Early Research Initiative Conference (this Friday)

The Doctoral Student Experience Survey (DSES) and Master’s Student Experience Survey (MSES) is conducted in alternating years to assess student experience and satisfaction with the Graduate Center. The surveys’ primary purpose is to inform administrative and academic decisions at the Graduate Center, as well as the Graduate Center’s accreditation and strategic plan for institutional improvement. Questions that students are asked include their experience with financial support as well as with professional development. See the results of the Fall 2016 survey by logging in with your GC credentials here: https://www.gc.cuny.edu/About-the-GC/Provost-s-Office/Institutional-Research-and-Effectiveness/Survey-Research

When it comes to funding, only about 30% indicated that they received sufficient financial support to maintain an acceptable standard of living (N=557). In addition, although the majority of students (88%, N=648) assisted with research and/or conducted their own research during their time at the GC, about 21% are not satisfied with the amount of research they have conducted.

The Early Research Initiative was launched in 2015 to respond to what the survey numbers had only confirmed, the pre-existing need for rigorous academic research and more student funding. Duncan Faherty, ERI’s inaugural director, works with the GC Library to ensure that those who receive grants administered through ERI also have the opportunity to present their work to the larger GC audience by hosting the Early Research and Scholarship Conference at the beginning of the semester.

This Friday, September 1st 9am – 2:40pm, recipients of several awards funded by the Provost’s Office ― the Knickerbocker Award for Archival Research in American Studies, the Award for Archival Research in African American and African Diaspora Studies, and the Provost’s Pre-Dissertation Summer Research Awards ― will present their material in its raw state. Panels will be moderated by world-renowned faculty from multiple departments. In years past, students described what it was like to enter an archive for the first time, led the audience on a photo-tour of their travels abroad, and asked for feedback on inquiries that were newly developed as a result of their funded research. In each presentation, audience members who are new graduate students have the opportunity to get a closer look at the expectations of those who receive these types of awards, and prepare their own applications moving forward.

Students will represent the following departments: Theatre, Urban Education, Art History, Anthropology, Psychology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, English, Music, Social Welfare, and others.

The schedule for the day is here. For detailed panel descriptions, see the full program.

About the Author

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at the Graduate Center Library.