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

Researchers receive $2.9 million for 5-year monsoon study

Author: Jessica Sieff

For nearly 1 billion people living on the subcontinent of India, monsoon rainfall provides water for agriculture, drinking water and hydroelectricity production. The torrential rainfall also can lead to deadly floods and landslides. Researchers at Notre Dame are at the forefront of a five-year study to measure oceanic and atmospheric conditions and flow patterns of monsoons across the Indian Ocean, in particular Bay of Bengal, to help improve predictive models.

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Researchers improve method to identify aquatic species using environmental DNA

Author: Jessica Sieff

Determining which fish are living in various bodies of water can be a daunting task for scientists studying those populations. Identifying invasive or endangered species, for example, has often relied on the ability to catch them. Now, according to a new study published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, researchers from Notre Dame, Cornell University, and the Oceanic Institute at Hawaii Pacific University have improved their method of tracking species by using the biological material those organisms leave behind.

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Researchers create first low-energy particle accelerator beam underground in the United States

Author: Jessica Sieff

Nuclear astrophysicists successfully created the first low-energy particle accelerator beam deep underground in the United States, bringing them one step closer to understanding how the elements of our universe are built. Notre Dame’s involvement in the project, which is called CASPAR (Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research), is led by Michael Wiescher, Freimann Professor of Nuclear Physics, and Research Assistant Professor Dan Robertson.

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