Graduate Student Life Fair

The Graduate School invites you to attend our new Graduate Student Life Fair.

This is a virtual program that provides graduate students with the opportunity to meet graduate student organizations, campus resources, and many more. Graduate students are a critical part of UConn and we want to help you enhance your graduate school experience through getting involved, knowing where to find support, and acquiring important skills through professional development opportunities.

Virtual Event: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

3:00pm to 5:00pm (EDT)

Click here to access the event website:

To visit the Graduate Student Life Fair refer to your email for the password to access the website. You can peruse the various categories and during the event visit with vendors through a virtual booth. Each virtual booth is labeled with the campuses that the resource/organization serves. We encourage you to ask questions and gather information to help determine next steps to participate and get involved.

We look forward to seeing you at this new and exciting opportunity for graduate students! If you have any questions, please contact Stuart Duncan via email at If you need any information on accommodations or would like to request accommodations, please visit

ARP Emergency Grant Application Open

The application for Phase 2 of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) emergency grant is live. Graduate students enrolled in a degree-seeking (e.g., master’s, doctoral) program for Fall 2021 are eligible to apply. If eligible, the value of the emergency grant will be $500 for this phase. The application for Fall 2021 is open until January 11, 2022. The emergency grant is available to cover any component of a student’s estimated cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, and allowances for room, meals, transportation and personal expenses) or for emergency costs that have arisen due to the coronavirus. A student can submit the application, consisting of 5 basic questions, once during each phase.

Detailed information outlining all phases of ARP funding can be found on Financial Aid’s website: .

Direct link to the application:

Please reach out to with any questions.

U21 3MT® People’s Choice Competition – Voting Now Open

Join colleagues and students across UConn in supporting Shipra Malik’s game-changing research “Switching from Sickle to Non-Sickle” by voting for her in this year’s three-minute thesis competition (3MT).

See this year’s competitors here: And vote for Shipra here:

The Graduate School’s BIPOC Graduate Student Support Report

Following the national incidents of racism and racial injustice in Summer 2020, The Graduate School began to reflect, study, and discuss how we can better serve Black, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color (BIPOC) graduate students at the University of Connecticut. This process involved many campus partners, including graduate faculty, staff, cultural centers and other University offices, graduate student organizations, and graduate students, and it produced the following report, which is also available on The Graduate School’s website.

The report outlines our process, our findings, and, most importantly, our priorities. We will use these priorities to guide our work in 2021-2022 and beyond with the goal of improving the experiences of BIPOC graduate students at UConn.

While the written report is final, our work to support BIPOC graduate students is never done, and our approaches will evolve as we learn more from our attempts to improve the experience of BIPOC graduate students. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions, and we look forward to making a UConn a welcoming and inclusive place for all of our students.


Kent E. Holsinger
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
and Dean of The Graduate School
University of Connecticut

The Graduate School’s Strategic Plan

I write today to share the final version of The Graduate School’s strategic plan outlining our vision for the future of The Graduate School. An earlier draft of this plan was greatly improved by feedback from the Executive Committee of The Graduate School and from a variety of campus partners, faculty, and staff.

The final version of our strategic plan introduces the vision to which The Graduate School aspires, and it describes our mission as a set of activities grouped within three broad themes—innovation, community, and service—that will guide our work through 2026.


Kent E. Holsinger
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
and Dean of The Graduate School
University of Connecticut

Graduate Faculty Resources

Sent on behalf of Kent Holsinger, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School




I am writing to let you know about the expanded resources that The Graduate School is offering to graduate faculty, staff, and faculty who hold an administrative role, such as Departments Heads or Directors of Graduate Studies.


Timely Topics


The Graduate School’s Timely Topics Series is an opportunity to engage with subject matter experts on important topics related to graduate education. We hope that those who support or advise graduate students and those who administer graduate programs will find them useful. We offer two “tracks”—one specifically tailored to the interests of graduate faculty and one designed both for faculty who hold an administrative role and for staff. This fall, the faculty track will feature sessions such as:

  • Career Outcomes for PhDs and Implications for PhD Training
  • NSF Letter Writing Workshop
  • Supporting Graduate Students with Disabilities
  • From Expectations to Evaluations: The Importance of Timely Feedback with Provost Carl Lejuez


You can find detailed information about the sessions being offered, as well as links to sign up, in the attached flyer and on the Timely Topics webpage. I’m writing to encourage you to attend the sessions listed on the faculty track, all of which will be offered via WebEx this semester. If you are also interested in attending the more staff- and administrator-oriented sessions, we’d be delighted to have you.




The Graduate School also has a wealth of resources supporting the online application and CRM system (GradSlate), including documentation and presentations. Our GradSlate Training Sessions offer a deep dive into various aspects of using Slate for application review and recruitment. You can find these resources and upcoming events within the GradSlate User Portal. If you need access to the system, please fill out this form for GradSlate Access.


Website Resources


The Graduate School’s website serves many audiences, including prospective students, current students, faculty and staff. We are always looking for better ways to serve visitors to our website. Recently, we expanded The Graduate School resources and consolidated university resources into a reconfigured Faculty & Staff area of our website that we hope you will find useful. Please let us know if there’s a resource you’d like to have that we haven’t provided a link to. We welcome any suggestions you have.




