to improving your oratory skills. This page presents a number of articles ranging from how to deal with a distracted audience and capturing imaginations through story telling, to the importance of your speech title and a sprinkling of humor to keep an audience captivated.


5.The Toastmasters Podcast

Hosted by Bo Bennett and Ryan Levesque, this regular podcast covers all things related to public speaking. With over 63 episodes produced over the course of four years, Bennett and Levesque regularly interview prominent public speakers on their podcast. Topics include addressing stage fright, conversation skills at parties, intercultural communication, and how to overcome objections. The episodes can be subscribed to on iTunes or can be listened to à la carte on the website.

6.“Public Speaking Tips”

Capitalizing upon its science and mathematics reputation, MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities program delivers a formula for controlling your public speaking variables to achieve success. This comprehensive overview of strategies for improved elocution encompasses everything from avoiding dairy products that coagulate around the vocal cords, to mapping the content of your speech. Pre-presentation planning takes center stage in this article as a measure to avoid panicking in the spotlight.


7.10 Public Speaking Tips for Introverts

As the author of “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” Susan Cain provides the reader with sage advice on public speaking that ranges from videotaping a rehearsal speech to studying the methods of other successful public speakers. She also advocates keeping a regular video blog, smiling at listeners both before and during a performance, and role-playing during a speech as a means of removing inhibitions.


8.“32 Public Speaking Tips From Some Of The World’s Best Speakers and Coaches”

This article, presented by the Speaker’s Life blog, cobbles together advice from some of the world’s top public speaking experts and delivers it in an easy-to-consume style. This compilation of one or two-line pearls of wisdom allows readers to contemplate each idea at their own pace.


9.“How to Get a Standing Ovation”

Best-selling author Guy Kawasaki presents the secret to his public speaking success on his blog. With over 26 years of experience, Guy recommends overdressing, focusing on something interesting to say, speaking at the start of an event, and pre-circulating with the audience. As the former Chief Evangelist for Apple and the author of numerous books, Guy presents some hard-earned advice inside this blog article.


10.“Public Speaking – How I Prepare Every Time”

By focusing on being a teacher on stage and not a public speaker, Tim Ferris, author of “The Four Hour Workweek,” is able to ensure that his message gets across to his audience. In this article from his blog, Tim advocates drinking a copious amount of Diet Coke before a speech and using a methodical approach to rehearsal. The core ingredient of his speeches, a Point-Example-Point (PEP) format, is explored in detail.



Graduate Student Appreciation Week – Book Giveaway

Posted on February 8, 2013 in Career Center, English for Academic Purposes, Graduate School, Kaneb Center, Uncategorized, Writing Center by Stew Markel

In celebration of the upcoming Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week (Feb. 18-22) the Professional Development Team is applauding our graduate students by giving away books at several of our events. A copy of a related book will be presented to four lucky graduate student attendees selected at random. Below are all the events where books will be available, please check our calendar page for the full list of this semester’s professional development events and workshops.

Exploring Career Options

Tue Feb 19, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Location: Flanner 114
Book: Putting Your Science to Work by Peter Fiske

Dissertation Proposal Accepted: What Now?
Tue Feb 19, 3:00 – 4:15pm
Location: 200 Riley Hall
Book: Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day by Joan Bolker

English for Academic Purposes: Forms and Structures for Clearer Writing
Tue Feb 19, 6:30 – 7:45pm
Location: 303 DeBartolo Hall
Book: Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers by Nigel Caplan

Grad School Game Plan: Time Management
Thu Feb 21, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Location: Notre Dame Room, LaFortune
Book: Time Management for Dummies by Dirk Zeller

Providing Reasonable Accommodations to Students with Disabilities in the Classroom
Tue Feb 26, 2:00 – 3:15pm
Notre Dame Conference Center, 101-104 McKenna Hall
Book: What the Best College Teachers Do by ken Bain

Blog Your Way to a Healthy Writing Habit

Posted on February 6, 2013 in Research by University Writing Center

Productive writers agree that the most important ingredient for a sustainable, successful writing practice is developing a healthy habit of writing regularly.  Rising early each morning to “write first” is an excellent way to keep your dissertation writing project fresh in your mind and moving along steadily.  For some writers, writing publicly in a blog can help solidify the commitment to a writing habit and invigorate the writing process with the energy that comes from having real, live readers who respond with comments, questions, and suggestions.

