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

Research reveals teachers’ biases when rating first-graders’ academic skills based on learning behavior

Author: Colleen Sharkey

A recent study, co-authored by Notre Dame sociologist Calvin Zimmermann, shows how educators’ racial and gender biases affect their assessments of students’ academic skills based on noncognitive skills, which include behavior, class participation, self-discipline and interpersonal skills.

Read More about Research reveals teachers’ biases when rating first-graders’ academic skills based on learning behavior

University of Notre Dame-developed home lead screening kits shown to be highly accurate

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

An inexpensive lead sample collection kit distributed to homes in St. Joseph County is comparable in accuracy and sensitivity to more costly in-home analysis, according to research published this month in the Journal of Environmental Research. The Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team (ND LIT), central to the research, began its focus in 2016 to uncover hidden lead threats in homes before children are poisoned from their environments.

Read More about University of Notre Dame-developed home lead screening kits shown to be highly accurate

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