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 research that matters 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.

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.

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Prashan de Visser (M.A. peace studies, 2015) presents on Global Unites at TEDxUNDPrashan de Visser (M.A. peace studies, 2015) presents
at TEDxUND.

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 research that matters some 175 years later.

Research News

Energy E3 to build innovation center, increase access to sustainable energy in low- and middle-income countries

Author: Jessica Sieff

It powers nearly every aspect of our daily lives, but in low- to middle-income countries, more than one billion people live without electricity. The issue is particularly overwhelming in sub-Saharan Africa where, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development, 600 million people do not have access to electricity. Researchers at Notre Dame with counterparts in Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria are working to bridge the gap through a program called Energy E3—Empowering Nations to Power Their Nation, with plans underway for an inaugural energy innovation center in Uganda.

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Master of Theological Studies program adds new World Religions World Church focus

Author: Margaret McVeigh

Notre Dame’s Department of Theology has launched a new area of concentration within its Master of Theological Studies program: World Religions World Church (WRWC). The area of WRWC offers students the opportunity to study both global religions and the global Church while receiving exposure to other areas of Christian theology. In WRWC coursework, students will have the freedom to focus on a particular non-Christian tradition or cultural context of the Church and develop skills in primary and research languages.

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Scientists take aim at illicit supply chain networks of fake medications

Author: Jessica Sieff

For many people in developing countries, the struggle for access to health care comes with a risk. Those patients can fall victim to falsified medications that fail to treat their conditions, with the potential to cause harm and, in some cases, death. Now, a new study will take aim at illicit supply chain operations to improve detection of falsified medications before they harm patients. The project is a collaboration between Notre Dame and Northwestern University.

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Growth in Notre Dame research and scholarship funding continues

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Notre Dame continued the steady expansion and growth of its research, scholarship and creative endeavor programs during the most recent fiscal year, recording $141.6 million in research funding. The amount is part of a trend that has led to a 75 percent increase in external research funding awarded to the University compared to 10 years ago. 

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Links of Interest