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

Colombian peace agreement progressing steadily, says Kroc Institute report

Author: Renée LaReau

Nearly one year after the Colombian government and the rebel group FARC signed a historic peace accord, the fulfillment of nearly half its commitments is underway, according to a report issued Nov. 16 by Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

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Notre Dame to lead NNSA-funded center focused on nuclear chemistry

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Notre Dame will lead a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Actinide Center of Excellence to conduct research in actinide and nuclear chemistry. The NNSA’s Stewardship Sciences Academic Alliance program will provide $12.5 million for the center, which is tasked with prioritizing research that is important for Stockpile Stewardship—the certification that the nation’s nuclear weapons are secure and operational.

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New data suggests increased vulnerability for island countries

Author: Alex Gumm

As island nations assume a lead role in the 23rd annual Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, Nov. 6-17, the latest data released by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) shows that small island states face increasing challenges to address the impact of climate change.

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Links of Interest