Office of the Provost

Dear Graduate and Professional Students,

It’s hard to believe that we are already in Week 9 of the Fall Term. I hope that your term is going well and that you are finding ways to safely connect with your classmates, friends, instructors and advisors online or in person with social distancing. I’ve been able to meet my graduate advisees for social distancing lunches outside in Schenley Plaza and it’s been great to see each other and reconnect as a group. Whether you are engaging in academics remotely or coming to campus for classes, teaching or research, I want to thank you for all the precautions you are taking to keep the Pitt community safe and healthy during this pandemic. 

The goal of the Graduate Studies team is always to support you and your experiences at the University of Pittsburgh. We know that this is a term unlike any other, so we wanted to share a number of resources that are available for you as you navigate the rest of this semester and attend to your academic, research and personal well-being. Last week, in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs, we hosted a Graduate and Professional Student Town Hall to share resources and services specific to the graduate experience.  In case you missed it, you can view a recording of the discussion at your leisure.

Additionally, we are happy to share the news that the Pan-African Graduate and Professional Student Association (PANAF) has been reactivated at the University of Pittsburgh. More information about how to get involved is below and I look forward to working with PANAF.

Another resource that is available without cost to all graduate and professional students is The National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development (NCFDD). Directions for joining can be found below. One excellent program offered by NCFDD (and one I have taken part in regularly) is the 14-day writing challenge. The program runs from October 19 - November 1, 2020 and registration ends October 14, 2020.

We want to reiterate that the events of the last few months and the changes that they have required can been stressful. Many kinds of support are available from the University of Pittsburgh, including the Student Emergency Assistance Fund, the new Meal Scholarship Program, and the Counseling Center. Also, if you have concerns that you prefer not to raise with your department or program, please contact one of the Graduate School Ombudspersons or the Graduate Studies Office.

I want to share one more important resource: information on voting in the November 3, 2020 elections. The University of Pittsburgh has a strong history of civic engagement and if you are able to vote, the University encourages you to be engaged in this important process. The deadline to register to vote in the next election is October 19 in Pennsylvania. No matter what state you want to vote in, you can use Turbovote to register to vote. Enter your information on this website, and you'll have the relevant voting day details based on your registered address. For international students who are interested in learning more about elections in the United States, the Office of International Studies is hosting a Lunch and Learn event on Wednesday, October 21 from noon to 1 p.m. EST about the election process ahead of the November elections. 

As a reminder, on Monday, October 19 the University will transition from the elevated risk posture to the guarded risk posture. Under the guarded risk posture, more classes may meet in person and more shared spaces will be open. If you hold an appointment as a teaching assistant, teaching fellow, graduate student researcher, or graduate student assistant (TA/TF/GSR/GSA), please talk to your teaching or research advisor about any changes in your in-person duties. Graduate student researchers can refer to the guidelines for research trainees. Safety precautions like wearing face coverings and maintaining a proper physical distance of six feet or more are still in effect.

Looking ahead to the Spring 2021 term, the University will continue to adjust its operational posture depending on local public health conditions and Flex@Pitt will continue to be used to offer flexible and hybrid instruction. Additionally, the academic calendar for Spring 2021 has been updated. Note that some graduate and professional programs will deviate from this calendar; please check with your program to confirm its spring schedule. To stay up to date on other news and resources at Pitt, I recommend that you regularly check Pitt’s Coronavirus website: The Power of Pitt, PittWire, and the “Resources for Graduate and Professional Students and Postdocs during the COVID-19 Pandemic” on the Graduate Studies webpages for information specific to graduate and professional students. We also encourage you follow us on Twitter and share your accomplishments and honors by tagging us at @PittGradStudies.

Finally, I wanted to send out a special thank you to the international graduate and professional students who participated in the International Graduate Student Listening Session on Well-being and Mental Health two weeks ago. Your insights and experiences will help us respond to the stresses you face and to provide resources to address them. We greatly appreciate your participation and value hearing from you. I also want to let all our international students know that you are a valuable part of our community. You may have heard of the proposed changes to student visas that were made by the U.S. Government in September. I want to assure you that the University of Pittsburgh is continuing to strongly advocate on your behalf concerning these proposed changes so that they do not impact your studies. If you have specific questions, please email the Office of International Services (OIS).

