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

New study identifies potential path forward for brachial plexus injury recovery

Author: Brandi Wampler

On average, an estimated three out of every 1,000 newborns will suffer a brachial plexus injury during birth, damaging the bundle of nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the shoulders, arms and hands. In the most traumatic cases, even with surgery and physical therapy as an infant, there is no treatment that can guarantee a full recovery. However, a new study from Notre Dame has identified a strategy that may support the regeneration of nerves affected by a brachial plexus injury.

Read More about New study identifies potential path forward for brachial plexus injury recovery

New study unravels the complexity of childhood obesity

Author: Jessica Sieff

In a new study led by the University of Notre Dame, researchers examined how various psychological characteristics of children struggling with their weight, such as loneliness, anxiety and shyness, combined with similar characteristics of their parents or guardians and family dynamics affect outcomes of nutritional intervention.

Read More about New study unravels the complexity of childhood obesity

Links of Interest