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Understanding PhD Career Pathways Research Project

Arizona State University’s Graduate College has been selected to participate in a multi-institutional grant aimed at studying doctoral career pathways for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and the Humanities.  The ASU Graduate College’s “Understanding PhD Career Pathways” research project will receive $80,000 to understand students’ career aspirations and levels of academic training for versatile careers, as well as improve professional development for doctoral students. 

About the ASU Study

PhD Career Pathways is a best practice project led by the Council of Graduate Schools, a national organization that supports graduate education and research. The research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The council has selected 29 universities to participate in the three-year project, and 18 affiliate partners. The ASU research team will survey three cohorts of current graduate students at years one, two and five.  Additionally, the team will survey three cohorts of alumni who received doctorates three, eight and 15 years ago. Results will help gain insight into the understudied professional landscape for doctoral students in academic and nonacademic careers.

How It Works

Survey data is collected in the Fall semester from first year doctoral students, as well as alumni who have completed their degrees three years, eight years, and 15 years ago. Survey data from second, and fifth-year PhD students will be collected during the Spring semester.  The focus will be on STEM and Humanities fields. Additional support will be allocated for career development and preparation for multiple career pathways.  Support will be provided through:

  • The production of videos on career preparation and transition between academic and nonacademic employment sectors.
  • Strengthen links with industry and other stakeholders.

For Additional Information Contact

Alfredo J. Artiles
Dean and Principal Investigator                                                                                                  

Jennifer Cason
Director of Graduate Student Support Resources and Co-Principal Investigator     

Email: GradInfo@asu.edu