Project will Help PhD Programs Strengthen their Professional Development and Mentoring Efforts
Stony Brook is among 29 universities chosen to participate in a collective effort to gather and use data about the careers of PhD students and alumni in STEM and humanities fields. PhD Career Pathways is a best practice project of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), a national organization that supports graduate education and research.
The project brings together a coalition of universities seeking to better understand and support the careers of PhD students and alumni. The research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“The SUNY consortium, of which we are a part, will survey doctoral students in their second and fifth year and also alumni at three, eight and fifteen years after graduation from all fields,” said Charles Taber, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education. “It will be very important for our Graduate School to have data on both student aspirations and alumni outcomes, which we can use to evaluate how well we serve our students and how well we contribute to the public good.”
During this multi-year project, Stony Brook will collect the data with surveys that were developed by CGS in consultation with senior university leaders, funding agencies, disciplinary societies, researchers, and PhD students and alumni. The results will provide an analysis of PhD career preferences and outcomes at the program level and help faculty and university leaders strengthen career services, professional development opportunities, and mentoring in doctoral programs.
Stony Brook will also be able to use the data to communicate the career trajectories of PhD alumni to current and prospective students, helping them to make more informed selections of PhD programs.
CGS will study the processes of survey administration and identify promising practices for implementation that will be shared with graduate schools nationally. Universities from across the country will be able to compare their data on PhD career preferences and outcomes with the national dataset analyzed by CGS.
The first wave of the survey will be sent to PhD alumni in Fall 2017, and CGS will begin publishing the first wave of survey findings the following fall.