Doctoral Students

What are we doing to improve the doctoral student experience?

  • For AY2022-23, the AD of DEI emphasized improving the quality of mentoring as one of the top 3 priorities. This has resulted in:
    • Additional data collection on doctoral students’ experiences as mentees,
    • Opt-in trainings using for faculty and their lab groups;
    • Opt-in trainings on cultural competency and humility for faculty and doctoral students that emphasize mentor/mentee relationships and based in part on the CIMER Entering Mentoring curricula (although attendance was low for faculty).
    • Training for 1st and 2nd year PhD students on mentoring up (to be offered on March 24)
  • The AD of DEI also applied for, and just got notice that she has received, Duke Seed Grant Funding to launch mentor training in two ways in Spring 2023 and Fall 2023:
    • Initiative 1: Mentor Training in Faculty Meetings. We will offer short (15-25 minute) mentoring training on a biweekly basis in the faculty meetings of at least two of the three divisions of the NSoE. This is responsive to the NSoE Faculty Council’s request for training to be incorporated into other required activities, rather than being offered as stand alone, required events. This means that faculty won’t be required to take additional time to engage in mentor training and it will normalize discussion of mentoring and teaching in faculty meetings, which currently don’t occur regularly. The training would be based on the research-supported CIMER Mentoring Curriculum.
    • Initiative 2: Mentor Training in BiWeekly Lunch & Learns. In addition, we will also create a loose cohort-based model of faculty interested in more in-depth training. This self-selected cohort will engage in additional training based on the CIMER approach (see details below), as well as more in-depth training on culturally inclusive mentoring. The cohort will then apply what they learn and present their reflections during faculty meetings. If this model is successful, cohorts will continue to be used as a means of developing mentoring competency among faculty in future years. 
  • Dean Toddi Steelman is also set to address mentoring in the February 10 faculty plenary, emphasizing (1) the changing definition of mentoring and (2) the role that IDPs play in good mentoring.
  • The AD of DEI is also working to improve field safety issues that have arisen particularly among doctoral students, by (1) offering two Building a Better Fieldwork Future workshops in NSoE on March 6 and 7 and (2) working with RiDE fellow Jillian Wisse to develop guidelines and forms for students and advisors to work through to ensure that physical and emotional safety has been considered and addressed in advance of students engaging in fieldwork.