Research on Graduate Education
Duke University Graduate School is at the forefront of graduate education in the United States and internationally. To ensure that we offer competitive academic programs, comprehensive support packages and professional development resources to our graduate students, we regularly conduct ongoing research of graduate education itself and participate in various national initiatives. Throughout the 1990s and into the first decade of the new millennium, Duke Graduate School participated in the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, the national Preparing Future Faculty initiative, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's Responsive Ph.D. project, the Re-envisioning the Ph.D. project, and the Responsible Conduct of Research initiatives of the Council of Graduate Schools funded by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity to identify "best practices" for developing appropriate Responsible Conduct of Research ethics training for graduate students.
Currently, we are participating in four key research projects to further enhance doctoral education at Duke University:
(1) CGS Ph.D. Completion Project
We are a Research Partner in the Ph.D. Completion Project of the Council of Graduate Schools which attempts to improve Ph.D. completion rates, reduce late-stage attrition, and identify intervention strategies that encourage graduate students (especially women and underrepresented minorities) to complete their degree programs. The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), with generous support from Pfizer Inc. and the Ford Foundation, has provided funding in two phases to 29 major U.S. and Canadian research universities to create intervention strategies and pilot projects, and to evaluate the impact of these projects on doctoral completion rates and attrition patterns.
(2) AAU Exit Survey
We participate with the Association of American Universities (AAU), a non-profit association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian preeminent public and private research universities, and the AAU Data Exchange (AAUDE) organization to identify "best practices" in graduate education. Founded in 1900, AAU focuses on national and institutional issues that are important to research-intensive universities, including funding for research, research and education policy, and graduate and undergraduate education.
(3) NSF Ethics Education in Science & Engineering (Grant #0530053)
We have been participating in a three-year National Science Foundation grant entitled "Bridging Macro and Micro Ethics: Advancing Ethics Education for Nanoscale Researchers". Under the leadership of Dr. Tod Laursen, professor and former Senior Associate Dean in Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, and Dr. Dan Vallero (Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering), we have begun to clarify educational modalities that are most effective for conducting research ethics training that promotes interdisciplinary approaches for doctoral student researchers to address both macro and micro ethical issues in nanoscientific and related fields of knowledge.
(4) CGS Project for Scholarly Integrity
As an extension of our earlier project on Responsible Conduct of Research training with the Council of Graduate Schools, we are an affiliate partner in the new CGS Project for Scholarly Integrity (PSI). By participating with other leading graduate schools in this project, we hope to develop institutional models for expanding and embedding ethics and RCR education projects that promote responsible scholarly conduct within graduate education. See the October 2009 PSI newsletter for a summary of our project activities.
In the future, we will continue to seek opportunities to participate broadly in research and educational projects with other graduate schools and professional associations in order to transform and improve graduate education. In 2009, we will be working with other graduate schools in North Carolina to promote a "Graduate Education Week" to highlight the achievements of graduate students in the state of North Carolina. In 2010, we will participate in a "Multidisciplinary Forum for Scientific Discovery" with Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools to provide an opportunity for scientific exchange between faculty and graduate students.We will also participate in other projects with the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.
Ultimately, we want to ensure that graduate students at Duke University benefit from a comprehensive graduate education that prepares them for the emerging issues facing our global society in the new millennium. By participating in these research projects and strategic initiatives, we strive to become an agent of change in promoting Duke's mission and the valuable benefits of graduate-level research as "knowledge in the service of society," our local community, our state, our nation, and the global village.