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Welcome to the 2013-2014 Academic Year


Synthesist: The Graduate School Newsletter
     May 6, 2014

In This Issue

Conferences, Events & Calls for Papers

Graduate School Updates

Graduate & Professional Student Spotlight

Trends, Tools, Issues, Reports & Best Practices

Funding/Employment Opportunities

Conferences, Events & Calls for Papers

GRE Search Service: The Graduate School will host a lunch and workshop to discuss the GRE search service, a recruitment tool that can be used to reach prospects who have demonstrated graduate-level readiness through their GRE® test performance, onMay 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campus Club. RSVP required.

TA Workshop: The Center for Writing presents a summer workshop, Commenting On & Grading Student Writing: A Workshop for Teaching AssistantsAugust 25, 2014 at 12:30 p.m., 312 Science Teaching & Student Services. Teaching assistants new to grading and commenting will have opportunities to become familiar with strategies and resources supporting effective and efficient practices.

Resources for buying a home in the University district or elsewhere in Minneapolis for those who might not otherwise be able to afford it will be presented at an information session on May 15, 2014 at 4:30 p.m., 2-228 Carlson School of Management. For registration and more information, see homebuyer assistance through the City of Lakes Community Land Trust. Co-sponsored by the U's Office of Government and Community Relations, and the University District Alliance. More about the City of Lakes Community Land Trust >

The American Association for State and Local History will hold its Annual Meeting and Online Conference in St. Paul, MN on September 17-20, 2014. This year's theme,Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts, examines the personal, communal, and organizational journeys that lead to vibrancy, authenticity, social change and sustainability. Visit for more information; scholarship information also available online.

View the full U of M Graduate Education calendar 

Graduate School Updates

Five innovative ideas in interdisciplinary graduate education recognized in the2013-2014 Call for Innovative Ideas competition. Each of the winners will receive a modest award from the Graduate School to help launch the projects. Read more about the winning ideas >

Fifteen Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships were awarded to outstanding doctoral students doing interdisciplinary research, from a candidate pool of 84 submissions. The original twelve fellowships were supplemented by additional funds from the Graduate School to allow 15 awards to be made. View the 2014-2015 winners >

Graduate & Professional Student Spotlight

With her research on the ape and human fossil record of Kenya's Rusinga Island,Kirsten Jenkins' intriguing discoveries are helping us understand how ancient humans lived and the selection pressures that drove their evolution. Read more >

The Mixed Methods Interdisciplinary Graduate Group (MMIGG) has announced the winners of its 2014-2015 scholarships: Veronica L. Horowitz, Department of Sociology; Brett Johnson, School of Journalism and Mass Communication; and Scott DeMuth, Department of SociologyHeidi Wagner (College of Design) and Holly Dunn and Ore Koren (Department of Political Science) received Honorable Mention. Congratulations!Learn more about the MMIGG >

Abinadi Meza, MFA '04 and Dove Fellow, has been named a recipient of the 2014-15 Rome Prize. The Rome Prize is awarded to approximately thirty individuals who represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities. Prize recipients are invited to reside at the Academy’s 11-acre center in Rome and receive room and board, a study or studio, and a stipend.  Read more about this year's recipients >

Trends, Tools, Issues, Reports & Best Practices

International Graduate Applications Rebound in Preliminary Estimates for 2014:The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reports that the preliminary number of applications from prospective international students to U.S. graduate schools increased 7% in 2014, up from the 2% increase seen in 2013. Read more >

Global Operations: Are you conducting research abroad? Do you employ staff overseas? Are you or do you know someone who is struggling with questions about international tax, legal, or other issues? Global Operations can help! Global Operations is a service available to University faculty and staff undertaking research, projects, or programs abroad to assess issues, provide advice, and reduce internal infrastructure barriers. Check out the Global Operations website for more information.

Funding/Employment Opportunities

Call for pre-proposals for the NSF Research Traineeship program. Critical information about the NSF NRT program is available via a series of NSF webinars.


Previous Synthesist issues...

April 22, 2014

April 8, 2014

March 25, 2014

March 11, 2014

February 25, 2014

Graduate School

To: Directors of Graduate Studies and Department Heads/Chairs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fields

From: Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, Acting Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education

Re: New NSF Funding Opportunity


The National Science Foundation has announced a new graduate education initiative, the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program, designed “to encourage the development of bold, new, potentially transformative, and scalable models for STEM graduate training that ensure that graduate students develop the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to pursue of range of STEM careers.” This may well provide an opportunity to propose projects that complement some of our strategic initiatives, although, of course, our campus panel for pre-proposals will judge each proposal on its originality and quality. You should note that this new NRT is explicitly a replacement for the IGERT program and offers a significant opportunity for supporting our graduate students.  

Each institution may submit just two proposals with a budget of up to $3,000,000 per award.  The local deadline for pre-proposal submission to the Graduate School is NOON on Monday, May 12, 2014. Pre-proposals may be no more than three pages in length; complete submission instructions are available online. You may access the full solicitation on the NSF website.  If you have  specific questions, please contact Belinda Cheung ( or Vicki Field (

Thank you for your attention to this new funding opportunity.  

cc:  College Deans and Associate Deans, Karen Hanson, Brian Herman


Upcoming Events

* Commencement Volunteers Sought
* Rec Sports Seeks Volunteers
* Equity and Diversity Nominations Sought . . . AND MORE

* ITSS Updates 
* KUMD News . . . AND MORE

* Praveen Aggarwal named LSBE associate dean 
* Art Exhibited; Papers and Books Published; Lectures Presented 
* Minnesota Sea Grant News
* Pharmacy News . . . AND MORE

UMD Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, Amsoil Arena.

There will be two separate ceremonies:
10:00 a.m. beings the ceremony for CEHSP, SFA, and CLAstudents
3:00 p.m. begins the ceremony for LSBE and SCSE
Graduate students can only participate in one ceremony. If a student does not participate in the ceremony for which he or she is scheduled, the student will not be allowed to participate in any subsequent ceremony.

Fore more information, check out our commencement page!


Academic and Professional Development

Ongoing events including: Workshops and Seminars, Career Week, Career Networking Breakfat, Writer's Nexus, Doctoral Students' Comprehensive Guide to Finishing the Degree, and more.

For more extensive information and recordings of past events, please contact Noro Andriamanalina at or visit the Academic and Professional Development website at



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