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MARCH 2018

GradMENTOR is a monthly publication of the Graduate College designed to provide you with resources as you work with and mentor graduate students and postdocs.

New Spring Doctoral Hooding Ceremony
 PDF of May 2018 Graduation Checklist
 Download a copy of the May 2018 Graduation Checklist

May Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

The Graduate College is pleased to announce the first May Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

Friday, May 11, 2018
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Foellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts 

Doctoral degree recpients will be hooded individualy on stage by their designated hooder or a representative from their college.

Beginning this year, doctoral candidates will no longer be recognized individually at the university-wide commencement ceremony. The May Doctoral Hooding provides the opportunity to focus on and celebrate the accomplishments of doctoral degree recipients with their faculty mentors. Unit convocations may also choose to include the hooding of doctoral students in their programs.

If you have doctoral students who will be graduating in May, please share information about the hooding ceremony, which will also be live-streamed. For details about the ceremony, including student registration information and checklist, visit our website

Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Graduate Student Appreciation Week 2018

Join us in celebrating the contributions of our 12,000 graduate students enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That’s roughly one-quarter of the entire student population. Our graduate students come from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world. They inspire us everyday with their passionate curiosity, visionary research, and bold innovations.

We invite you to show the world on social media how Illinois graduate students redefine the word impossible using the hashtag #ILLINOISgradlife.

Please share information about the week's events with your graduate students.


Image of Research semi-finalists in Instagram 
Instagram #imageofresearch18 

Image of Research Semi-Finalists Announced

Congratulations to the semi-finalists in the graduate student edition of the 2018 Image of Research competition!

Join us at the reception on Wednesday, April 4, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in room 220 of the University Library to view their entries and to vote for the People’s Choice award.

See all of the images on Instagram.

Helping Your Students Succeed

Schedule a Career & Professional Development Workshop for Your Students

The Graduate College offers career and professional development workshops that can be requested by and customized for departments, research groups, or student groups. These workshops can be a productive addition to orientations, courses, professional development seminars, research group meetings, and more. They introduce students and postdocs to a range of professional and career development topics (like goal-setting and planning, the job search, career exploration, communication skills, and more). Available workshops include “GradMAP: Making the Most of Grad School,” “Getting the Most Out of an Academic Conference,” “Exploring Broad Careers in Your Field,” "Basics of a Job Search,” and more. For a full list and information about requesting a workshop, visit our website.


Thesis/Dissertation Release Options

With the thesis deposit deadline quickly approaching, it is important to remind students to review the release options available to them as they publish their document in the University’s repository, IDEALS. Students are encouraged to review these options carefully and discuss them with their advisers as they consider the visibility and dissemination of their work.

Students may choose from three options:

  • Open Access: The thesis is publically available in IDEALS.
  • U of I Access: The thesis is restricted in IDEALS to the campus community and through interlibrary loan for 2 years.
  • Closed Access: The thesis is restricted in IDEALS and is not available to anyone (not even the student or adviser) for 2 years.

Please Note: No matter which release option the student chooses, the metadata (including the title and abstract) will be available.

If it is necessary to delay publication of the document to protect potentially patentable technology or work or to comply with the terms of sponsored research agreements, then the student and adviser must work with the Office of Technology Management (OTM) to request a patent hold on the document. You can learn more about the patent hold process on the OTM website.

We hope that you will help graduate students be aware of and understand these options as they develop their thesis or dissertation. Please contact the Thesis Office at or (217) 333-6278 with any questions.


Funding for Graduate Research Abroad: Fulbright Grants

The Fulbright program supports US citizens in all disciplines who wish to study or conduct research abroad in approximately 140 countries. Grants provide up to one year of support, and students at any level of graduate study are eligible. Past Illinois recipients have come from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, sciences, engineering, and social sciences.

Starting in April, the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships will offer an information session, workshops, and one-on-one advising for applicants. See details in the Fulbright listing in the Fellowship Finder database. 

Would any of your advisees benefit from a year overseas conducting research?  If so, please encourage them to apply for a Fulbright. The priority review deadline is June 1.  

As part of the campus endorsement process, applicants are interviewed by a faculty committee who reviews their application and offers feedback. Starting this year, applicants will assemble their own interview committees. If a student asks you to serve on their committee, please consider participating in this critical element of the process.

If you have any questions, contact the Office of External Fellowships at

Opportunties and Resources

IPRH Research Clusters, 2018–19

Application Deadline: April 6, 5 p.m.

The IPRH Research Clusters initiative enables faculty and graduate students in the humanities and arts from the University of Illinois campus to develop questions or subjects of inquiry that require or would be enhanced by collaborative work. IPRH Research Cluster funds are designed to allow scholars with shared interests to explore complex subjects and grow ideas together which they might lack the resources to do on their own. They are opportunities for not just faculty leadership, but mentorship as well. 


Software Carpentry Workshop for Women

Thursday, April 4, AND Friday, April 5, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., ACES Library, Monsanto Room


Software Carpentry is hosting a two-day workshop for women in biology and the life sciences. For this workshop, registration is limited to people who identify as women (or as non-binary/agender), and the instructors for this workshop are women.

The workshop will be especially useful to graduate students, postdocs, and researchers in biology and life sciences disciplines who have not begun to leverage the power of scripting and version control for reproducible research, but people from all disciplines are welcome.

No programming experience required. All skill levels. Participants should bring their own laptops to work on—if you require one on loan, please let us know ahead of time and we'll see if we can help locate one. Meals are provided.

A similar workshop is offered that is open to everyone on Thursday, March 29 - Friday, March 30, in NCSA, room 1030. You can register for that workshop online.

Additional Publications from the Graduate College

A weekly e-bulletin for graduate students


Grad Life Blog
A behind-the-scenes look at the graduate experience


Postdoc Post
Biweekly e-bulletin with news and highlights for postdoctoral scholars


Biweekly job postings for graduate students.


GradMENTOR is distributed monthly to graduate faculty and department contacts who work with graduate students. Please see our website for submission information

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in any of the programs or events listed in GradMENTOR, please email the contact person for the event. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.