Brown University Graduate School Newsletter
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Marlina Duncan on Setting Priorities

Marlina Duncan

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion as an essential part of the Graduate School’s identity is part of my role as Associate Dean of Diversity Initiatives. One approach I employ is to encourage and facilitate regular, candid conversations, which can lead to a deeper understanding and acceptance of diversity and inclusion. A second is to promote a more holistic process for selecting graduate students, as a way of removing barriers to recruitment, beginning with the 2017 cohort. To help facilitate this process, starting on December 15th, the Graduate School and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will host a series of lunch workshops for departments to share best practices around recruitment, admission, and student-support initiatives. Read more.


Leveraging Research with Open Graduate Education

Yun “Ryan” Xu, a PhD candidate studying post-trauma pneumonia, wants to do more than understand why it occurs. “My motivation is real-life impact,” he says. “I want to leverage lab experience to bring something to patients to promote health care.” For Xu and 41 other current doctoral students, the Open Graduate Education program is a vehicle to combine studies in unique ways to achieve their goals and to earn a secondary master’s degree; applications are due February 10, 2017. Xu, a fourth-year Pathobiology student, is past the midpoint of the Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship Engineering (PRIME), one of nearly 50 areas of master’s study offered through this Graduate School initiative. This semester, he and his teammates are learning how to develop a product. In his spare time this fall, he founded the Brown Graduate Consulting Club, a student group that meets weekly. Read more.

Center to Create a Writing Community

Marlina Duncan

Stacy Kastner, the new Associate Director of the Writing Center, is planning a Dissertation Writing Retreat for January 9 to 13, 2017. The retreat will pool resources and support from the Graduate School, Sheridan Center, and Library to provide 16 participants with space and encouragement to make progress on their doctoral dissertations in the company of other writers. The plan stems from a Graduate Student Council (GSC) request to the Graduate School for increased writing support at the Center, beyond one-on-one 60-minute conferences. Read about the retreat format and apply to attend. Read more.

IO Fellowships Deepen Interdisciplinary Discourse, Advance ‘Professional Narrative’

Time and a wider audience is what Minta Zlomke got when she received an Interdisciplinary Opportunities (IO) fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library. “This fellowship gave me the opportunity to think through the aims and central questions of my dissertation in a more interdisciplinary way, which has only made it stronger,” says the doctoral student in English. “Part of this strength comes from a deeper understanding of how to market myself and my project to a larger community of scholars.” Advanced PhD students in the humanities and social sciences are invited to apply for interdisciplinary opportunities at more than a dozen centers and institutes. Students who will be in their 5th or 6th year of doctoral study in 2017-18 are eligible to apply by January 30, 2017. Read more.

DFF: Call for Nominations

Departments are invited to nominate rising 6th year doctoral students for Deans’ Faculty Fellowships through January 29, 2017. To be eligible, rising 6th-year graduate students must commit to completing, defending, and submitting their dissertation by January 15 of their 6th year.  The program enables advanced graduate students to strengthen their teaching portfolios by developing their own courses in consultation with a faculty mentor.

DCP: Recap for Humanities and Social Sciences

Rising sixth-year doctoral students in the Humanities and Social Sciences are able to request stipend support through the Dissertation Completion Proposal (DCP) process. The Graduate School strives to provide stipend funding for students in good standing who are recommended by their programs through this process. Programs are expected to issue to each doctoral student a written summary of the students’ standing after the first semester of year 5. February 26 is the deadline for an eligible student to submit a DCP to the program. See a detailed timeline.

Master’s Thesis Filing Moves to ETD System

Master’s theses are now submitted exclusively through Brown's electronic theses and dissertation (ETD) system, as are doctoral dissertations. Electronic files submitted through the ETD will appear in the Library’s discovery service and in the Brown digital repository. The first business day in May is the last day for submission of a Master's thesis. See submission guidelines.

Cues to Becoming a Better Communicator

The Effective Performance workshops introduce graduate students to performance values, drawn from improvisational and theatrical techniques. The Spring workshop series takes place on Mondays, starting in late January through mid-March. The deadline to apply is January 25, 2017. Learn more.


