Friday, February 22, 2013

NSF Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge

Calling Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Graduate Students:

Have you ever thought of ways to improve STEM graduate education? Do you have a creative idea regarding graduate training? If so, NSF wants to hear from you! 

The National Science Foundation Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge is calling for entries from currently enrolled STEM graduate students and teams. They are invited to submit innovative ideas to prepare today’s graduate students for tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges. Entries are solicited for ideas with the potential to improve graduate education and professional development. Ideas can be directed toward students, faculty, departments, institutions, professional societies, and/or federal agencies. Winning ideas will be shared widely and winners will receive prizes between $1000 and $3000. 

For more information and to enter the challenge, go to

Entry deadline is April 15th! Make your voice heard on STEM graduate education! 

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GradEdChallenge
Send questions to

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Registration for 2nd Annual USC Beyond the PhD 2013 Career Conference

Dear Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars,
On behalf of the University of Southern California Graduate School, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Postdoctoral Association, Credit Union, and Graduate Student Government, the USC Career Center invites you to attend the 2nd Annual Beyond the PhD Career Conference on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Grand Ballroom from 8:00am to 2:00pm!

For general questions, please email
Thank you,
USC Career Center

Sunday, February 17, 2013

PhD Achievement Awards

As part of our ongoing effort to support and recognize our current PhD students’ academic professional development, we are pleased to issue a call for nominations for USC PhD Achievement Awards for students with exceptional academic profiles. Six awards of $2,500 will be made to students from across the university. Each recipient’s primary faculty advisor will receive a $500 USC Graduate School PhD Mentoring award. Each USC PhD program may nominate one candidate.

Current students from every PhD program at USC are eligible. The award is for exceptional achievement as a USC PhD student. The student’s overall profile as a doctoral candidate may include such elements as significant publications as the sole or primary author; job offers that signal the outstanding quality of the student’s doctoral work; major awards in a broadly conceived field; and other markers of excellence appropriate to the student’s field.

Departmental nominator (Linda Bazilian) will be asked to submit applications with the following information:

  • A statement by the student describing her or his academic vision – what s/he has achieved and
    hopes to achieve in terms of an academic contribution to the relevant field (up to 500 words)
  •  Documentation for publications, awards, job offers, other achievements
  •  A letter of nomination from the student’s academic advisor or other faculty member who can put the student’s work into the broader context of the given field
  •  A copy of the student’s most recent curriculum vitae and transcript
  •  Sign-offs from the department chair and dean of the school supporting the nomination.
  •  Contact and general academic information for the nominee and primary faculty advisor.
***Applications Due to Linda Bazilian by FEBRUARY 25, 2013 for Ranking and Dean's Signature.***

Submissions will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary faculty committee. Recipients of the USC PhD
Achievement Awards will be invited to lead the column of PhD graduates at the university
commencement on Friday, May 17, 2013.

The signature page is posted below this announcement on the grad blog.** 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rotary Foundation Global Grants Information Session

Dear Colleagues,

Please send the below announcement out to interested students:

Rotary Foundation Global Grants Information Session
February 22, 12-1pm
Leavey Library Auditorium

USC Professor Mina Soroosh, a Rotary Scholarship recipient, will join the Academic & International Fellowships staff for a presentation on the Rotary Global Grant Program (formerly Ambassadorial Scholarships).  Rotary Foundation Global Grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in the areas of: Peace and conflict prevention, Disease prevention and treatment, Water and sanitation, Maternal and child health, Basic education and literacy, and Economic and community development.  Projects must have a minimum budget of $30,000 and may include humanitarian projects as well as scholarship for graduate-level academic studies.  US Citizenship is not required in order to apply.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Academic and International Fellowships at
Like us on Facebook at

Office of Academic and International Fellowships
Noosha Malek, Director
Martha Enciso, Associate Director
Katie Calvert, Assistant Director
GFS 227

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dissertation/Thesis Submission Forums

Two forums focusing on thesis and dissertation formatting and submission process will be held later this month, one on the Health Sciences campus and the other on the University Park campus. Please distribute the following information to graduate students in your program who are preparing to submit their theses and dissertations, especially to those who intend to file by the Spring conferral deadlines. 

Health Sciences Campus
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
2:30 – 3:30pm

University Park Campus
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
1:15 – 2:15pm
KAP 146

Please ask students to review the revised process and requirements on the Graduate School Website, and to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for important information and updates. 

Thanks in advance for your assistance,


Frances M. Fitzgerald
Student Services Coordinator
The Graduate School
GFS 315 mc 1695
(213) 740-9045

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Graduate School Fellowships for Advanced Ph.D. Students

We are delighted to announce the availability of a number of fellowships for advanced PhD students.

