Date July 24, 2017
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Brown to participate in national study of doctoral career paths

The Council of Graduate Schools has included Brown in a multi-year study of the career aspirations of current doctoral students and professional paths of Ph.D. alumni, in an effort to improve career services, professional development and mentoring.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University is one of 29 institutions and the only one in New England selected to participate in a nationwide effort to study doctoral student aspirations and alumni careers in humanities and STEM fields, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) announced.

During the multi-year  project, universities will collect data from current Ph.D. students and alumni using CGS-developed surveys. The resulting information will allow universities to analyze Ph.D. career preferences and outcomes in order to strengthen career services, professional development opportunities and mentoring in doctoral programs. Brown will receive $80,000 in grant money to fund its participation.

“This grant provides the Graduate School with the resources to better understand the career aspirations and pathways of our doctoral students,” said Professor Andrew Campbell, dean of the graduate school. “The work funded by this grant will also inform us as to how those who have graduated are managing their careers and the things that Brown can do to maximize current and future student success.” 

Universities will also be able to use the data to communicate the career trajectories of humanities and STEM Ph.D. alumni to current and prospective students, helping them to make more informed selections of Ph.D. programs, according to the CGS announcement.

Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said the project will expand the country's understanding of the U.S. STEM workforce.

“We already know that Ph.D.-trained scientists contribute to the STEM workforce in every sector,” he said. “One of the important things this project promises to give us is a better picture of the skills needed to be successful in the wide variety of careers available to today’s and tomorrow’s graduate students.” 

Grants from the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support the project.