Author: Debra Charlesworth

Adjustments to dissertation, thesis, and report deadlines for spring 2020

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

In response to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the Graduate School will be adjusting deadlines for completing a dissertation, thesis, or report for spring semester.

To successfully complete a research degree, students must complete the following items by deadlines established by the Graduate School:

  1. Pass their final oral examination (“defense”)
  2. Submit the Approval of a Dissertation, Thesis, or Report form
  3. Submit a committee-approved dissertation, thesis, or report to Digital Commons
  4. Submit a committee-approved dissertation or thesis to ProQuest (reports do not submit to ProQuest)

For the spring semester, the following deadlines will apply for the above items:

  1. To complete a degree in spring, the deadline is 4pm on April 27, 2020.  This is a one week extension from the normal deadline.
  2. To complete a degree in summer – at no additional cost – the deadline is 4pm on May 27, 2020.  This is a three week extension of the regular “grace” period. For students with a terminal degree who submit by this deadline:
    1. The Graduate School will enroll them in UN5951 – a 0 credit, no fee, no tuition course
    2. The Graduate School will request that students are coded as “off campus”
    3. No fees – for this semester – will be due when the document is accepted
    4. A provisional certification indicating degree completion can be provided.  Students request this on the Approval form.
  3. The Graduate School will enroll them in UN5951 – a 0 credit, no fee, no tuition course
  4. The Graduate School will request that students are coded as “off campus”
  5. No fees – for this semester – will be due when the document is accepted
  6. A provisional certification indicating degree completion can be provided.  Students request this on the Approval form.

Students unable to submit by May 27 who wish to complete their degree in the summer must register for at least one credit.  They will have until 4pm on August 10, 2020 to complete their defense and submit their document and associated paperwork.

Defenses should still be scheduled two weeks in advance and must include a public presentation. These presentations may be held using an online platform of the committee’s choice and the URL provided for public access will be publicized by the Graduate School.   Based on feedback we have received, we offer the following suggestions for your defense using Zoom:

  • The IT Knowledge Base on Conferencing includes answers to many of your questions. Contact IT if you need additional assistance (906-487-1111, it-help@mtu.edu)
  • Set up your meeting to have a co-host so that a second person can start the meeting, mute participants with audio issues, or act as a moderator.
  • Set up your meeting to mute participants automatically when they join.
  • Set up your meeting to turn off video for participants to preserve bandwidth.
  • Share your slides and present as usual.
  • There are several options for asking questions during a Zoom webinar:
    • Participants can be encouraged to type questions in the chat window.  These can be answered in real-time or saved for the end.
    • Participants can “raise your hand” and then ask via chat, audio, or video.  It is helpful to have a friend or committee member be a moderator for this.
    • Participants can “unmute” themselves and simply ask their question. This is easier with a smaller group.
  • The “on-hold” feature may be used to exclude a participant from the audio and video feed, for example, while the committee is deliberating about the defense.
  • Participants can be encouraged to type questions in the chat window.  These can be answered in real-time or saved for the end.
  • Participants can “raise your hand” and then ask via chat, audio, or video.  It is helpful to have a friend or committee member be a moderator for this.
  • Participants can “unmute” themselves and simply ask their question. This is easier with a smaller group.

We hope that these adjustments will allow all students to complete their degree in a timely manner with less stress about registration and fee payment.

We are here to help.  Please let us know how we can assist you.

Sincerely,

Graduate School

Data Incubator’s Summer 2020 Data Science Fellowship application is open

The Data Incubator’s Summer 2020 Data Science Fellowship application is open!

Program: The Data Incubator is an intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares masters students, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM and social science fields seeking industry careers as data scientists. The program is free for Fellows and supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries. In response to the overwhelming interest in our earlier sessions, we will be holding another fellowship.

Who Should Apply: Anyone who has already obtained a masters or PhD degree or who is within one year of graduating with a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome.

