Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Center for Digital Scholarship at the Hesburgh Libraries

Posted on September 12, 2013 in Hesburgh Library, Research

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.

Blog Your Way to a Healthy Writing Habit

Posted on February 6, 2013 in Research

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

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

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!

Fall Break Dissertation Camp a Huge Success!

Posted on November 6, 2012 in Hesburgh Library, Research, Writing Center

As part of our continued effort to support graduate student writers, the Hesburgh Libraries and the University Writing Center, with the support of the Graduate School hosted Dissertation Camp during Fall Break.  Presenters from the University Writing Center, the Hesburgh Libraries, the Graduate School, the University Counseling Center, Digital ND, and the Executive MBA program all provided workshops geared toward developing excellent research and writing skills and streamlining the writing process.

The feedback for this event from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the value of building community among writers who are deeply engaged in sometimes isolating long-term research projects. The 26 “campers” collectively logged more than 840 hours of worktime over the course of the week. They engaged in conversation and developed networks with graduate peers within and outside of their own program areas. Many took advantage of opportunities to consult one-on-one with librarians and Writing Center tutors to discuss their works in progress.

Remember that library research support and Writing Center consultations are available at any time during the regular semester, not only during our camps.

Be sure to check the Library and Writing Center events websites for more information about upcoming workshops, including next semester’s Dissertation Camp over Spring Break.  (All Library and Writing Center events are listed on the Graduate School Professional Development calendar as well.)

Three Ways for Graduate Students to Use the Writing Center

Posted on September 4, 2012 in English for Academic Purposes, Fellowships and Grants, Graduate School, Hesburgh Library, International Students, Kaneb Center, Research, Writing Center

Good writers talk about their writing with other writers.  It’s as simple as that.  But finding another writer to talk to sometimes isn’t so simple.  At the University Writing Center, graduate students find attentive listeners and careful readers, ready to offer thoughtful feedback on any writing project.

Here are three ways that graduate students can make use of the Writing Center to help improve their writing.

One-on-One Writing Consultations.  We offer free, 45-minute consultations on any aspect of the writing process–from generating, organizing, and outlining ideas to drafting, editing, and polishing arguments.  Graduate students make use of this consultation service in a number of ways, for example:

  • One-time consultations on fellowship applications, grant proposals, seminar papers, scientific papers, and scholarly articles.
  • Ongoing consultations on longer projects, such as theses, dissertations, and scholarly books.

Our Read-Ahead Service is available for graduate students pursuing extended writing projects. One-time and ongoing appointments can be scheduled with a consultant using our online appointment scheduler.

Workshops. We offer a number of workshops each semester, including:

  • Dissertation Camp, a week-long, intensive writing immersion experience for graduate students at the dissertation or thesis stage. This workshop is offered during Fall Break and Spring Break in partnership with the Hesburgh Libraries.
  • Grant Writing Bootcamp, a week-long workshop focused on developing strong grant proposals, offered in conjunction with the Graduate School Office of Grants and Fellowships.
  • Commenting on Student Writing, a workshop for TAs and faculty who provide written feedback to students on their writing, offered in partnership with the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning and the English for Academic Purposes program.

Resource Library. In the Writing Center, we have a library of print resources on writing, including:

  • Current editions of all major style manuals (MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian)
  • Topic-specific writing guides (e.g. literature reviews, empirical research reports, dissertation project management, etc.)
  • Grammar and usage guides

For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit the Writing Center website.

Like our page on Facebook for updates about Writing Center news and events!

Using the Summer to Your Advantage

Posted on July 12, 2012 in Career Center, Fellowships and Grants, Kaneb Center, Research

Summer is a great time to explore opportunities for Professional Development. A recent article on The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests the following ways you can develop over the summer:

  1. Identify grants and fellowships appropriate to your career stage and your research interests – try using the Graduate Fellowships Database and Pivot. Mark deadlines on your calendar and begin drafting your proposals. Make an appointment with the Associate Program Director of Grants and Fellowships.
  2. Read widely in your field. Ask faculty for journal recommendations and subscribe to the table of contents for the most important journals related to your work. Identify journals that you should strive to publish with in the coming years.
  3. Set up a group of students that want to work towards a common goal – whether it’s a reading group, a presentation skills group, or a dissertation writing group, a built-in network that keeps each other accountable and gives feedback is invaluable.
  4. Explore different career avenues. Complete informational interviews with people in a number of different fields that interest you. Get connected with the alumni organizations here at Notre Dame and your undergraduate institution.
  5. Find opportunities to gain teaching experience outside the university. Volunteer with a local museum, institute, or school. Think creatively about ways you can share your knowledge and skills with the public.
  6. Prepare (or polish) your job search materials: CV/resume, cover letter, dissertation abstract, teaching portfolio, etc. Get in touch with the Career Center and the Kaneb Center for advice.

There’s still plenty of summer left – use it to explore the Professional Development checklist!

Ethics Café Announced

Posted on June 14, 2012 in Career Center, Graduate School, Hesburgh Library, International Students, Kaneb Center, Reilly Center, Research

The Graduate School and Reilly Center are teaming up to host an Ethics Café six times per academic year beginning fall 2012. Cafés seek to encourage conversation, debate, and interaction. The Ethics Café at Notre Dame will offer faculty, students and staff a space to learn about ethical issues pertaining to responsible conduct of research, professional conduct, engagement with the public, and other worldly matters. Be on the lookout for more information!

Advice for Graduate Students

Posted on April 5, 2012 in Career Center, Fellowships and Grants, Graduate School, Graduate Student Union, Hesburgh Library, Kaneb Center, Reilly Center, Research, Writing Center

Has graduate school got you down? Having problems managing work and family? Are you worried about debt? Are you feeling stressed? Are you looking for strategies for success? Would you like some advice about writing a dissertation?

The Chronicle of Higher Education devotes an entire section of its website to Advice for Graduate Students.

Preparing Now for Going on the Job Market

Posted on March 28, 2012 in Career Center, Fellowships and Grants, Graduate School, Kaneb Center, Reilly Center, Research, Writing Center

Are you concerned about what you’ll do after graduate school? It’ll be too late if you wait until after you have your diploma to think seriously about the job market. You need to ask yourself now while you are in graduate school, “What am I doing to guarantee that I’ll get the job I want?” You have probably already heard someone say that bearing down to get your work done is not enough. You need to be presenting, publishing, and networking. With so much to do, you must be calculated in your approach. You must set priorities.

As a starting point, read Karen Kelsky’s article “Graduate School is a Means to a Job” in Chronicle of Higher Education on 27 March 2012 or

If you aren’t reading Chronicle of Higher Education on a regular basis, consider starting. Why? “The Chronicle of Higher Education is the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators.” It has great advice and will keep you abreast of trends and concerns in the world of academia.