Introduction to UW-Madison and its CID Work

A Collaboration between Faculty and Students to Improve the Grad School Experience for Chemists at Wisconsin

The Chemisty Buildings
The Chemisty Buildings

University of Wisconsin - Madison Chemistry Department


Charles Casey, - contact

Helen Blackwell,

Judith Burstyn,

Song Jin,

Lloyd Smith,

Arun Yethiraj,


Adam Fiedler,

Tami Lasseter Clare,

Erin McElroy,

Leonid Sheps,

Our departmental web site

Bascom Hill in winter
Bascom Hill in winter

More About UW Chemistry

For decades, Chemistry at Wisconsin has attracted outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, postdoctoral associates and visiting scholars. Our doctoral program is consistently ranked in the top 10, and the reputation for excellence in our department is recognized locally and nationally by funding agencies and corporate research sponsors. The department is one of the largest in the nation, with nearly 60 faculty members and 300 graduate students.

Commonalities PowerPoint

Key Ideas PowerPoint

Supergroups at Wisconsin
Exemplary elements of our Ph.D. program are the several "supergroups" and student-led seminar series that have existed for many years. These informal gatherings give students the opportunity to present their research to other faculty and students in the department.

What do we want to accomplish in the CID?

Our goal in the CID is to build upon the strong tradition of Wisconsin chemistry by producing Ph.D. scientists that are capable of research that advances our current understanding of the field. Accomplishing this task demands a set of requirements that builds knowledge of the literature, fosters communication skills, and encourages independent and cross-disciplinary thinking. Additonally, we need a healthy and vibrant intellectual community that both nurtures and challenges young scientists. We hope that our involvement in the CID will lead us to address these key issues on a department-wide scale, and will strengthen the Ph.D. program for current and future students.

What are we doing?

Over the past two years, the CID committee has developed a plan to re-structure the Ph.D. program in chemistry. The purpose of this project is two-fold: (i) to provide an overall philosophy for our program and its requirements, and (ii) to reduce divisional barriers, thus encouraging interdisciplinary research. The details of our proposal are provided below.

Another initiative has been a new course for in-coming graduate students, which acquaints them with the Chemistry Department in particular and with the broader scientific community in general. Details concerning this course can be found by following the "Innovations Snapshot" link below.

Ph.D. Restructuring

Future Plans

In the near future, the CID committee at UW-Madison will focus on the following three areas:

1. Strengthening mentoring committees

2. Creating an active student council

3. Developing an exit interview for all students who leave the department

Additionally, the department will consider the following proposals:

1. Rotations for first year students

2. Funding of students' research proposals (i.e., encouraging student-intiated work)

3. Shortening the time required to obtain the Ph.D.

Ph.D. Re-structuring

This electronic portfolio was created using the KML Snapshot Tool™, a part of the KEEP Toolkit™,
developed at the Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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