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 in 2015 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 3-hour training session on Sept. 1 (5-8 p.m.) or Sept. 3 (9 a.m.-noon) 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 and 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 and articles for submission)
  • Advertising to and recruiting from doctoral students in your program for the group
  • Convening regular writing group meetings in fall 2021 and spring 2022
  • 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 your writing group’s experiences and reflect on challenges and solutions

  

What you get:

  • Practice in the transferable skills of communication, collaboration, leadership, facilitating writing group meetings, providing feedback, and working on your own writing process while providing support for other writers
  • 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 $1,000 fellowship for each semester that the writing group has consistently held meetings

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 which kinds of writing projects in your department might be appropriate to focus on in writing groups (e.g., milestones like comps and dissertation proposals, grant proposals, dissertations, journal articles for submission).
  • 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. Briefly propose how you plan to organize writing group meetings and time for feedback.
  • 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, August 23, 2021.

 

The Graduate School will fund approximately 20 peer writing fellows for 2021-22. For questions, please contact Dr. Judith Stoddart (stoddart@msu.edu) or writing facilitator Sharieka Botex (textsha@msu.edu).