Graduate Strategic Plan: Graduate and Postdoctoral Research, Scholarship and Creative Expression

Art conservation students in a workshop.

The Graduate College will enhance graduate experiences by supporting, ​developing​ and ​enhancing​ opportunities for graduate and postdoctoral research, scholarship and creative expression.

Objective 1: Use discretionary research funds (e.g., fellowships and awards) to advance the aims of the Graduate College. These aims include:

  • Removing barriers to DEI.
  • Promoting interdisciplinary activities.
  • Supporting terminal master’s on par with doctoral programs.
  • Partnering with funding agencies to pursue training grants.

Objective 2: Leverage student retention data and best practices so that our students thrive intellectually and attain access to their professional aspirations.

Objective 3: Establish informed Graduate College recruitment goals for the entire University that:

  • Develop goals based on U.S. and global graduate enrollment trends, costs and projections as well as market demands.
  • Maintain a sustainable balance between master’s, terminal master’s, doctoral and certificate programs.
  • Account for existing capacity and other strategic interests at UD.
  • Incorporate a healthy strategy that includes internal recruitment where appropriate.
  • Incorporate a diverse, robust and pragmatic international strategy.
  • Build graduate cohorts that include domestic graduate demographics that are similar to those of the United States.
  • Build international graduate demographics that are similar to those worldwide.

Objective 4: Develop a robust University-wide marketing and recruitment strategy that:

  • Achieves the Graduate College recruitment goals.
  • Recruits UD undergraduates in a systematic way by providing a “one-stop” mechanism, such as a Graduate Program Fair for UD undergraduates and those at selected colleges in our region to learn about UD’s graduate programs.
  • Distinguishes between internal and external recruiting and includes plans for each.
  • Works harmoniously with other colleges.
  • Develops pipelines from UD summer programs.
  • Clearly articulates what distinguishes UD graduate education.

Immediate (AY21-22):

  • Objectives 1-4 - Clearly articulate the purposes, processes and policies underlying all Graduate College-funded awards, fellowships and tuition waivers.
  • Objective 1 - Develop policies for reallocating assets in the support of external training grants (e.g., matching and cost-shares).
  • Objective 2 - Review all Graduate College-funded awards, fellowships and tuition waiver programs for barriers, unstated expectations, redundancy and opacity.
  • Objective 3 - Launch a pilot for the Graduate and Postdoc Frontier program
  • Objective 4 - Form a standing Graduate Research Forum Committee consisting of students, faculty and staff.  The committee’s mission is to plan and execute the Graduate Research Forum.

Mid-Term (AY21-22 through AY23-AY24):

  • Objective 1 - Provide opportunities for faculty members to interact with and recruit graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from all populations, especially underrepresented groups and international. (Also advances objectives in Recruitment and Retention.)
  • Objective 1-2 - Create a single Graduate and Postdoc Research Guide for graduate students and postdocs, which includes sponsored fellowships, research facilities, key offices and research training workshops.
  • Objective 2 - Provide promising practices on successful recruitment and retention of mentees from underrepresented groups or international populations. (Also advances objectives in Recruitment and Retention.)
  • Objective 2 - Provide Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) training for faculty and postdocs.
  • Objective 2-4 - Create new opportunities for interdisciplinary research and amplify existing ones.

Long-Term (AY21-22 through AY25-AY26):

  • Objective 1 - Create a seed fund for independent, collaborative graduate student and postdoc endeavors.
  • Objective 2 - Provide training opportunities for faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students focused on building successful research groups.
  • Objective 2 - Develop communities of practice for faculty members who have graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented populations to support their ability to serve as quality mentors for those researchers.
  • Objective 2 - Identify appropriate incentives to encourage participation in research mentor training workshops and continued implementation of positive mentoring practices.
  • Objectives 2-4 - Create new opportunities for interdisciplinary research and amplify existing ones.
  • Objective 3 - Seek opportunities to involve graduate students in faculty early-career opportunities (e.g., proposal writing workshops and other offerings).
  • Objective 4 - Explore ways to invigorate Graduate Student Research Forum, including involving deeper involvement from colleges and alumni.
  • Outputs from action items.
  • Numbers of large training grants (T32, T99, NRT, LSAMP BtD, AGEP, etc.) and sponsored training projects submitted/awarded.
  • Interdisciplinary research activity. Aligns with draft UD strategic plan around interdisciplinary activity.
  • Research participation by demographics and disciplines measured by fellowships awarded and UD research expenditures.
  • Philanthropy supporting graduate stipends.
  • Number of faculty on campus receiving research mentorship training broken out by faculty rank.