Spring 2021 Workshops
All workshops times are Eastern Time and held virtually. Please use the calendar above to add this workshop to your calendar and receive a reminder.
Giving, Receiving, and Eliciting Feedback
Friday, Apr 23 at 12:00 pm - RSVP to reserve a spot.
In this workshop for graduate students across disciplines, you and your peers will learn how to give constructive feedback to classmates, colleagues, lab-mates, and assistants; gracefully hear and implement feedback from others; and ask your peers (and advisor!) for useful and timely feedback on your own scholarship. You’ll also learn some strategies to conquer the anxiety that can often come with “critique,” and will leave armed with tools to give, receive, and elicit feedback positively, productively, and with purpose.
Facilitator: Laura Murray, Ph.D., McGraw Center
Metacognition and Exam Prep
Wednesday, Apr 28 at 12:00 pm - RSVP to reserve a spot.
Defined loosely as thinking about our own thinking, metacognition has always been essential to learning. It refers to knowledge about our own thoughts and cognitive processes, as well as the regulation required to direct learning, studying, and related behaviors. One might argue that nowhere is metacognition more essential than in graduate school, where so much of our learning and scholarship is self-directed. In addition, at no time might it seem more important to effectively self-regulate and improve independent learning than during preparation for final exams while social distancing (!). In this workshop metacognition, we’ll explore several key study strategies to support you as a graduate test-taker.
Facilitator: Laura Murray, Ph.D., McGraw Center
Harnessing a Growth Mindset
Wednesday, May 5 at 12:00 pm = RSVP to reserve a spot.
“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
In this workshop for all grad students and postdocs, we will discuss Stanford Psychology Professor Carol Dweck’s “mindset theory” and explore how it applies to our lives as emerging scholars and professionals. According to the theory, many of us have either “fixed” or “growth” mindsets; the former is a system of beliefs that talent and ability is fixed and immutable, while the latter holds that anyone can improve in any domain with effort and commitment, and that “ability” at a given point in time is simply a starting point for growth. After learning about the theory, we’ll reflect on our own mindsets, and then discuss strategies to cultivate a “growth” stance that highlights practice and persistence and values “failure” as a valuable element in continuous learning and improvement.
Facilitators: Ms. Lindsay Ofrias, PhD candidate in Anthropology and Graduate Peer Coach
Laura Murray, Ph.D., McGraw Center
Earlier Held Spring 2021 Workshops
Accountability Partnerships: Harnessing the Power of Peer Support
(Friday, Feb 12)
Do you wish that you had someone to “check in” with on a regular basis regarding your scholarly goals, time management efforts, and progress toward degree completion? Would you like to be held accountable for completing tasks and meeting deadlines in a supportive and non-judgmental way? If you are interested in being paired with a like-minded graduate student and working as an “accountability team” throughout the remainder of the Spring term (and perhaps beyond), then this workshop is for you. You will meet potential partners, discuss your short- and long-term academic goals, and then - in a follow-up session with your partner once you are matched - explore ways to help each other make consistent progress, meet deadlines, avoid distractions, and maintain wellbeing. (Ongoing guidance and facilitation will be provided by McGraw staff.)
Transitioning from Coursework to Research
(Friday, Feb 19)
When you finish your very last course ever you may feel joy, relief, or simple exhaustion. This is a major step in your graduate studies! However, when the next term begins, you may feel anxious and uncomfortable, as not returning to the classroom as a student is a major transition. You may feel uneasy about the vast landscape of unstructured time ahead of you and think wistfully about the daily and weekly accountability of assignments and external deadlines. In this workshop targeted to grad students who will soon complete coursework (or have recently achieved this milestone), we will discuss how to optimize your schedule and productivity as you launch into independent dissertation work and transition from “student” to “independent researcher" and "scholar.”
The Art of Saying “Yes” Strategically
(Friday Feb 26)
Are you interested in and good at lots of different things? Do you like to get involved in multiple activities and do you tend to say “yes” whenever someone asks you to do something, or an opportunity arises? Being involved, engaged, and open to new experiences can be wonderful, but sometimes the tendency to say “yes” leads to taking on too much and feeling overwhelmed. In this workshop open to all graduate students and postdocs, we will explore and practice strategies for how, when, and whether to say “yes” to taking on tasks, as well as how to artfully relinquish responsibilities that are no longer fulfilling.
