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Invest in Your Future: Graduate School Success Symposium

January 23, 2020

Invest in Your Future:  Graduate School Success Symposium

January 23, 2020
9 am-4 pm, Edward St. John Teaching and Learning Center

Have some big goals for 2020?  Join us to get a jumpstart on your academic and professional development! Doctoral students and postdoctoral associates are invited to join the Graduate School for a day of networking and interactive, hands-on sessions designed to help you achieve your goals. We’re offering four tracks aimed at helping you reach your academic and professional goals.

  • Kickoff Your Job or Internship Search cancelled
  • Writing for Publication
  • Dissertation Success Support Kickoff
  • Being Faculty at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution (PUI)

Each track will require some advance work and encompass three sessions during the day.  We’ll cap off the day with a social event in the afternoon.

The complete schedule, track, and session descriptions are below. To get the most out of the event, we ask that attendees complete pre-work for their chosen the tracks. About one week before the event, we will email you to let you know what work needs to be completed ahead of the event.  By doing this pre-work, you will be able to dive right into each of the sessions in your track!

This event is free, but space is limited so a $20 refundable deposit is required to fully register for the event. Register now at

Please note:  last day to cancel for a full refund will be January 16, 2020.  Your deposit will be refunded ONLY if you attend the event or cancel your registration by January 16, 2020.  Please contact the event organizer,, with any questions.


9-9:30am: Check in and light breakfast 
9:30-9:45:  Welcome
9:55-11:10: Session 1
11:10-11:20: break
11:20-12:35: Session 2
12:35-1:30: Lunch
1:30-2:45: Session 3
2:45-4: Social Hour:  Escape Room!



Writing for Publication

There is considerable pressure for graduate students to publish, but how do you learn to negotiate the how, when, where, and what of publishing in academia?  Join us for a day focused on moving your research closer to publication.  Students interested in this track should have a draft of a work in progress that they are considering for publication. The draft does not need to be complete, but it should be at least five pages in length.  Participants will be asked to submit the draft in advance and to read drafts of other students in the track for the peer review session.


  1. Publication Panel (featuring faculty editors from across campus): Join a panel of faculty from across campus who are or have been editors of journals in their disciplines. Panelists will offer advice about when and how to submit journal articles and will answer questions.  
  2. Revising for Publication: You have a paper you wrote for a course that you want to submit for publication.  Or you have a draft for publication that you know needs revision before you send it to the journal.  How do you begin--and complete--this revision process? In this session, we’ll discuss and begin to implement some successful revision strategies
  3. Peer Review of Works in Progress:  When you send your work out for publication, it’s read by anonymous reviewers.  We can’t quite replicate that situation, but getting a sense of how someone else might read and understand your work can help you develop and revise your work, and help you learn to respond to feedback as well.


Dissertation Success Support: Kickoff Your Writing!

Planning to graduate this year? You’ve probably never written a dissertation before, so knowing how to set your goals, work through your writing challenges, and finding peer accountability can be important elements to your success.  In this track, you will practice effective goal setting, learn ways to decide what your writing needs are, and build a network of peers to support you and keep you accountable through your dissertation process.  This track will provide students at the dissertation stage a day to focus on establishing goals and priorities for writing the dissertation, and will also introduce you to the Graduate School Writing Center’s semester long  Dissertation Success Support program.  


  1. Create a semester plan:  The first step to success is setting goals that you can actually realize!  In this first session, we’ll discuss setting writing goals and the value of creating a plan for your semester, one that prioritizes writing time. You’ll leave the session with a clear plan for your time for the entire semester.
  2. Diagnose Your Writing Needs:  What do you need (besides a good plan) to be successful in your writing this semester? Do you struggle with certain kinds of writing, knowing what to prioritize in your writing, balancing reading and writing time, making good use of feedback, or something else?  In this session, you’ll spend time reflecting on your writing needs and how to fulfill those needs to maximize your efforts.   
  3. Writing & Accountability Session: Writing a dissertation can be a lonely act, so we’ll end the day with an accountability session that can simultaneously demonstrate how useful just 25 minutes of writing can be AND how peer support can help you progress by establishing an accountability network.


Being Faculty at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI)

There are many kinds of academic careers.  In this track we’ll focus on launching your  faculty career at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI), also known as a regional comprehensive institution.  Join panelists from a range of disciplines from a nearby PUI,  Salisbury University to help you envision the unique benefits and challenges of teaching and researching at a PUI.  


  1. Why and How to Work at a PUI:  The majority of American students are educated at PUIs and regional comprehensive universities.  In this opening session,  featured panelists will share why they chose this career path, how to apply for and earn these positions, and how to accomplish professional goals in this environment.
  2. Research and Teaching Balance:  A career at a PUI offers a distinctive blend of opportunities to work with undergraduates, graduates, and faculty colleagues in labs, in classrooms, in the field, and in communities.  In this session, participants will get a chance to explore building and balancing research and teaching at a PUI. 
  3. Mentoring and Resources:  PUIs offer unique opportunities for mentoring students and unique challenges regarding accessing resources.  In this session, we’ll explore developing your skill as a mentor and learning how to access and marshal resources to reach your scholarship goals.   


Contact Information

The Graduate School
University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742