Research, Graduate Studies, and Postdoctoral Training

Zhiliang Xu, associate professor in the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, talks with a graduate student at the chalkboard

As a Catholic university, one of [Notre Dame’s] distinctive goals is to provide a forum where, through free inquiry and open discussion, the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity.

    —From Notre Dame’s Mission Statement

Research and graduate education have an inextricable connection to one another. Both professors and students benefit from working together, the former by mentoring new colleagues who can provide not only assistance but also fresh perspectives, and the latter by learning how one contributes to the body of knowledge in a particular field.

Quite often faculty seek out postdoctoral scholars to join their teams, as well. In addition to significantly enhancing a group’s research capacity and further developing their own professional identities, these recent Ph.D. recipients bring an understanding of the demands pursuing a doctorate entails, making them a tremendous asset to graduate students currently navigating that process.

Nitesh Chawla, Frank M. Freimann Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, presents at TEDxUND

Notre Dame fosters an outstanding environment for these wide-ranging collaborations, as they naturally depend, first and foremost, on the strength of the faculty, and ours are among the best at what they do.

Indicators of their excellence are numerous, ranging from an impressive fellowship record in the liberal arts to partnerships such as the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics—Center for the Evolution of the Elements. These faculty in turn bring their considerable expertise to the graduate programs administered by the School of Architecture, the Mendoza College of Business, the Graduate School, and the Law School, allowing the University to offer approximately 30 doctoral and 60 master’s degrees as well as the J.D.

Building on our commitment to support scholarship at the most advanced levels, recent University initiatives—highlighted by the Strategic Research Investments, Notebaert Premier Fellowships for graduate students, and the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars—promise to raise the bar even higher. This is a fitting trajectory for an institution founded on the premise that it would someday be “one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country.”

Indeed, those words, spoken by Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., when Notre Dame was little more than an idea, continue to drive our research agenda some 175 years later.

Research News

School vouchers bring more money to Catholic schools—but at a cost, study finds

Author: Brittany Collins Kaufman

School voucher programs, which use government funds to support students attending private schools, are rising in popularity around the United States, where more than 80 percent of all private school students attend religiously affiliated schools. A research team centered at Notre Dame wanted to find out what effect vouchers have on the religious communities that accept them.

Read More about School vouchers bring more money to Catholic schools—but at a cost, study finds

Researchers develop “living diode” using cardiac muscle cells

Author: Jessica Sieff

Using cardiac muscle cells and cardiac fibroblasts—cells found in connective heart tissue—Pinar Zorlutuna, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at Notre Dame, and her team have created a “living diode,” which can be used for cell-based information processing, according to a recent study in Advanced Biosystems.

Read More about Researchers develop “living diode” using cardiac muscle cells

Notre Dame students recognized in International Housewares Association’s Student Design Competition

Author: William G. Gilroy

A pair of Notre Dame students received awards in the 24th annual Student Design Competition sponsored by the International Housewares Association. The students will have their entries showcased at the International Home + Housewares Show from March 18 to 22 in Chicago.

Read More about Notre Dame students recognized in International Housewares Association’s Student Design Competition

Links of Interest