Reframing Time Management to Achieve Your Goals
(Wednesday, Mar 3)
The passing of time is beyond our control, but how we utilize the hours we have is within our control. In this workshop for grad students across disciplines, we’ll explore how you currently use your time, as well as common scheduling and prioritization challenges. Next, we’ll discuss alternative ways to conceive of “time management,” ending with skills and strategies to effectively change your behaviors, use time in meaningful ways, and achieve your goals.
Reading & Note-making in Grad School
(Wednesday, Mar 10)
Graduate school reading demands not only increase, but they are likely qualitatively different from what you were asked to read – and how you read – in college and the working world. Not only are you expected to critically absorb and analyze an immense number of difficult texts of various types, you are expected to do so quickly.
In this introduction to reading and note-making in grad school, we’ll explore strategies for managing diverse academic demands, such as selecting and prioritizing what to read; retaining more of the material; connecting texts within and across courses; and annotating efficiently.
Unpacking Perfectionism during COVID-19
(Wednesday, Mar 17)
The “enemy of the good,” according to Voltaire, perfectionism is a behavioral pattern frequently attributed to graduate students. During continued social distancing, however, its effects may be even more keenly felt. What new pressures to excel might we place on ourselves in the current moment? How can we respond? In this workshop open to all interested grad students and postdocs, we’ll unpack “perfectionism” and explore some of its roots and consequences, before turning to reflect on how we may relate to it now. We’ll conclude by thinking through some possible interventions, such as recognizing the productive value of idleness and the art of being “good enough.”
Unpacking the "Hidden Curriculum" of General Exams: Humanities and Social Sciences Panel
(Tuesday, Mar 23)
Are you a Humanities or Social Sciences doctoral student, and thinking about how best to prepare for upcoming General Exams? Would you like to hear from some experts? Please join us for a panel discussion with McGraw Graduate Peer Coaches who have successfully completed Generals and who are eager to share "insider" knowledge, insights, and recommendations for success in your disciplines. We recognize that every Princeton department has unique requirements for General Exams and criteria for passing them, and we also know that these expectations are not always made explicit to students. With this in mind, we look forward to unpacking some of this "hidden curriculum" of General Exams to make the process more transparent, and to help you meet this major doctoral milestone with clarity and confidence. We also welcome your questions and participation!
Pushing Against Procrastination
(Wednesday, Mar 24)
Have you been putting off addressing your own tendency to procrastinate? No judgment here! Come and join a supportive conversation where we’ll explore some of the emotional and motivational reasons that can make starting and/or completing tasks truly challenging. Then, we’ll share some evidence-based strategies that you can put into practice right now to take action, make progress, boost behavior change, and push against procrastination long-term.
Unpacking the "Hidden Curriculum" of General Exams: Engineering and Natural Sciences Panel
(Friday, Mar 26)
Are you a SEAS or Natural Sciences doctoral student, and thinking about how best to prepare for upcoming General Exams? Would you like to hear from some experts? Please join us for a panel discussion with McGraw Graduate Peer Coaches who have successfully completed Generals and who are eager to share "insider" knowledge, insights, and recommendations for success in your disciplines. We recognize that every Princeton department has unique requirements for General Exams and criteria for passing them, and we also know that these expectations are not always made explicit to students. With this in mind, we look forward to unpacking some of this "hidden curriculum" of General Exams to make the process more transparent, and to help you meet this major doctoral milestone with clarity and confidence. We also welcome your questions and participation!
(Wednesday, Mar 31)
As a grad student or postdoc, why is it essential to consider your own role, goals, and participation in mentoring relationships with faculty advisors and PIs? More specifically – and during this time of continued social distancing - are there best practices that you can cultivate to “mentor up” that will benefit you and your mentor(s)?
In this workshop open to all Princeton grad students and postdocs, we’ll explore strategies to work collaboratively with advisors and mentors while also communicating what you want and need from the relationship. We’ll focus particular attention on approaches to managing advisors’ and PIs’ expectations for productivity and academic progress during the pandemic.
Supportive Conversations for Grad Students
Informal conversations open to all graduate students and postdocs. Topics related to scholarship and well-being during continued social distancing.
Please contact Dr. Laura Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your email address and receive additional resources.
Virtual Writing Groups
Participate in small, robust, interdisciplinary writing groups of post-Generals grad students. The goal is to offer supportive environments for grad students to clarify and develop writing projects, increase motivation and create accountability, and also foster connections to combat the loneliness and isolation that can accompany writing – especially during continued “social distancing.”
For general information about the writing groups, or any additional questions, please contact Dr. Laura Murray at email@example.com.