Skip to:

Current Rackham Global Engagement of Doctoral Education Grants

The following active projects have Global Engagement of Doctoral Education grants.

Awarded 2011

Comparative Literature: Institute for World Literature

The Department of Comparative Literature joined the Institute for World Literature (IWL) as an institutional partner. The IWL brings together advanced graduate students and scholars from around the world to take part in a four-week summer program that is hosted at a different university each year. In this international setting, students are introduced to current debates in the study of World Literatures, which has expanded into a far-ranging inquiry across languages, geographical regions, and historical periods. Participation in IWL allows students to develop deeper knowledge and broader global perspective for their doctoral studies, and to learn about new approaches to research and teaching in World Literature. By connecting with prominent scholars and collaborating with peers from other institutions, Comparative Literature students are more closely engaged in a changing field of study and better prepared for the academic job market. Two students took part in the 2011 inaugural session at Peking University in Beijing. Four more students participated in the 2012 Institute at Bilgi University in Istanbul. U-M’s Comparative Literature faculty have also taken part in both sessions. In addition to benefitting students, IWL participation has enhanced the national and international profile of U-M’s program.

Contact: Yopie Prins, Department of Comparative Literature

German Languages and Literatures: Transnational German Studies Workshop

German Studies at Michigan is renowned for its interdisciplinary approach to research and its attention to theory. Doctoral students and faculty have special interests on transnationalism and intercultural contact, and conflict and exchange involving minority cultures in history and in present-day German-speaking Europe. With support from Rackham, the department is creating formal connections to further develop these interests in collaboration with universities in Germany, Austria and Turkey, Israel and the United Kingdom. The GEDE grant helps support three seminars involving graduate students from each participating university. These annual seminars, held in the US and Europe, include research presentations, working group projects, and intensive discussion of readings, as well as introductions to archives and research centers that house important collections and sponsor research on intercultural and transnational themes.

Graduate students from partner institutions met with U-M faculty and students for the 2012 conference held in Chicago, followed by the first meeting of the Transnational German Studies Workshop in Ann Arbor. The Workshop included doctoral students from German Studies and other fields who discussed their research projects in relation to transnationalism, exile, minority cultures, colonialism, and diversity in Germany’s past and present. Participating students came from the University of Warwick, Ben Gurion University, Princeton, University of Hamburg, Bilgi University Istanbul, King’s College London, University of Potsdam, and Complutense University Madrid. A faculty-grad student meeting in fall, 2012 will plan the 2013 Workshop, to be held in Hamburg or Berlin.

Contact: Kader Konuk, Scott Spector, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

History: Transnational Seminars in Global History

As an extension of an established graduate colloquium in world history, the Department of History is developing innovative video-conference research seminars in collaboration with doctoral programs at universities overseas. The seminars connect U-M doctoral students and faculty with students and faculty at partner universities to examine the historical complexities of globalization. Themes include human rights, anti-colonialism and the global cold war; gender, sexuality and human rights in global context; and national and commercial claims to the past, including archaeological objects and historical narratives, landscapes and images, and human remains and ethnic origins. Joint sessions with students in Russia, South Korea, Croatia, Slovenia, New Zealand and Israel will bring together different academic idioms and intellectual traditions. By providing translated readings and by using interpreters as well as students and faculty proficient in foreign languages, the sessions will create a space of linguistic diversity that suspends the domination of English in academic discussions. Students will build long-term professional networks and institutional connections through the Seminars.

2011-12 was a planning year, in which a Seminar on human rights, anti-colonialism and the global Cold War has been developed in collaboration with partners from universities in South Korea, Croatia and Slovenia. The Seminar will take place in Winter 2013, and students will take part in a virtual capstone conference in September 2013. Planning for additional seminars is underway.

Contact: Pamela Ballinger, Penny Von Eschen, Department of History

Mechanical Engineering: Engineering Collaboration with Ghanaian Universities

Mechanical Engineering is developing doctoral education and research collaborations with the leading engineering universities in Ghana: the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Engineering and the University of Ghana. The initiative seeks to develop sustainable doctoral education and research collaborations that leverage distance technology and to explore other forms of partnership that may include dual degree programs. Doctoral students visit Ghana for up to two months to explore potential research projects and initiate collaborations. Students develop understanding of the contexts and opportunities for impactful research, including implementation of suitable technologies for remote and under-served populations, and acquire experience in the global collaborations that are transforming engineering doctoral education and research. Reciprocal visits by Ghanaian faculty deepen these relationships and lay the groundwork for the identification of research and development of technologies in areas of energy and health care that have global dimensions that can benefit other developing nations. In the first year of the grant, doctoral student projects have included research on bioengineering technologies to improve maternal health care, small capacity power generators and thermal electrical plants to deliver power to rural communities.

Contact: Elijah Kannatey-Asibu, Kathleen Sienko, Nikos Chronis, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Molecular & Integrative Physiology, Pharmacology and PIBS: U-M/Trinity College, Dublin Doctoral Research Exchange

The GEDE grant to the Medical School’s Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology supports academic, research and professional development opportunities for doctoral students through a partnership with Trinity College, Dublin. Pharmacology is also participating and the goal is to expand the collaboration to include all programs associated with the Program in Biomedical Sciences. This partnership is built around areas of shared research interests that include neuroscience, drug design and mechanism, cardiovascular physiology, and aging. Doctoral candidates apply for funding to support travel to Dublin to perform short-term research projects in collaborating labs, with reciprocal research visits by Trinity College students. At Trinity, U-M students are exposed to a philosophy that emphasizes translational and entrepreneurial research. Participants gain a global perspective on science technology and policy, and experience intellectual and methodological approaches to scientific problems in a new institutional setting. An evaluative process is being used to assess the impact of this experience on the development of careers for participating students. A goal is to use collaboration as a template for similar partnerships to globalize doctoral training in the biomedical sciences.

