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, 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 170 years later.

Research News

Creating more effective product recalls by improving traceability

Author: Shannon Roddel

Each year, an estimated 48 million Americans get sick—sometimes mortally—from an all-too common source: foodborne pathogens. Even as the industry looks for ways to curb outbreaks, a new Notre Dame study finds that just being able to trace a product through its supply chain is at once critical, and difficult. Read More

Astrophysicists release new study of one of the first stars

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Timothy Beers, the Notre Dame Chair in Astrophysics, is part of a team that has used the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope to study key regions of the ultraviolet spectrum of a star thought to have been enriched by elements from one of the first generation of stars. Read More

Engineering the immune system to kill cancer cells

Author: Tammi Freehling

A research team led by Notre Dame chemist Brian Baker is developing a new immunotherapy, a treatment that enhances immune system function in order to treat or prevent disease, as a means to more effectively target and kill cancer cells. According to Baker, “Immunotherapy is changing how cancer is treated.” Read More

Links of Interest