The Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate (CID)

in the Department of Chemistry - University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Department of Chemistry has a long tradition of remembering that graduate school is primarily about the education of graduate students... building their capacity for excellence, encouraging them to their peak performance, and getting them out of the nest when they are ready to go. We think that the CID is a terrific opportunity to excahnge ideas and strategies about graduate education - a topic about which there is far too little critical discussion.

Who are we?

Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055.

Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate

The Travelling Leadership Team:

Brian P. Coppola, Professor & Associate Chair;

Robyn Gdula, Graduate Student;

Randon Walker, Graduate Student;

Emeritus Members

Gorka Peris U., Graduate Student,

William R. Roush, Professor and past Chair,

The Departmental Leadership Team:

Carol Fierke, Professor & Chair

Omar Yaghi, Professor, Chair of Graduate Committee

Mark Banaszak Holl, Professor, Executive Committee

Gary Glick, Professor, Executive Committee

Robert Kennedy, Professor, Executive Committee

Mark Meyerhoff, Professor, Executive Committee

Vincent Pecoraro, Professor, Executive Committee

Roseanne Sension, Associate Professor, Executive Committee

Michigan Department of Chemistry Home Page

What do we want to accomplish in the CID?

As a department, our goal is to educate Ph.D. students who can become the next generation of leaders.

Innovation and progress begins with self-study and reflection, and graduate education needs to respond rapidly and dramatically to changes in the national and global picture. The best practices in graduate education from the 20th Century can quickly become anachronisms if they are unresponsive to changing needs.

In Chemistry, as in other laboratory research fields, graduate education is inextricably tied to faculty professional development: in doing big science, we constantly feel the press of faculty productivity against making the best decisions for educating students.

New ideas for graduate education will be designed and implemented. Representative programs already in place include our Chemical Sciences at the Interface of Education (CSIE) program, which focuses on the development of future faculty, and our Research Rotation course for first-year graduate students in which our students exprience research in two different laboratories. The Research Rotation Course has already led to a much broader sense of community among students and faculty alike, and has stimulated the growth of collaborations and jointly mentored Ph. D. research projects within the Department. We will partner, as we have before, with colleagues in Education in order to design research-based studies on the programs and projects that we implement.

Article on UM-CID in "Peer Review" (pdf)
Coppola, B. P.; Roush, W. R. "Broadening the Existing Intergenerational Structure of Scholarly Development in Chemistry"? Peer Review 2004 6(3), 19-21.

Report on ACS Symposium (.pdf)
Caserio,M.; Coppola, B. P.; Lichter, R. L.; Bentley, A. K.; Bowman, M. D.; Mangham, A. N.; Metz, K. M.; Pazicni, S.; Phillips, M. F.; Seeman, J. I. "Responses to Changing Needs in U.S. Doctoral Education"? Journal of Chemical Education 2004, 81, 1698-1705. This article is based on the Presidential symposium, "Responses to Changing Needs in Doctoral Education", presented at the 228th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Philadelphia, PA, August 24, 2004, and the accompanying symposium in the Division of Chemical Education, "Creating Complete Scientists: Graduate Student Visions of Doctoral Reform", August 25, 2004.

A Tradition of Community Defines Our Department

In 1857, the University of Michigan became the first public university to offer a formal course of laboratory instruction in chemistry (following the establishment of chemistry instruction at Yale in 1844).

Throughout our history, graduate and undergraduate education has been our preeminent concern. We are proud of the sense of open communication and collegiality that exists in the department, and we strive to continue these traditions.

Commonalities PowerPoint

Key Ideas PowerPoint


Current Projects:

Research Rotations - We propose that students will make better-informed choices about their thesis research projects, develop a greater sense of collaboration and community within the department, and be more inclined to seek out help outside their own area.

Future Faculty Development - We propose that by adding an education-related option for students into the program that we will be create more confident and motivated students who wish to seek academic careers.

Town Hall Meetings - We propose that the sense of community in the department will increase by providing department-wide opportuities for open communication over any professionally-relasted topic.

PECRUM - We propose that the sense of community in the department will increase by providing department-wide opportuities for open communication about research.

Research Rotations
In 2000, we began a program of two required research rotations for all entering graduate students.

Future Faculty Development
The CSIE (Chemical Sciences at the Interface of Education) Program provides a unique way to add work in education to the PhD program.

Town Hall Meetings
On a regular basis, we create opportunities for open and frank discussion among the faculty and graduate students in the department.

"PECRUM" is an annual departmental event comprising internal and external speakers, and a poster session, in order to promote better communication about research between members of the department.



  • Collaborate with Center for the Study of Post-Secondary Higher Education to carry out department-wide survey and interview research on (a) a five-year summative evaluation of the future faculty development program, and (b) a baseline departmental climate survey (done in conjunction with the NSF-ADVANCE program).
  • Implement the PECRUM program.
  • 2004

  • Implement the Town Hall Program
  • 2005

  • Collaborate with Center for the Study of Post-Secondary Higher Education to carry out department-wide survey and interview research on (a) the rotations program, and (b) a pilot study on a performance-based methodology to guage the "Intellectual Development" of graduate students.

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