Research, Graduate Studies, and Postdoctoral Training

Aimee Buccellato (right), assistant professor of architecture, goes over drawings with a student

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 Associate Professor of 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

Origami-inspired shelters could serve military, disaster relief efforts

Author: Notre Dame News

Ashley P. Thrall, Myron and Rosemary Noble Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering at Notre Dame, is developing origami-inspired shelters that have many potential uses, from military applications to humanitarian assistance. The design would reduce energy consumption, would be deployable by a few soldiers in about half an hour, and could be transported by plane, ship or truck on a standard military pallet. Read More

Law professor appointed as consultant in Colombia peace talks

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Douglass Cassel, professor of law and adviser to Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, has been appointed by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos to a bilateral working group in the peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Read More

Accounting errors by nonprofits occur relatively frequently, new study reveals

Author: William G. Gilroy

Nonprofit organizations often cite the high percentage of their incoming donations that go directly to the cause they support, not to administrative costs. However, a new study by Jeffrey Burks, associate professor of accountancy in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, found that nonprofits make accounting errors at a relatively high rate, most likely because they don’t devote many resources to administrative costs. Read More

Links of Interest