The first year of the grant included a research symposium at Trinity College, which followed an earlier symposium hosted at U-M. The symposia and subsequent meetings defined specific research programs where graduate student exchange would provide a beneficial experience, particularly where students can acquire novel skills that can advance dissertation research. Discussions explored technological resources to advance research collaborations, external funding opportunities to sustain the global education initiative, and web-based video conferencing solutions for improving quality and extent of interactions among partner investigators and graduate students. Video conferencing capability is being acquired to enhance the quality of interactions with collaborators in Dublin. U-M and Trinity have set up parallel committees to review proposals from students for visitorships. A U-M student is working in a partner laboratory at Trinity, and Trinity students will take part in the third symposium, to be held at U-M in October 2012.

Contact: Edward Stuenkel, Bishr Omary, Lori Isom, Jeffrey Martens, Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology, Department of Pharmacology, Program in Biomedical Science

Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Social Science: Cross National Perspectives on Social Issues, Interventions and Outcomes

The Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Social Science is engaging doctoral students to develop and implement a series of annual symposia that address cross-national perspectives on social issues, the design of interventions, and the evaluation of outcomes. Doctoral students and faculty use video-conferencing and other collaborative tools to work with colleagues abroad to define and develop the colloquia. Students take an active role in identifying and preparing the annual colloquium topic jointly with international partners. In conceiving, designing and conducting the colloquium, students explore how national history and traditions, as well as analytic approaches, expand and deepen understanding of the topic and influence how research is approached and conducted. The goal is to develop a sustainable model for incorporating global collaboration and engagement as a fundamental part of the doctoral program.

During 2011-12, doctoral students took the lead in developing a symposium on the issue of social trauma and interventions related to trauma, as these are central to social work and social services and strongly shaped by the history, culture and practices of place. The 2012 symposium included a focus on how trauma is experienced, understood and treated in Haiti and Lebanon. Planning for the 2013 symposium will include planning visits abroad to meet with international collaborators and participants.

Contact: Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, Lawrence Root, School of Social Work

Awarded 2013

Chemistry: Collaboration with the Institute for Chemical Research of Catalonia/ICIQ

The Department of Chemistry has developed a collaborative exchange program with the Institute for Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), located in Tarragona, Spain. ICIQ has a focus on research of catalytic processes and is a leading center for chemical research in the European Research Area with faculty and students from across Spain and Europe. Each year, four U-M and four ICIQ students will be selected to pursue collaborative research projects during a ten-week visit at the host institution. The purpose is to prepare students for the international dimensions of a research career in academia or the pharmaceutical industry where managing international collaborations has become an important career requirement. Five faculty at both institutions are taking the lead to plan student selection and the identification of collaborative projects. The initial core focus is on organometallic and organocatalytic catalysis, an area of expertise and strength at both Michigan and ICIQ.

Starting in the 2014 Winter Term, students who are selected will develop their research projects with their faculty host in preparation for the summer exchange visits. Both U-M and ICIQ will facilitate extensive interactions between visiting students and the broader graduate population of the host institution. U-M’s Chemistry Department will organize small weekly lunches for visiting ICIQ students to meet U-M students from different laboratories. Students will share their graduate experience and research projects, and learn about the differences and similarities of graduate education and research in Spain and the US and the paths for professional and career development. U-M students visiting ICIQ will expand their scientific exposure at a world-class institution and learn about different institutional and cultural practices for providing graduate training and conducting research. They also will take part in an intensive week-long summer session of short small-group courses led by teams of top scientists world-wide, a program that attracts students from across Europe and South America. In addition, summer symposia that bring together U-M and ISIQ students and faculty will be held in Ann Arbor in 2014 and 2016, and in Tarragona in 2015. It is expected that research conducted during the summer exchange will result in student publications.

Contact: John Montgomery, Department of Chemistry

Nursing: Global Nursing Ambassadors Summer Research Institutes

The School of Nursing will organize a series of week-long Ph.D. Summer Research Institutes in collaboration with international partner institutions, including the University of São Paulo – Ribeirão Preto (Brazil), the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (Mexico), Mahidol University (Thailand), and Chiang Mai University (Thailand). The School of Nursing’s World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) Collaborating Center for Research and Clinical Training in Health Promotion Nursing will take the lead in organizing these collaborative institutes. One will be held in Ann Arbor and two will be hosted by a collaborating partner institution. The institutes will be designed to prepare Ph.D. students to develop and evaluate interventions that address global health needs, particularly health promotion in vulnerable populations, chronic illness management, and effectiveness science—the testing of health care interventions in real world settings and advancing use of research findings by diverse populations. Through workshops and research presentations, students will learn how culture and institutional settings inform the health care research process, including the framing of questions and approaches to data collection and analysis, and develop a better understanding of the intercultural dimensions of global health research. A goal of the institutes will be to stimulate student collaborative research and publications. Insights from the institutes will inform the strategic re-visioning of Nursing’s Ph.D. curriculum.

A planning meeting with the international partner will take place in the fall via video conferencing or at professional conferences. Up to six students will be selected to participate in the institutes hosted at international partner institutions.

Contact: Susan Pressler, Antonia Villarruel, School of Nursing

Last updated: January 6, 2014 - 3:06pm