Intellectual Well-Being

Dissertation Support Groups. The Dissertation Support Group is a 6-week group for graduate students who would like some extra support maintaining motivation and/or making effective progress in the writing of their dissertation.  This group is open only to students who are actively working on and writing their dissertation.  The group utilizes a short-term, solution-focused model to help manage the anxiety and stress that often prohibit effective writing.  Please note that this group does not focus on the technical aspects of writing, and there will be no review of written work in this group.  The group provides participants with a supportive, structured environment that helps to mitigate the sense of isolation and frustration that often accompany the dissertation writing process and to promote the accountability, risk-taking and creativity necessary to complete a terminal degree.  A weekly discussion topic will also provide group members with an opportunity to discuss some of the most common barriers to effective writing such as procrastination, time management, stress/burnout, and writer’s block.  Contact Dr. Meg Moore for more information:

Graduate School Write-ins. Graduate School Write-Ins are co-sponsored by the Graduate School and The Writing Center @ MSU. The write-ins are hosted and facilitated to provide writers with an opportunity to write in a shared writing space where other writers are present, and a writing center consultant/staff member is present to provide consultations for writers who would like to have a consultation appointment during the session. Along with this, the write-ins provide an opportunity for facilitators to promote and share information about upcoming events hosted by the Graduate School, Writing Center, and other campus partners such as the University Outreach and Engagement Office and to provide resources and information that can be used to form graduate writing groups, have writing center appointments or attend workshops (provided by the Graduate School) that cater to graduate students based on goals they may share during the write in.  Write-ins are typically held once a month on Fridays from 9:00am-1:00pm.  Check the graduate school calendar for the next session  

Teaching Communities and Fellowships. The Graduate School collaborates with academic units to offer several year-long funded fellowship programs for people interested in participating in communities of practice with other graduate students. While in each of these fellowship programs, graduate students undertake year-long inquiry projects related to student learning in their disciplinary contexts. 

Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Learning Community (GTA TLC). The GTA TLC meets twice a month (Wednesdays from noon to 1pm) in the Fall and Spring semesters to present and discuss best practices in teaching and learning, new and emerging pedagogy and current research in teaching. Anyone interested in learning about best practices in teaching from GTAs in various instructional settings is welcome to join and contribute their knowledge and practices in the teaching space. The GTA TLC wants to empower and recognize the many teaching efforts and innovative practices GTAs have developed and address any challenges that arise. Please check the graduate school calendar to register.

#iteach Commons. A digital site, iTeach is designed for educators by educators at MSU. The site aims to create a single centralized resource on a campus that is often challenged by its decentralized nature. It is also home to the Thank an Educator initiative which aims to elevate and celebrate the high-impact practices and contributions of all educators through a peer-recognition program. There is a huge community of educators who contribute to teaching, learning, and student success across MSU. It’s important to us to draw your attention to this expansion of the definition of “educator” because when at #iteachmsu educator certainly include in-class instructors but is intentionally much broader to also include roles such as TAs, ULAs, instructional designers, academic advisors, librarians, coaches, etc. For more information on the functions of this space as a platform, check out the Getting Started playlist.

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is a network of 21 universities across the United States advancing STEM undergraduate education by helping prepare future STEM faculty in the use and assessment of evidence-based instruction. CIRTL runs online courses, workshops, events, and more to teach STEM grad students and postdocs effective, inclusive, evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning. 

Center for Statistical Training and Consulting (CSTAT). Did you know that MSU graduate students can receive free statistical support for theses/dissertations and other projects? CSTAT collaborates on research projects and provides statistical support services to MSU affiliated faculty, staff, and graduate students, and off-campus clients. CSTAT also offers training and education in data management, statistical methods, and responsible conduct of research. For example, we:

  • Provide expertise and guidance on study design, statistical methods, interpretation of results, and conduct statistical analyses
  • Participate in grant proposal applications with design and methods considerations and sample size determination
  • Provide research data management services
  • Collaborate on manuscripts and serve as co-authors
  • Advise on study design and implementation of statistical methods for theses and dissertations (graduate students are usually eligible for 9 hours of free statistical support per year. Fees apply for works that are part of funded grants)

CSTAT also offers workshops and consultations on a variety of statistical topics and software.  Check out their website for details. 

Office of the University Ombudsperson offers a confidential place to discuss both academic and nonacademic concerns including, administrative issues, workplace issues, or any concern that may relate to Michigan State University students. We also interpret and explain university policies and procedures. Here, you can speak freely because the Office of the University Ombudsperson offers an environment where you can talk with a confidential and impartial resource about a complaint, conflict or problem. We are not part of any formal University process. We do not take sides in disputes. We operate independently of the University. Contact us at any point in your academic journey and together we will define the problem, explore options, outline strategies, review policies, inform you about applicable resources, and manage expectations while upholding the values of respect, integrity, diversity and freedom from bias or harassment. While keeping strict confidentiality, the Office of the University Ombudsperson further provides University officials with general information about trends and emerging student needs to assist the University in proactively improving its policies and practices.