Graduate Student Academic Success Workshop Series

The overarching aim of this slate of workshops is to equip graduate students with skills, strategies, and tools which will help them meet the new expectations and demands of graduate education at Princeton and foster their development as productive and purposeful students and scholars. Graduate training makes new demands on students with respect to mastering content, to be sure, but it also offers opportunities to further develop skills of managing time and energy, planning large research projects, writing and publishing, collaborating effectively, achieving a balanced lifestyle, and a host of other skills that are not taught explicitly. These practical, hands-on workshops will address these untaught, but essential areas of development so that Princeton graduate students can achieve their goals with less stress and greater efficiency. 

Princeton Students can meet with a McGraw Center Learning Strategies Consultant to work on any of these topics. Daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are available.

Fall 2018 Academic Success Workshops

Please note that these sessions cannot be applied towards the Teaching Transcript pedagogy workshop requirement.

Grad School: It’s Different!

Thursday, September 27, 2018, from 12:00 to 1:20 p.m.
330 Frist Campus Center
RSVP to reserve a seat

In this lunchtime workshop for new graduate students across disciplines, you and your peers will explore what makes graduate school unique from other learning experiences, and why these differences are important to identify and address early. Next, you’ll reflect on the personal strengths and resources you bring to Princeton, as well as areas for growth and development during your time here. With these insights, you will leave better prepared to access supports available on campus to help you meet your goals and thrive.


Previously held Academic Success Workshops

Advanced Reading Strategies: Efficient Reading of Scholarly Research

Many graduate students and post-docs are challenged by the duration and difficulty of academic reading. Fortunately, there are straightforward ways to increase the efficiency with which you identify, locate, and evaluate relevant information. In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Identify and troubleshoot the many non-reading hindrances to efficient reading
  • Sharply define the objectives for the reading task at hand to increase your efficiency
  • Maintain strong focus as you hunt through difficult, “unfriendly" text

Building an Effective Working Relationship with your Advisor

In this workshop, we will help you develop skills to build and maintain a productive working relationship with your adviser(s). We will consider what you want and expect from your adviser and we will discuss best practices for meeting those expectations.

Finish Summer Satisfied: Planning and Scheduling to Keep You On Track

The purpose of this workshop is to help you plan realistically for a balanced, productive summer. To plan effectively, it helps to realize the particular challenges of summer productivity. The first part of this workshop is about raising awareness of the challenges of summer. You’ll have a chance to identify challenges particular to you. The second part is the nitty-gritty. You will actually focus on a major academic goal, break it down, and plan it out.

Master Your Motivation: Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination

Your tendency to procrastinate on complex, ambiguous graduate projects despite the stress and inefficiency this causes you is both understandable and reducible. In this workshop you will:

  • Better understand how and why you procrastinate
  • Identify and organize objectives and their required actions
  • Schedule and structure tasks to reduce stress and promote consistent action
  • Leverage social and tech tools to augment your strengths and get work done

Sticking To Your Plans: Core Motivational Tools For Executing Research And Writing Plans

Graduate students and post-docs often formulate plans for getting their work done but face difficulties following through on their plans. This workshop will equip you with key techniques for managing your motivation to execute your work as planned and thus reduce stress and increase your satisfaction. After this workshop, you will have a deeper practical understanding of procrastination and motivation concretized into a single worksheet that provides:

  • Your clearly articulated goals and schedule of work to focus and fire your productivity
  • A brief, personalized set of strategies for reducing procrastination
  • A unique tool for monitoring and rewarding your progress

Time Mastery: Cutting Overwhelm w/Google Calendar

Sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of your demands? Are you missing out on opportunities? Use Google Calendar as an “external mind” to capture all your tasks, minimize stress, and free your mind for your academic work. Build on what you know about Google Calendar to maximize its usefulness while also learning innovative strategies for calendaring and planning, such as:

  • Using a calendar as part of an "external mind" to ease stress, pursue goals and make effective decisions
  • Planning in accordance with your current patterns of behavior (sleep, work, etc.)
  • Distinguishing realistic and optimistic planning
  • Collecting self-data and revising accordingly for more effective planning



Do you have suggestions about topics or issues for the McGraw Center Programming? Email your ideas to