Graduate School Writing Fellows in the Disciplines

Are you interested in developing your own awareness of conventions of writing in your discipline for proposals, articles, and dissertations? Would you like to gain experience in leading a group, facilitating others’ writing development, and collaborating with your graduate program director in creating professional development support within your department? Consider making a 2-semester commitment as a Writing Fellow in your graduate program.

This opportunity is open to advanced doctoral students in any discipline. The program began as a pilot supported by a national Council of Graduate Schools and ETS grant, and included fellows from the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Communication Arts and Sciences, and Arts and Letters.

2019-20 Information

What is involved:

  • Participating in one 4-hour training session on Sept. 10 or Sept. 13 with an experienced writing facilitator; topics will include learning to identify genres of writing in your discipline and learning to facilitate a group (including establishing writing goals, encouraging constructive peer feedback, keeping groups on track)
  • Talking with your graduate program director to identify writing needs within your department (e.g., writing comprehensive exams, dissertation proposals, external grant proposals, articles for submission)
  • Notifying doctoral students in your program about the group
  • Convening regular writing group meetings in fall 2019 and spring 2020
  • Writing a short final report on the goals and achievements of your group members at the end of each semester
  • Participating in a facilitator meeting once each semester to share challenges and solutions

What you get:

  • Practice in the transferable skills of communication, collaboration, and leadership
  • The ability to better understand and talk about the diversity of writing that occurs in your discipline
  • Better awareness of your own writing practices
  • An opportunity to interact with other writing fellows across campus
  • A $1000 fellowship for each semester that the writing group has met consistently

Who is eligible:

  • Doctoral students in any field who have already passed their comprehensive exams, and who can commit to the program in both fall and spring semester

How to apply

  • Talk with your graduate program director about the kinds of writing projects in your department that might be appropriate.
  • Fill out the application with the required signatures.
  • Write a brief description (500 words) that includes: (1) why you are interested in the program, (2) what kind of writing project(s) you and your graduate program director have agreed might be useful to focus on, (3) your desired outcomes both for the group and for your own professional development.
  • Send your application, description, and a copy of your CV via e-mail (with subject line “Writing Fellows Application”) to fellowshipapps@grd.msu.eduDeadline for applications is noon, August 30, 2019.

The Graduate School will fund up to 20 peer writing fellows for 2019-20. For questions, please contact Dr. Judith Stoddart (