Increase financial and programmatic support for recruiting the best graduate students. 


LEAD: Dr. Dan Knopf, Associate Dean for Graduate Education


The College has initiated an aggressive fundraising campaign to increase graduate fellowship support. This five-year campaign to create a new Discovery Fellows Endowment will allow the College to recruit and support the very best graduate candidates across disciplines.  In partnership with the Provost’s Graduate Student Fellows program, new, highly competitive packages are available to offer to top student applicants across several of the College’s graduate programs through the joint investment of institutional, college and program funds. These strategic investments are under the guidance of a new Associate Dean for Graduate Education, also charged with enhancing the experience of graduate students in the College.  The College has hired a new graduate career advisor in collaboration with the Graduate School, established a robust professional development seminar, created a new Dean’s Office Graduate Council composed of students representing all fifteen programs in CNS, held an inaugural Graduate Education Summit to seek faculty input on optimizing graduate education for today’s students and tomorrow’s job markets, and increased our focus on diversity through participation at the SACNAS and regional McNair Scholars Conferences.  To increase competitiveness for institutional training grants, the College’s Office of Strategic Research Initiatives has partnered with CNS IT to create database tools for compiling aggregate training grant data quickly and accurately, thereby facilitating program submissions of training grants.

In 2015-16, the 21st Century Graduate Education Task Force produced a blue-print for a student-centered remodeling of graduate education. The task force worked with the Graduate School to make GSII and decentralized fellowship funding policies more useful for recruiting top graduate students. To help promote diversity among our graduate programs, some fellowship funds will now be dedicated to improve diversity in graduate recruiting. The 21st Century Graduate Education implementation group will begin its work in Fall 2016, seeking to engage faculty and GSC members across the College in responding to the recommendations of the task force.



  • Increased financial support will help sustain robust graduate programs that attract and retain the highest quality students.
  • An increased emphasis on training grant support will result in a higher percentage of submissions and awards.
  • Graduate student satisfaction levels will increase, as will the diversity and number of graduates following satisfying career paths after completion of their degrees.



The College will:

  • track student diversity and program acceptance rates
  • improve tracking of graduates’ first and subsequent career placements after degree
  • administer an “exit interview” to students who leave without obtaining their desired degree
  • track number of submissions and awards for training grants
  • assess the perceptions of graduate students through periodic climate surveys
  • monitor external review findings on the quality of graduate programs.



  • Begin implementation of the 21st Century working group recommendations.
  • Complete the graduate student database project to obtain comparative data about academic progress toward graduation and career progress after graduation.
  • Develop an exit interview for graduate students that leave their programs.