Locations: You can attend our program in:

  • New York City
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Washington, DC.
  • Online

Application Link: https://www.thedataincubator.com/fellowship/apply.html

Session Dates: 2020-06-29 – 2020-08-21
Early Deadline: 2020-04-03
Regular Deadline: 2020-05-02
We are assessing and interviewing candidates who apply for the Early Deadline first and then based on remaining availability, will take candidates who applied for the Regular Deadline on a first-come first-serve basis.

Data Science in 30 minutes: Learn how to build a data-science project in our upcoming free Data Science in 30-minutes webcast. Signup soon as space is limited.

Learn More: You can learn about our fellows at The New York TimesLinkedInAmazonCapital One, or Palantir. To read about our latest fellow alumni, check out our blog. To learn more about The Data Incubator, check us out on Venture BeatThe Next Web, or Harvard Business Review.

Volunteering as a graduate student

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education recently advocated for volunteering as a graduate student. While it might seem counter-intuitive to work for free while being a student, the author presents several great reasons why volunteering can help you build your professional skills and expand your professional and personal network.

Participating in activities outside of graduate school can help refresh your mind and spirit. There is nothing quite like the “real world” to remind you that your graduate school experience is special and that you are doing amazing things. Whether it is volunteering or participating in a campus activity, a small amount of time away from your studies can have a big impact on your frame of reference and mood.

How to prepare for a career beyond academia

Whether your goal is an academic or non-academic position after attainment of your graduate degree, building skills outside of your degree requirements is an important part of your career preparation.

In this interview with Dr. Paula Chambers, founder of The Versatile PhD, Dr. Chambers explores:

  • Whether an academic career is a realistic expectation
  • Skills that you can build in graduate school that will strengthen your job applications
  • How to make your resume concrete by counting everything

As you build your non-academic skills, such as marketing or web development, you may find out more about yourself and projects you enjoy. This can further your professional development by helping you to explore new career opportunities.

Nominations open for summer 2020 fellowships from The DeVlieg Foundation

Due to the generous support of The DeVlieg Foundation, the Graduate School is happy to accept nominations for 2020 summer fellowships.

All graduate programs may nominate one eligible PhD student per program.  The recipient will  receive a stipend for summer 2020 plus tuition support (one credit or three research credits for PhD candidates).  Eligible students will meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Must be a graduate student in the field supported by the DeVlieg Foundation:
    1. Biology/wildlife (2020 Summer Research Award in Biology/Wildlife)
  2. Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  3. Must be enrolled in a PhD program.
  4. Must be nominated by student’s graduate program.  Each PhD program may nominate one student.
  5. Must not be supported by another funding mechanism while supported by The DeVlieg Foundation (part-time job, fellowship, GTA, GRA, etc.).
  6. Biology/wildlife (2020 Summer Research Award in Biology/Wildlife)

Nominations are due no later than 4pm on February 26, 2020 to the Graduate School. Please submit as a PDF file sent to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Please see our web page for details on the application procedure and materials needed.  Each program may determine its own internal selection procedure.

Please contact the Graduate School with any questions.

Parental Accommodation for Graduate Students

Having a family and pursuing a PhD is balancing act. I’ve given birth to 3 precious girls while pursuing my PhD. The parental accommodation policy at Michigan Tech has helped me embrace and enjoy my personal life without feeling pressure to finish my degree. I will finally graduate this semester!

Being a graduate student is challenging.  When coupled with becoming a new parent, that challenge can be overwhelming.  To assist graduate students who are new parents, the Graduate School has a parental accommodation policy;  in place since 2010.  This policy grants eligible students:

  • a six-week excused absence from classes,  
  • a one-semester extension for a student’s time-to-degree limit, 
  • a one-semester extension for completion of a qualifying exam,  
  • a one-semester extension for completion of a proposal defense, and 
  • guarantees that no student will be penalized financially during the period of accommodation.

This policy applies to graduate students who:

  • have new childcare or related responsibilities due to a recent or upcoming birth or placement of a child under four years of age in the home for the purposes of adoption
  • are the primary caregiver for the child or children new to the home
  • are enrolled full-time at Michigan Tech
  • are in good academic standing
  • have completed at least one full-time semester at Michigan Tech.