Graduate Community Fellows to Plan Programming

Tanvee Singh stepped forward for the Graduate Community Fellows program to help make Brown’s graduate community more cohesive, welcoming, and supportive: “I look forward to meeting other graduate students and organizing events that bring together students across all disciplines!” The master’s student in Public Health joins nine PhD students in the inaugural cohort: Jonathan Cortez and Majida Kargbo, American Studies; Mai Hunt, Hispanic Studies; Augustine Kang, Arjee Restar, and Eulalia Karina Santamaria, Behavioral and Social Health Sciences; Lydia Kelow-Bennett, Africana Studies; Selim Sazak, Political Science; and Kristin Stover, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The pilot initiative comes in response to student calls for strengthening graduate student community and is supported by the Graduate School and the Offices of Global Engagement, Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and Provost. Pairs of fellows will develop and implement initiatives intended to foster a community that celebrates diversity, inclusion, and equity. Read more.

Peer Resource Group Forms 

Six doctoral students comprise a peer resource group called Brown Graduate Resources for Improving Professional Structures (B-GRIPS). The inaugural participants in this pilot project are Ida Yalzadeh, American Studies, who initiated the program with a proposal; Amanda Boston, Africana Studies; Diana Burk and Adewole Oyalowo, both from Neuroscience; Gregory Dachner, Cognitive Science; and Yinsui Zheng, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity and Inclusion provided seed funding for the initiative, which is intended to create an informal, low-barrier resource for other graduate students. Read more.


Brown-Wheaton Faculty Fellows Info Session
December 14, 2016, 4pm, Sheridan Center.
This fellowship program provides an opportunity for advanced PhD students to teach at nearby Wheaton College.

Graduate School Admission Meeting Series with DGSs & Chairs
Begins December 15, 2016
Contact: Marlina Duncan

5th Year Master's Fair
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Program Registration

Academy in Context
Dinner-Seminar for Graduate Students

Hold the date: February 15, 2017, 6 pm


December 12, 2016
Programs submit worksheet to calculate incoming class target and the anticipated 6th year support need.

By end of Semester I
Midyear program evaluation for 5th year humanities and social science PhD students. See DCP story.

January 15 2017
Effective Performance applications due.

January 27, 2017
Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellowship applications due.

January 30, 2017
Program nominations and student applications for Deans' Faculty Fellowships due.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities program applications due.

Nominations for Named and Presidential Fellowships due.

February 10, 2017
Open Graduate Education applications due.

February 15, 2017
Brown-Tougaloo Partnership Faculty Fellowship Program applications due.

External Fellowships

Embark Post-Graduate Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 16, 2016

Lewis Walpole Library Visiting Fellowships and Travel Grants
Application deadline: January 9, 2017

Penn Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence through Diversity
Application deadline: January 16, 2017

L’Oréal USA for Women in Science Fellowship
Application deadline: February 3, 2017

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program
Application deadline: February 15, 2017

Other Resources for External Funds


Andrew Howes and Neelum Wong

Elevator Pitch Winners

Biotechnology master's students Andrew Howes and Neelum Wong were among 10 winning presenters competing in the Rhode Island Business Plan Elevator Pitch Contest in November. Howes presented Fibrosis, a technology patented at Brown University that is used to screen for anti-fibrotic drugs. Wong pitched Brown University Microscopy Sample Prep, a platform designed to improve the quality of microscopy imaging for nanomaterials. Both students are in the Importance of Intellectual Property in Biotechnology course. Read more.


Archambault Teaching Award Winners

The School of Professional Studies recognizes four graduate students for excellence in teaching in the Brown University summer programs. Dual-winner first prizes for Pre-College Education go to Arielle Nitenson and Victoria Heimer-McGinn, who taught The Secret Lives of Animals: A View into their Brains and Behaviors (Pictured above; photo by Karl Dominey); and to Emily Avera for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Suzanne Enzerink receives the first prize for Summer Session education for Interraciality in Post-45 Film and Literature. Read more.

Dissertation Writing Retreat: Applications due Dec. 28

Online course evaluation: Now through January 2

Student Communications
Graduate Student Resources

Graduate School Contacts

Initiatives in Doctoral Education

Versatile PhD

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Copyright © 2016 Brown University, All rights reserved.

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