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Research Partner Profile

University of Michigan

Principal Investigator
Janet A. Weiss
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Tel (734) 764-4401
janetw@umich.edu

Participating Programs (8)
Anthropology
Biology
Classical Art and Archaeology
English and Women's Studies
Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear Engineering

Abstract
The University of Michigan will implement a set of interventions and enhancements of existing policies and practices designed to improve the retention and completion rates of students from underrepresented groups. For each intervention described, the proposal details a tailored evaluation strategy.

Proposed Interventions

  • “GradTools”: a web-based navigator that enables students, departments and allied administrative units an opportunity to improve the doctoral education process and monitor student progress. Major features include:
    • Dissertation checklist. Documents the major steps in the process
    • Schedule. Provides a single place to record events, dates, and milestones
    • Resources. Site where documents can be shared, stored, and organized; includes links to research and dissertation writing resources
    • Discussion. Committee members and the students can interact online to comment on the drafts of the dissertation
  • Enhance awards and fellowships for underrepresented students in STEM fields
  • Develop a first year handbook
  • Annual assessments of student progress
  • Dissertation writing assistance modeled on best practices of the Dissertation Writing Institute, which provides
    • Dedicated office space for writing
    • Frequent reviews of writing by both a writing mentor and peers
    • Writing workshops
    • Specific, frequent deadlines for completing revising dissertation sections
    • A stipend to free students from responsibilities that conflict with writing
  • Early research experience through a summer institute program

 

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