Funding may be available from the Graduate School to Department Chairs, School Deans, Graduate Program Directors, and Principal Investigators who must hire a temporary replacement for a student who has been granted an excused absence under the parental accommodation policy.

The Parental Accommodation policy has been in place since 2010. Graduate students who have availed themselves of this benefit have found it to be very helpful at a critical period in their lives.  

One student said, “Returning to work and school right after having a baby is not an easy job. This opportunity to have 6 weeks of parental leave helped me to cope well with my new status. Especially because it provides excused absences in which one can ask to extend course completion which is the peace of mind. Without having this leave, I cannot imagine how I could continue my studies with no complications. I appreciate MTU graduate school to provide this accommodation for new parents. And I encourage all grad students who are considering to become parents to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Another commented, “Having a family and pursuing a PhD is balancing act. I’ve given birth to 3 precious girls while pursuing my PhD. The parental accommodation policy at Michigan Tech has helped me embrace and enjoy my personal life without feeling pressure to finish my degree. I will finally graduate this semester!”

Editing Services

The English Language Institute now provides editing services to all members of the campus community with the following options:

  • Copy editing (grammar, spelling, punctuation, flow, readability) for when quick turnaround is needed
  • Face-to-face editing conferences for long-term writing improvement
  • Editing workshops for small groups and research teams, tailor-made for your writing context

Editing services are provided by highly qualified English language instructors with expertise in grammar, writing and language instruction. Service rates are $25 per hour. Requests for editing can be made here.

Request a workshop by emailing eli@mtu.edu (1.5 hours of preparation billed for each hour of workshop).

Summer 2020 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Applications for summer 2020 PHF Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, March 3, 2020 to the Graduate School. Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student participating in health-related research that is aligned with the PHF’s mission.
  2. Must be eligible for or in Research Mode at the time of application.
  3. Must be 2 years after starting the graduate program at the time of application.
  4. Must not be a prior recipient of a PHF Graduate Assistantship.

Priority will be given to students originally from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, or Ontonagon counties. Non-resident students and international students are encouraged to apply if their health research is applicable to health needs and job shortages of our local community (obesity research, rural health, medical informatics, drug delivery and lab testing, physical therapy, etc.).

These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas. Applicants should be a catalyst for promoting and improving the overall health of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Ontonagon communities through one of the following:

  • health research and technology development
  • health education or preventive and wellness initiatives
  • rural healthcare access, informatics, and assessment of care

Students who receive full support through a PHF Graduate Assistantship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a PHF Graduate Assistantship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

Summer 2020 Finishing Fellowship Nominations Open

Applications for summer 2020 finishing fellowships are being accepted and are due no later than 4pm, March 4, 2020 to the Graduate School. Please email applications to gradschool@mtu.edu.

Instructions on the application and evaluation process are found online. Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Must be a PhD student.
  2. Must expect to finish during the semester supported as a finishing fellow.
  3. Must have submitted no more than one previous application for a finishing fellowship.
  4. Must be a PhD candidate eligible for the research mode tuition rate at the time of application.

Finishing Fellowships provide support to PhD candidates who are close to completing their degrees. These fellowships are available through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD candidates who are in need of financial support to finish their degrees and are also contributing to the attainment of goals outlined in The Michigan Tech Plan. The Graduate School anticipates funding up to ten fellowships with support ranging from $2000 to full support (stipend + tuition). Students who receive full support through a Finishing Fellowship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a Finishing Fellowship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

Smart Start Seminar – January 15, 2020

New graduate students to Michigan Tech are invited to Smart Start.  In Smart Start, we’ll introduce students to resources and policies to assist them to have a successful start to their graduate career. It will be especially useful for students in their first year, but all students are welcome to attend. The seminar will be streamed for off campus students and recorded.

The seminar will be on January 15, 2020 beginning at 2:05pm in MUB Ballroom A.  Please register online to receive streaming information and reminders to attend.

It will be taped and available online for those unable to attend in person.