Kent E. Holsinger

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor

Vice Provost for Graduate Education

and Dean of The Graduate School

University of Connecticut

UConn’s PostDoc Seed Award Winners 2021

The Graduate School is delighted to announce this year’s Postdoc Seed Award Recipients.

Dr. Maria Rodgers, from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been funded for the following project:

“I am isolating and examining various immune cells from a small fish species called the threespine stickleback. While I recently completed a project that determined what types of cells are present in various tissues of this fish species, still lacking in the field is knowledge of how specific cells are different between populations. For example, a specific cell type in one population might highly express gene x, but those same cells in another population do not express gene x. The more that we understand these nuances, the more we can 1. Understand evolutionary processes, and 2. Use cells as treatments/therapies.”

Dr. Matthew Sasaki, from Marine Sciences, has been funded for the following project:

“Climate change is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events. As we saw during the recent heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, these events can be fatal for animals, which in turn has detrimental effects on ecosystem health and human activities. To better understand how extreme heat events may affect recreational and commercial fisheries around Connecticut, I am proposing to measure lethal thermal limits (the highest temperature an individual can survive) for copepods. These are abundant crustaceans that are an important source of food for many fish species.”

Dr. Heather A Kittredge, from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been funded for the following project:

“Evolution is often a slow process, but it can happen incredibly fast. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is one mechanism of evolution that is increasingly thought to drive rapid adaptation. HGT allows microbes to steal DNA from neighboring cells, making it a powerful evolutionary force. However, acquiring foreign DNA can also be lethal if it disrupts finely tuned cellular processes. Despite potential risks, computational models indicate that high rates of HGT facilitate microbial invasion. Here, I apply experimental evolution and genetics to understand if HGT helps microbes invade extreme environments, revolutionizing the contemporary idea that evolution is too slow to alter ecological processes like invasion success.”

UConn’s 3MT Winners 2021

The Graduate School is delighted to announce this year’s 3MT winners.

In 1st place, Shipra Malik (Pharmaceutical Sciences) with her presentation “Precise and Safe Genome Engineering.” View her winning presentation here:

In 2nd place, Tommy Lee (Psychological Sciences) with his presentation “How the Brain Turns New Experiences into Memories.” View his presentation here:

In 3rd place, Corrin Laposki (Anthropology) with her presentation “Burning Questions: Oxygen Isotopes as Biomarkers of Air Pollution in Archaeological Bone.” View her presentation here:

Retroactive and Non-standard GA Appointments

Sent on behalf of Kent Holsinger, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School, and Alison Cutler, Labor Relations Associate, Labor and Employment Attorney, to Department Heads, Directors of Graduate Studies, and Department Graduate Admins


Dear Colleagues, 


With rare exceptions, during the academic year Graduate Assistants (“GAs”) are appointed either for Fall or Spring semester or for the entire academic year. Fall and academic year appointments begin on August 23, and Spring appointments begin on or about January 6. Many benefits provided to GAs as part of the collective bargaining agreement, including tuition waivers and insurance, are tied to these appointment dates.


As the Fall 2021 semester approaches, we write to remind you that GA appointments with either a retroactive date of hire or a retroactive increase in percentage of appointment are prohibited. Appointment start dates must reflect the date employees begin their work assignments, including training and orientation. However, non-standard appointment dates can impact GA benefits, such as resulting in the GA losing some or all of their tuition waiver and/or affecting their eligibility for insurance coverage. Appointments for less than one semester also require advance approval from the union.


If a department believes that a non-standard, including a retroactive, start date is necessary, it should contact The Graduate School prior to issuing an offer letter. Among other things, this will allow for The Graduate School to work with the department and the GA to review the implications of the proposed non-standard start date.


Please remember that once you have issued an offer letter and it has been accepted by the GA, the University is obligated to honor the offer under Article 6 (Appointment Security) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Graduate Employee Union (GEU). Please also remember that GA assignments cannot exceed an average of twenty hours per week and that they not unreasonably exceed twenty hours in any given week (or the prorated hourly equivalent with a lower percentage appointment) under Article 10, (Workload) of the CBA.


Please contact us if you have further questions. 




Kent Holsinger

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Biology                     

Vice Provost for Graduate Education                                                   

   and Dean of The Graduate School                           

University of Connecticut                                                                                                                                              


Alison Cutler

Labor Relations Associate, Labor and Employment Attorney

Office of Faculty & Staff Labor Relations

University of Connecticut

9 Walters Avenue, Unit 5075

Storrs, Connecticut 06269-5075

Come and join us for UConn’s 3MT competition final this Thursday evening

After a year hiatus due to Covid, UConn’s 3MT competition is back, bigger and better than before.

We cordially invite you to join us this Thursday at 6-7pm EDT where 11 graduate student finalists will compete for the opportunity to represent UConn on the global stage. Please feel free to forward the following link (which contains the info to join the event) to your undergraduate and graduate student populations as well as interested staff and faculty. Come and cheer on the finalists!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Stuart P. Duncan PhD DMA