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.


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

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

2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal damaged other German automakers’ reputations and profits, study shows

Author: Colleen Sharkey

In 2015, Volkswagen was exposed for bypassing U.S. emissions standards by equipping their diesel-engine cars with a so-called defeat device that could detect emissions tests, adjust levels to ensure compliance, then revert to non-compliant levels after test completion. Notre Dame’s Rüdiger Bachmann and his co-authors studied the scandal and found that the fallout from Volkswagen’s wrongdoing cost other German car makers billions of dollars in sales.

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Notre Dame announces significant growth in research funding

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Researchers from Notre Dame have received $180.6 million in research funding for fiscal year 2019—$100 million more than 10 years ago and a more than 27 percent increase from last year. The awards received support a broad range of projects that tackle globally significant issues, including vector-borne diseases, cancer, psychology, nanotechnology, hypersonics and much more.

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Schaefer selected as Toyota Young Investigator Fellow

Author: Nina Welding

Jennifer L. Schaefer, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Notre Dame, has been selected as one of the five Toyota Young Investigator Fellows for 2019-2020 by The Electrochemical Society and Toyota Research Institute of North America. The program seeks to recognize and encourage young scholars in pursuit of research in green energy technology, specifically those areas that promote the development of next-generation vehicles capable of using alternative fuels.

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Links of Interest