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Graduate Student Initiative

Support for Graduate Students

Our generous donors have provided CSW with the means to offer graduate students an array of award, grant, prize, and fellowship opportunities:




Thinking Gender, the annual graduate student research conference, is the cornerstone of CSW’s public commitment to fostering and promoting the research of graduate students. First held in 1990, Thinking Gender provides a competitive international forum for over eighty students per year to present their scholarship.  With their panels moderated by faculty or professional scholars with expertise in the relevant topic or field, presenters receive immediate feedback and suggestions for further work, and Q&A sessions are focused and rigorous. Because papers are submitted in advance, moderators have time to prepare thoughtful and incisive comments, which raises the level of discourse. Thinking Gender now draws students from around the country and the world, though UC students still make up the majority of presenters.  The conference provides them with the opportunity to interact and network with scholars from different institutions and these collegial exchanges often lead to continued collaboration. 


CSW aims to maximize graduate student interactions with and exposure to visiting scholars and to develop their professionalism by involving them in our public events.  For example, our Faculty Curator Program requires that faculty curators designate both faculty and graduate students whose research directly relates to the work of guest scholars.  In addition to its public lecture series, CSW structures opportunities for graduate students to participate in smaller, more intellectually intimate events hosted by guest scholars. Judith Halberstam, Professor of English at USC, for example, shared research work in progress at a CSW workshop for faculty and graduate students. Ann Cvetkovich, Professor of English at UT Austin, and Julia Watson, Professor of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University, both hosted interdisciplinary seminars attended by more than twenty graduate students. In addition, graduate students have been presented or responded at such conferences as Human Trafficking in Los Angeles. CSW also gives students the opportunity to interview or write about visiting scholars for publication in the CSW newsletter. Such interactions foster professional development, networking, and communication.


Since graduate students who do research on gender, sexuality, and women’s issues can be located in many different departments and schools across the campus and may feel isolated, CSW brings students together by facilitating an annual dissertation writing retreat at the end of Spring quarter for ABD students.


Students employed as Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) at CSW gain valuable experience and training by working on CSW projects and programs. CSW provides students with training on how to write grants and briefs, develop websites, conduct basic and specialized research, make oral presentations, use subject-specific databases, and succeed in a scholarly workplace.  The Director and Assistant Director provide extensive group and individual research-related training sessions.  In the Publications unit, the Managing Editor provides ongoing opportunities for graduate student assistants to gain expertise in publishing and to develop skills in designing user-appropriate websites and databases. Additionally, CSW coordinates workshops with librarians to instruct students about archival processing and digitization, historical research methods, search strategies for finding online materials, and more. 


CSW provides a series of in-house training workshops to help graduate students develop their academic and professional skills, including interviewing for academic jobs, balancing home/work as a graduate and junior faculty, and building a career outside the academy.

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