As always, I welcome you to my monthly office hours and I am always available at My next monthly office hour is on Thursday, October 15, 2020, from 10 to 11 a.m. EST. Please complete the registration form to choose your time slot. Zoom details will be emailed to you after completing the form.


Amanda J. Godley
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies

Graduate Resources
Graduate News, Policies, and Events

University-wide News and Resources

Black Doctoral Network (BDN) Virtual Graduate School and Career Fair, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. EST: The BDN Virtual Graduate School and Career Fair offers a free, two-in-one recruitment experience. It is a professional event for undergraduate students who are interested in attending graduate school programs. It is also a professional event for job-market ready graduate students and advanced degree holders to meet with employers from universities, non-profits and corporate organizations. Job-seekers will have an opportunity to interview with prospective employers or schedule interviews for a later date.

Free Flu Shots: The Student Health Services strongly encourages Pitt students to take preventative measures to limit the spread of flu by getting an annual flu shot. Graduate students can receive FREE seasonal flu vaccine shots through the Student Health Service. Appointments should be scheduled at least one day in advance. Learn more about flu shots and make an appointment.

Mental Health Awareness Month: October is Mental Health Awareness Month and there are a number of virtual events and programs for the Pitt community to learn from and connect on important topics and issues. Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Month and register for events. The University Counseling Center (UCC) is also hosting Student Self-Care Day on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 with an exciting line-up of live, interactive events. Register for Self-Care Day events.

On a daily basis, graduate and professional students can continue to care for their mental health by establishing healthy habits and routines, staying connected with others, and participating in pleasurable and relaxing activities (such as meditation, mindfulness, or reading). Graduate and professional students are encouraged to reach out to the UCC to learn more about services such as Therapy Assistance Online, Wellness Workshops, or individual or group therapy.

Pan-African Graduate and Professional Student Association: The Pan-African Graduate and Professional Student Association (PANAF) has been reactivated at the University of Pittsburgh. PANAF serves all graduate and professional students at Pitt with research and/or cultural interests in Black America, the African Continent, the Caribbean, the West Indies, Latin America, and the entire Diaspora. 

PANAF will be hosting three general meetings for interested students to join, meet members of the executive board, and learn more about PANAF’s mission, goals, and purpose. If you are interested in being a member of PANAF, please complete the PANAF RSVP form. Students can choose from either one of two scheduled meetings:
Friday, October 16, 2020, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EST
Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 4-6 p.m. EST 

Meal Scholarship Program: This new program from the Campus Basic Needs Committee provides an additional short-term food resource for students facing food insecurity caused by an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. Apply using this form.

Nominate Exceptional Faculty Teachers: Nominations for the 2021 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award are being accepted through Friday, October 16, 2020View award guidelines and past winners.

Nominate Exceptional PhD Mentors: Nominations for the 2021 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring are being accepted through Friday, October 16, 2020. This award recognizes outstanding mentors who have had the greatest impact on students seeking research doctorate degrees. View award guidelines and past winners.

Campus Parking: Non-permit holders can park on campus at several lots, including the O’Hara parking garage, Soldiers and Sailors parking garage (view lot locations on a campus map) and others, at a daily rate of $5.00 payable through the ParkMobile App

Graduate and Professional Student Government

Be sure to join Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) for these upcoming events.

October 15 @ 6-7:30 p.m., Pitt Police Town Hall: Student Affairs and the Office of Public Safety are co-hosting a Pitt Police Town Hall where students will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss policies of the Pitt police with participating panelists. Register and submit questions in advance.

October 20 @ 4:30 p.m., Assembly Board Meeting: Open to all students, AB meetings let you voice concerns to GPSG representatives and hear from GSO & GSA leaders. More info. and the Zoom link can be found here.

October 30 @ 6:30 p.m., Paint & Sip: Join Pitt alumna and artist Morgan Overton for a virtual painting tutorial featuring live music. Register for the event in advance and get all the painting supplies you need sent to your home.

October, Relationship Violence Awareness Month: The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is hosting events all month to support community members who have been affected by relationship violence and sexual misconduct, and to promote healthy relationships. Find all of the events on the ODI website.

For the most up-to-date information on GPSG and COVID-19 resources for graduate students, visit the GPSG website.

