Penn Graduate Student Center

Navigating the Dissertation

About Navigating the Dissertation

Navigating the Dissertation seeks to help doctoral students be successful in the dissertation process through workshops, resources, dissertation groups, and Dissertation Boot Camp. This program is cosponsored by Penn Graduate Student Center and GAPSA.

The Library offers a great many workshops to help in the research and dissertation process. 

Career Services offers extensive programming to help doctoral students transfer their skills to the academic and non-academic job market process.

Career Services Events

THE ACADEMIC JOB SEARCH HANDBOOK BOOK CLUB: Understanding the Academic Job Search and Planning Yours
by Julia Miller Vick, Jennifer S. Furlong, and Rosanne Lurie

Discussion With the Authors

In book club format, Penn graduate students and postdocs will discuss the new edition of the Academic Job Search Handbook* with two of its three authors and gain insights into how the Handbook can be a resource throughout your job search.  Pizza lunch will be provided.

Session 1 Understanding the Academic Job Search and Planning Yours
Reading: I What You Should Know Before You Start and II Planning and Timing Your Search
Thurs. Sept. 15, 2016, noon-1pm, Grad Center, second floor conference room

Session 2 Presenting Yourself on Paper: Written Materials for the Job Search
Reading: III Written Materials for the Job Search: Suggestions and Samples
Tentative date: Tues. Oct. 11, 2016, noon-1pm, Grad Center, second floor conference room

Session 3 Presenting Yourself in Person: Interviews – Phone, Skype and In-Person, Offers, Negotiation and Rejections
Reading: IV Conducting the Search and VI Additional Considerations
Tentative date: Tues. Nov. 15, 2016, noon-1pm, Grad Center, second floor conference room

Session 4 Off to a Good Start or…Off to Another Career
Reading: V After You Take the Job and VII Beyond Faculty Careers
Tentative date: Tues. Jan. 17, 2017, noon-1pm, Grad Center, second floor conference room

*Penn doctoral students and current postdocs may purchase a copy of the Academic Job Search Handbook in Career Services for $10.  Paper and electronic copies are also available through For more information:


Registration is required and participants are encouraged to sign up and to attend all four sessions:




Academic Job Search Handbook Book Club
Show dates


Talking about your Research for a Variety of Audiences

Monday, November 07, 2016, 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

At conferences and colloquia, but also in job interviews, public forums, classrooms and in the elevator, we are often asked to talk about our research in a concise, accessible, and interesting way. 

Join us at the Graduate Student Center Monday November 7th in room 305 for a session with Bruce Lenthall, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning to discuss how to present your research in different contexts and for different audiences, particularly audiences unfamiliar with your field.

Lunch will be provided! 

*Also consider signing up for the Three-Minute Thesis Competition on November 15th to test out your skills and win a Bose speaker!*


 Image result for someecard awkward elevator


Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Join us at the Graduate Student Center to compete in our first Three-Minute Thesis competition! 

In only 180 seconds explain WHY you're doing it, HOW you're doing it, and HOW it relates to the real world. 

Prizes include Starbucks & Amazon gift cards, GSC swag, and a Bose speaker! 

Also consider registering for the workshop "Talking about your Research for a Variety of Audiences," which will provide some helpful tips for the competition. 

Email for more information.


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The PhD Movie 2! Screening

Friday, November 18, 2016, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Common Room Front (1st Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk, Graduate Student Center, Front Common Room

Image result for phd movie 2

Join your fellow graduate students for a free screening of The PhD Movie 2: Still in Grad School. Light refreshments will be provided. Be sure to register in advance as there is limited seating. 

Writing Days

Writing Mondays and Writing Consultations 

Mondays 1-5pm l Grad Center Conference Room 
  • Having trouble with your paper, proposal, or thesis?
  • Feeling stressed out and isolated?
  • Can't find a quiet place to write?
Join fellow grad students in a self-directed and highly-focused writing environment during Writing Mondays! Snacks will be served! Register in advance here. (Registration begins August 15, 2016.)
We are also offering Writing Consultations during Writing Mondays with a writing expert from the Weingarten Learning Resources Center from 1-4 pm. Our consultant can discuss work at every stage, and help you move past difficult roadblocks in the process. Register in advance below, and select your half-hour slot when you arrive in the Writing Monday room (2nd Floor Conference Room).

Writing Mondays
Show dates

Writing Consultations

Monday, October 31, 2016, 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Room 303 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk
Waiting list only!

Register here for a 30 minute appointment with an adviser from the Weingarten Learning Center. The writing adviser will get you on track with your writing goals and help you improve your writing at every stage of the process. After registering, you can choose a specific time slot when you arrive at Writing Monday (Grad Center, 2nd floor Conference Room).

Event Archives

Electronic Dissertation Workshop, March 16, 2010

Submission Instructions


Copyright and your Dissertation

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM-8PM Friday: 9AM-6PM Weekends: 12 NOON-6PM

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221