Resources For Graduate Students

While in graduate school there are numerous skills, beyond your technical skills, that you need to acquire to be an effective researcher.  For example, are you ready to:

  • choose a research and career direction?
  • develop a sound research plan?
  • write a research paper and submit the result to a journal?
  • present research at an international conference?
  • work together effectively with your advisor and colleagues?
  • decide what research activities are ethically acceptable for you, and which ones are not?
Graduate students often are not taught these skills. Instead, students learn these by trial-and-error, often doing things wrong the first time. This leads to lost time, and can make the graduate experience frustrating, for both the student and the advisor. The Center for Professional Education helps students avoid these pitfalls.
You may use these examples of student/advisor agreements to facilitate a conversation with your advisor about transparent expectations and effective collaboration.
After you graduate will you be ready to:
  • negotiate your employment contract?
  • write successful proposals -either to NSF or to your supervisor?
  • communicate effectively with professional peers, laypeople, and management?
  • lead a research or development effort?
  • design and effectively teach a class?
It is commonly assumed that new graduates have limited skills in these areas. Therefore, the development and documentation of these will not only help you excel once you are in your job, but can also help make you more competitive in getting that first job. Take advantage of the professional development courses and workshops that are offered.

Open Office Hours for Graduate Students
(Fall 2020)

Typically your advisor is a source for advice, but there are situations where you may want to talk with somebody else. Don’t hesitate to use our open office hours to discuss anything you need help with

Tim Barbari:
By appointment:
please contact Wendy Delesha (

Roel Snieder (Hill Hall 206A)
Times are shown on his website

If these times do not work, please check Dr. Snieder’s
 online schedule for availability, or contact Jane Ko to set up an appointment.