University of Colorado - CID efforts

Innovations in Ph.D. Education:

CID Work in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Who are we?

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309-0215

CU-Boulder Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate

Leadership Team:

Prof. Veronica Vaida, Chair

Prof. David Jonas

Deborah Casher, Graduate Student

Melissa Trainer, Graduate Student

What do we want to accomplish in the CID?

We are using the connection to the CID to re-examine our department's graduate and post-graduate education. The emphasis is on interdisciplinary opportunities which we aim to develop with a variety of tools:

  • A strong alumni network
  • Faculty, peer and alumni advising of our students and post-docs
  • Alternatives to formal courses (seminars as courses, courses on history and philosophy of chemistry)
  • Opportunities for students to acquire working knowledge in areas that border chemistry (education, law, public policy, etc.)
  • **Supporting Intellectual Community**

    About our department

    Here are documents created as part of our work with the CID:

    Program overview

    Exemplary Element: Rotations
    Laboratory Rotations for First Year Biochemistry Students

    Convening 2003 - Key Ideas

    Exemplary Element: Advising Committees
    Faculty Advising Committees for Upper Level Biochemistry Students

    Transdisciplinary Opportunities For Graduate Students in Chemistry
    A proposal to fund chemistry Ph.D. students interested in pursuing research at the interface of chemistry and other disciplines

    Seminar Course Introduced for First-years

    Faculty and graduate student initiatives


  • Started a seminar-course for first year students
  • Established advising committees for students
  • Planning a course on history and ethics in chemistry intended for faculty and students
  • Inviting Ph.D. alumni working in a number of fields to give talks on their work and career choices
  • Setting up an alumni network
  • Graduate students:

  • Created a Web-based handbook that advises graduate students on a number of topics and includes faculty lists of what to know before taking their courses
  • Started a Shadowing Program, which allows new students to work with graduate student mentors in different research groups before they choose a Ph.D. advisor
  • Started a weekly seminar for students and post-docs to present and discuss their research in a comfortable, faculty-free environment
  • Supporting Intellectual Community
    A summary of the ways our department has looked at the intellectual community provided for graduate students.

    Seminar Course for First-years

    Transdisciplinary Opportunities

    Student and Post-doc Seminar (MICS)
    This is the webpage for our student and post-doc run seminar series, Methods in Chemistry Seminar.

    Reflections on Student/Post-doc Seminar
    Thoughts and comments from organizers and participatants on the MICS graduate/post-doc seminar.

    Graduate Student Handbook

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