Weekly Update

MSE Advisor Agreement (PhD students only) - Please email Alex for a copy.

MSE would like to take this opportunity to reintroduce the advisor agreement for PhD students (attached as a docx). This document serves as a way to strike up a meaningful conversation with your advisor/PI on expectations, and set guidelines for communication and progress. The sooner these conversations happen the better, but it’s never too late to get on the same page! If you have used the agreement in the past, we recommend now or early fall semester as a good opportunity to check-in with your advisor on these important issues, and revise expectations and goals as necessary. If you are a new student who just joined a lab this year, now might be a good time to reflect on how a candid conversation on the matters in this document can help you start the summer and fall with greater clarity.

We are all looking for a fresh start as the pandemic (slowly) wanes. Please review the attached agreement and think about how it might help you in your goals.

How do I use this document?

  • First, read through it carefully. If you are already in a lab perhaps some matters may strike you as prescient. Make a note (word doc format for easy editing), and think about how to approach the advisor on these issues. If you need guidance, please email me. I’m happy to help.
  • Set a meeting with your PI or bring up the agreement during your regularly scheduled meeting. It is not necessarily vital to go over every point, but addressing key milestones and expectations can make a world of difference. If you have used the agreement in the past, review your copy and see if anything needs adjustment. Review these adjustments with your PI.
  • Is it essential to go over everything, verbatim? No. What is most important is to have a conversation about expectations and milestones, and to have this conversation at least once per year. It will help you maintain progress and avoid and/or more easily identify and confront common PhD completion roadblocks.

MSE updates

  • Participate in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge with your MSE colleagues! (now through July 1)
  • Summer Coffee Thursdays will begin Thursday, June 11 at 10am. Will be repeated every Thursday for the summer. I will have coffee and treats either in the courtyard in between SEEC and SEEL (east side of building) or in the MSE suite. Stay tuned for a reminder!
  • These weekly updates will be posted on the website.  You can see last week’s at this link – I’ll update with this information shortly.
  • Please complete the gradSERU survey and let the graduate school know what you think. Your input can have an impact on policies and procedures, so although I am certain many of you have survey fatigue, I encourage you to be honest about your experience and about some changes you would like to see happen. Please complete by Friday, MAY 15.

COVID vaccination reminder and updates

Registration Reminders

Fall and summer registration is or will soon be open for you. Please make sure you are following grad school rules to maintain full-time status. This means:

  • 5 graduate course credit hours
  • 8 graduate/undergrad combined credit hours (NOTE: undergrad courses cannot count towards the degree)
  • 1 dissertation hour pre-comps (recommended enrollment: 1 hour while still taking courses, 3 pre-comps, 5 post-comps)
  • 5 dissertation hours post-comps

*If possible, please wait until early summer to sign up for dissertation hours with me. MSE is developing a new policy that requires advisor approval for dissertation hours. We are working out the details to make the policy work well for everyone, so stay tuned! If you need to sign up for hours sooner for any reason, please email me to request hours and cc your research advisor/PI.

If you are planning to graduate in summer or fall…

  • Make sure you make a note of graduation deadlines. There are quite a few and you need to meet each one or risk having your degree conferral delayed. If you are planning to graduate in the summer, please reach out and let me know directly so I can put you on my list (and remind you of key deadlines).
  • Deadline to apply to graduate is June 1!
  • Please email me after you have submitted your dissertation.
  • If you are having trouble with any of these requirements, please reach out! We can help guide you through the final steps

Funding Opportunities

Timely events, opportunities, and resources:

Always available resources and opportunities:

  • If you’re an international student hoping to participate in college-level initiatives focused on your community, please consider joining the International Student Advisory Board. Contact Andrew Wingfield (Andrew.Wingfield@colorado.edu), Director of International Programs, for more information.
  • United Campus Workers  Learn more and get involved in your Union, the United Campus Workers! Tackling student fees, affordable housing, diversity, accessible health care and much more, see how you can contribute to a better campus experience for all!
  • CAPS “Walk-in” counseling services available
  • Inclusive Communities of Practice (weekly seminars and events)
  • Be a Grad Mentor with STEM Routes and help underrepresented and 1st Gen students get on the path to grad school
  • CU Engineering Student Groups – join a community and contribute

Have a great week!