Graduate school fellowships for advanced PhD students include Endowed PhD Fellowships,  Research Enhancement Fellowships, and Dissertation Completion Fellowships. The goal of these fellowships is to increase the amount of support that students have for their work toward the PhD, especially in fields where research assistantships are generally unavailable and teaching is the primary means of support. The annual stipend for advanced PhD fellowships has been raised to $30,000 to match the level of other graduate school fellows. There will also be somewhat more funding available than there has been in the past. Fellows in these categories may also be eligible for travel grants for conferences and research. The base travel grant is $500. If the fellow’s program matches this amount with $500, the Graduate School will contribute another $500, for a total of $1,500 available to the student.

Each PhD program may nominate up to three candidates for each category (endowed, dissertation completion and research enhancement) for a total of nine nominees per program. The fellowships for advanced PhD students include a stipend, tuition, health and dental insurance and university mandatory fees.

The allocation of advanced fellowships will depend on the quality of the applicant, the program’s ranking of its candidates and the amount of available graduate school funding. The advanced  fellowship evaluation task forces will not change the rankings provided by the program.

1. Endowed PhD Fellowships are for students who are making good progress to the degree in terms of both quality of work and timing, and who can provide a compelling statement about their current  or planned research. Rather than nominating students for specific endowed fellowships as in the past,  programs will submit a ranked list of applicants, checking off the fellowships for which they believe the student is eligible.

2. Dissertation Completion Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, with emphasis in fields where research assistantships are not generally available. The Dissertation Completion Fellowship is intended to facilitate the final completion and submission of dissertations. Recipients of the Dissertation Completion Fellowship will therefore not be eligible for further funding as a graduate student at USC upon completion of this fellowship.

3. Research Enhancement Fellowships are new this year and are one of the provost’s initiatives to support graduate education. These fellowships are designed to provide additional opportunities for outstanding PhD students in any field whose research requires work in particularly complex or distant settings, expertise in languages classified by the federal government as “less commonly taught,” or other unusual expenses for activities that are essential for the student’s research. Selection will be  based on the quality and research potential of the graduate student and the likelihood that the additional resources will have a notable effect on the academic career of the student. The fellowship provides one year of fellowship at the graduate school fellowship rate and up to $5,000 in research, travel, or training funds. Candidates must be doing high quality work, making timely progress to their degree, have completed at least two years in their USC PhD program, and must be able to make a compelling statement about their current or planned research and why the planned extra work is essential to the research.

The application for a Graduate School Fellowship for Advanced PhD Students includes the  following:

A. Information provided by the student to the PhD program’s designated fellowship nominator (Linda Bazilian):
  1. For Endowed and Dissertation Completion Fellowships: a description of the student’s  dissertation, which should demonstrate the project’s contribution to the field and its grounding  in relevant scholarship and methodology. The proposal should make a compelling statement  about the planned work and be accessible to scholars in a broad range of fields. The research  area/dissertation description submitted by the candidate to the PhD program should be in  12-point Times New Roman, single spaced, with 1” margins, numbered pages, and a header on  every page that includes the student’s name and title of the dissertation (500-1,000 words).          
  2.  For Research Enhancement Fellowships: a description of the planned area of research, probable or existing dissertation topic, and a specific statement as to the nature of the additional research, travel, or training and why it is essential for the student’s research program. The statement should be in 12-point Times New Roman, single spaced, with 1” margins, numbered pages, and a header on every page that includes the student’s name and title of the dissertation (750-1,250 words).                                                                                                                         
  3. Plans for degree completion, including dates of screening, qualifying exams and anticipated dissertation defense (100-500 words).
  4. USC official or unofficial transcript or STARs report (scanned documents are acceptable).
  5. Signature page signed by the student, student’s dissertation advisor, department chair and Dean or Dean’s proxy affirming that the student is making satisfactory progress to the degree. Candidates for  the dissertation completion fellowship will be asked to acknowledge that they are making satisfactory progress to the degree and that they understand that they will no longer be eligible for funding as a graduate student at USC upon completion of the Dissertation Completion Fellowship.  
**The signature pages are posted below this announcement on the grad blog.**

B. Information provided by the student’s home program and uploaded as PDF documents by the PhD program’s designated nominator (Linda Bazilian):

  1. The rank order of all candidates submitted for each specific type of fellowship, whether Endowed, Research Enhancement, or Dissertation Completion.
  2. One letter of recommendation for each candidate provided by the student’s home program and uploaded as a PDF document by the PhD program’s designated nominator.                                    
  3.  A year-by-year list of support received by the student since matriculation in the program, including teaching assistantships, fellowships, summer funding, funding for research and travel to conferences, and any other funding to enhance the student’s professional development. Please note: We expect departments to have invested in the students they put forward for these fellowships. Only excellent students will be funded.

***Applications Due to Linda Bazilian by FEBRUARY 25, 2013 for Ranking and Dean's Signature.***

Research Enhancement Fellowship Signature page

Endowed Fellowship Signature page

Dissertation Fellowship Signature page