Faculty Fellows in Professional Development Innovation

New for 2023-2024: Support for Innovative Faculty Ideas

Help prepare Ph.D. students in your department for careers within and beyond the academy!
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Beginning in fall 2023, we are launching a new Faculty Fellows in Professional Development Innovation initiative to support faculty and departments in building innovative professional development programs that help prepare Ph.D. students for a broad range of careers within and beyond the academy. In the inaugural year, between five to seven faculty fellows will be selected by a committee at the Graduate School.  

How it Works

This program is intended to deepen the Graduate School's partnerships with faculty and graduate students by supporting bespoke professional development programs within the departments that will meet the unique and evolving interests of graduate students. There are four steps:

1. Identify graduate student professional development needs and interests: Faculty Fellows partner with graduate students in their department (or across departments) to gain a greater understanding of their evolving interests, desire to build new skills, or explore emerging career pathways. This will involve identifying existing skills, knowledge, or opportunity gaps.

2. Conceptualize and propose a program: Faculty Fellows will work closely with graduate students in their departments (or across departments) to co-create a proposal for an innovative professional development program. The overall goal for each program proposal is to expose graduate students to – and prepare them for – diverse pathways within and beyond the academy. However, the individual learning outcomes, program format, and length of the program may vary.

Examples of potential programs might include an innovative approach to:

  • Ensuring all graduate students sharpen their skills in one or all of the eight core competencies; 
  • Connecting graduate students with graduate alumni and other professionals;
  • Providing skills training in areas not commonly associated with the curriculum or offering micro-credentialed programs for skills that are in high demand in the job market;
  • Developing tailored experiential opportunities;
  • Hosting professional development symposiums or graduate-focused fairs. 

3. Receive support with implementation and funding: Upon selection by a committee at the Graduate School, Faculty Fellows will receive support to implement and fund their innovative professional development program or initiative. Depending on the format and scope of the proposed program, funding awards may range from $500 to $2,000 for a one-time event and between $2,100 to $10,000 for a longer-term initiative. 

4. Attend two meetings of faculty fellows per year:  Faculty Fellows will convene as a group twice per year (fall and spring). In the fall, new faculty fellows will be formally announced and recognized. During the fall meeting, faculty fellows will meet with the GradFUTURES team to discuss the professional development goals within their departments and ways to implement their proposed programs. During the spring meeting, faculty fellows will share the results of their innovative program as well as graduate student feedback and learning outcomes with other faculty members at a celebratory reception. 

Rodney Priestley
“Graduate student professional development helps students build important professional skills which serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration, creativity, and innovation. By cultivating connections between our graduate students, faculty, alumni, and industry, government, and nonprofit partners, we are building on-ramps to a diverse array of careers.” 

Rodney D. Priestley, Dean of the Graduate School, Pomeroy and Betty Perry Smith Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Apply to Become a Faculty Fellow

Please complete this brief interest form to receive an application and proposal form. The deadline to apply is November 30, 2023. 

Bill Gleason
“It's exciting to see how many new initiatives and opportunities for graduate student professional development are emerging here on campus, in communication, teaching, leadership, wellness, career management, and other crucial areas. I very much hope this programming will continue to grow.” 

William A. Gleason, Hughes-Rogers Professor of English and American Studies