Understanding Ph.D. Career Pathways for Program Improvement Project

The UNLV Graduate College has been awarded a grant from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and NSF to participate in an Understanding Ph.D. Career Pathways for Program Improvement project, a multi-institution effort to collect and analyze data on Ph.D. career pathways in STEM and humanities fields. Through participation in this grant, we hope to gain a better understanding of our Ph.D. holders’ career pathways and professional preparation.

About the Project

The Understanding Ph.D. Career Pathways for Program Improvement Project was launched in 2017 and it is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF #1661272) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The current phase of this project is based on results from two previous projects, one of which is summarized in the CGS 2014 report, Understanding Ph.D. Career Pathways for Program Improvement.

This project includes, among others, the following partners: Brown University, the University of Notre Dame, Emory University, the University of California system, the University of Virginia, and New York University. With the addition of UNLV this year, approximately 30 universities are part of the project. We are one of four Minority serving institutions participating in the Ph.D. Career Pathways Project.

 

Data Collection and Survey Cohorts

In 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 we will be surveying different cohorts of doctoral alumni and current students. The goal is to capture snapshots of career progression, career aspirations, and program experiences. Below is information on the cohorts who will be surveyed each academic year.

Fall 2018

The first survey will be sent out to alumni who earned their doctorates between:

  • July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003 and
  • July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010 and
  • July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015

Spring 2019

The second survey will be sent out to current Ph.D. students who began their studies between:

  • July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and
  • July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018

Fall 2019

The third survey will be sent out to alumni who earned their doctorates between:

  • July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004 (optional, if applicable);

  • July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 and

  • July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016

Spring 2020

The fourth survey will be sent out to current Ph.D. students who began their studies between:

  • July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016
  • July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019

Benefits of Participating in this Survey

By participating in the survey, students and alumni will:

  • Help drive conversations and collaborative efforts to align Ph.D. program experiences at UNLV, develop targeted professional development opportunities to support students’ career aspirations, and align our programs to the variety of career pathways that students desire and pursue.
  • Provide important information to the Graduate College’s Professional Development Academy to assess the value of existing career and professional development programs and workshops, and develop new ones to address needs identified through the survey.

Dissemination of the Results to the Campus Community

The Graduate College research team will transparently share findings from this study with the UNLV graduate community. We anticipate releasing reports in Summer 2019 and Summer 2020; data will be available on an ongoing basis. For additional information, please contact the Dean’s Office in the Graduate College (GraduateDean@UNLV.edu).

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