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 year, the program has gone fully virtual, and writing groups will provide an important opportunity for connection and accountable goal setting.

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.

 What is involved:

  • Participating in one virtual 4-hour training session the week of Sept. 21 with an experienced writing facilitator; topics will include learning to identify genres of writing in your discipline and learning to facilitate a virtual writing 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 virtual writing group meetings in fall 2020 and spring 2021
  • 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 and a final report has been submitted

Who is eligible:

  • Doctoral students in any field who have already passed their comprehensive exams, who can commit to the program and are registered students in both fall and spring semester.  Please be aware that this is a full year commitment.

 

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 for students in your writing group 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.edu. Deadline for applications is noon, September 14, 2020.

 

The Graduate School will fund approximately 20 peer writing fellows for 2020-21. For questions, please contact Dr. Judith Stoddart, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School (stoddart@msu.edu) or writing facilitator Anicca Cox (coxanicc@msu.edu ).