Dr. Maxime Larivé, Postdoctoral Fellow at the European Union Center for Excellence, recently posted an excellent article at the Chronicle of Higher Education on the impact that blogging had on his dissertation writing process. It’s worth a look to see how engaging with ideas publicly in a blog can help build confidence, generate ideas, and solidify a healthy writing habit:  How Blogging Helped Me Write My Dissertation.

Scholarship – Write First!

Posted on January 25, 2013 in Graduate School, Research by Maggie

Dear Graduate Students,

Juggling the demands of teaching, family life, working a second job and struggling to pay your bills sometimes means that an entire day goes by, and we still haven’t managed to squeeze in an hour’s worth of writing and research. The most consistent, productive academic writers don’t feel the need to carve out large of blocks of time for writing. Instead, they do their most powerful, productive writing at odd moments for an hour or two  every day- even 15 minutes does the trick some days ! For some of us this means setting the alarm for 5 AM. On bleak, winter days in South Bend, this is no small feat but well worth the effort. Do you have trouble waking up early? Try “tricking” your mind into submission: laugh first thing in the morning as though you were absolutely delighted to be up while it is still dark out . And then, make a concerted effort to write first, before checking your email, dealing with student demands and frantic inquiries, or getting your daily NPR fix. (It can wait. You can always catch the  PBS News Hour later or the dulcet tones of the BBC late at night. ) This means we write BEFORE beginning other activities. If we need to prepare for class, or buy food, or respond to an important email, we write for one brief, timed session BEFORE that activity.

Here’s another effective writing technique: a psychology professor at ND reports that some evenings he writes out longhand — in complete, fully formed sentences — responses to scholarly articles and book chapters he’s consulting for his research The next morning he writes first, elaborating on the points he’d written out just the night before. In this way he ensures he always begins the morning with something fresh and  interesting to say.

For some people, it works great to write first thing in the morning. Here are some inspiring quotations to get motivated:
“When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write…”

~Ernest Hemmingway, 20th Century American author and journalist

“When I interview creatives, I often ask them what advice they would give to the next generation, the up-and-comers. Curiously, there’s one incredibly important habit that nearly all of them possess that is almost never mentioned. So what is the secret ingredient in their productivity regime? It’s simple: They get up early.”

~ Jocelyn K. Glei, contemporary American writer,

“My alarm goes off at 5:51 a.m. I creep downstairs, trying not to wake my husband and, even more important, my two children … …I get out the primary materials for the third chapter of my second book, set Freedom for 55 minutes, and write as fast as I can. At exactly 7 a.m., I hear the patter of little feet. My children burst into my office with stories about their dreams, their hunger pangs, and their hopes for the day. I put my computer to sleep and do their bidding.”

~ Kathy M. Newman, The Chronicle Review April 1, 2012

Goal Setting, List Making, and the Sunday Meeting

Posted on January 16, 2013 in Graduate School, Research by Maggie

For many of us with teaching responsibilities, it is the beginning of a new semester, a fresh start: an ideal time to reflect seriously on goal setting and effective time management strategies. Regardless of our teaching load, graduate school consists, after all, of much frantic reading, writing, and thinking, and so, learning how to minimize distractions and prioritize among competing tasks is essential. While meeting the high bar we set for ourselves professionally and personally can seem like a daunting task, the idea of the “Sunday Meeting” can help. So can regular list making! Always write out your goals and “action items,” so that you get a concrete sense of where you want to be and how to get there. Consider setting up a regular “Sunday Meeting” with a group of friends and congenial colleagues to brainstorm about your goals for the week and prioritize tasks. As Kerry Ann Rockquemore explains in an article from Inside Higher Ed, the “Sunday Meeting” makes it possible for us to stick to our semester goals by allocating blocks of time for different tasks. Too busy during the day to work on your dissertation? Consider setting the alarm for 5AM to get the bulk of your research and writing done first thing in the morning—before allowing yourself to check email or read the paper.

This quote puts the Sunday Meeting in the context of the plan for the semester. Kerry Ann writes,

“I encourage you to see the process of creating a semester plan as one where you identify WHAT your personal and professional goals are, outline HOW they will be accomplished, and WHEN you will do the work. From that point, the real secret to making a semester plan come to life is to use it on a weekly basis as the foundation for planning out your week.”

Kerry Ann Rockquemore:

Within this article you will also find a link to the first in the series, on making a semester plan:

Good luck to you as you begin to set your semester goals!