Other Upcoming Events

The Deciding Vote? The Role of the Latinx Community in the 2020 Presidential Election, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 6-7:30 p.m. EST
Strange Days podcast host and legendary public opinion researcher, Fernand Amandi (along with Lara Putnam, History Professor, and Ariel Armony, Vice Provost for Global Affairs), takes center stage to discuss the changing dynamics of American politics.

Fundamentals of Teaching Inclusively, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, noon-1:30 p.m. EST
This workshop introduces several principles of inclusivity and offers practical advice for fostering an inclusive university environment through your teaching in both face-to-face and remote learning contexts. Through discussion and workshop exercises, you will learn how promoting and practicing inclusivity can improve learning outcomes and your relationship with your students, and how the two are closely related. This workshop also addresses ways to effectively articulate your philosophy of inclusion in teaching on job applications and in interviews.

Fall 14-Day Writing Challenge, October 19-November 1, 2020 (register by October 14)
Whether you’ve got a writing project that is almost done or not even close, join the challenge to kickstart or revitalize that daily writing habit and get those projects out the door! There is no charge to participate once you claim your free Institutional Membership.

International Tea Time, Wednesday, October 14, 2-3 p.m. EST
University Counseling Center staff will lead a discussion on some of the challenges facing our international students during this difficult time. Students will have an opportunity to share their experiences and support each other.

Watch Party Wednesday, Dear Ex, October 14, 2020, 7 p.m. EST. Office of International Services event.

Extended Orientation: Understanding Criticism in the U.S., Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10 a.m. EST
In this presentation, the Office of International Services will discuss the different ways criticism is presented and accepted in the U.S., as well as how you can receive and present constructive feedback.

Shattering the Statistics: A Collective Effort Toward Ending Sexual Violence, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EST
The Sexual Violence Prevention Office will be launching a new educational series, “Shattering the Statistics,” to explore and bring awareness to issues around sexual violence and ongoing prevention initiatives. This installment will explore statistics and trends regarding sexual violence, with an emphasis on college campuses.

Domestic Violence and Family, Thursday, October 15, 2020, noon EST
Presented by the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh (WC&S). The effects of domestic violence don’t end with the abuser and the survivor; they reach the whole family – parents, children, and yes, even pets. Learn about the complex work WC&S does to help survivors keep their families together while escaping from an abusive home.

Opportunities for Humanities and Social Science PhDs in the Private Sector Webinar, Friday, October 16, 2020, noon EST. Beyond the Professorate event.

Diversity Innovation Panel, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 5 p.m. EST
Join the Innovation Institute for a featured panel of representatives from Black-led startups/companies which will consist of a keynote speaker followed by a discussion and Q-and-A session led by Babs Carryer. The panel will discuss the challenges that surround startup creation and representation within the startup community.

Lunch and Learn: Elections in the U.S., Wednesday, October 21, 2020, noon EST
Want to learn how Americans vote? Come join us for this session to learn about the election process ahead of the November elections.

SETPoint Training, Just for Grads and Postdocs, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 4-5:30 p.m. EST
Explore ways to enhance your personal safety through the basics of Empowerment Self Defense (ESD). In this workshop cohosted by Office of the Provost - Graduate Studies, graduate students and postdocs will be introduced to core components of ESD: situational awareness: learning to recognize unhealthy behaviors and situations; boundary setting through voice and stance; effective concepts for physical resistance; and survivor advocacy, resources, and assistance. Registration information is forthcoming via Graduate Studies Upcoming Events.

Watch Party Wednesday, Moonlight, October 21, 2020, 7 p.m. EST. Office of International Services event.

Shattering the Statistics, Unpacking the New Title IX Regulations, Thursday, October 22, 2020, noon-1:30 p.m. EST
The second installment of the “Shattering the Statistics” series will feature a panel of experts who will discuss the new Title IX regulations mandated by the Department of Education. The panel will discuss Title IX regulations from both a Pitt-specific and general higher education lens.

Extended Orientation: Dependents, Thursday, October 22, 2020, 10 a.m. EST
In this presentation, the Office of International Services will present different resources and experiences of international dependents as well as ways to get involved while living in Pittsburgh.

Domestic Violence and Money, Thursday, October 22, 2020, noon EST
Presented by the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh (WC&S). Learn about the financial challenges survivors face and how WC&S helps them rebuild their lives through economic empowerment, housing advocacy, and basic needs provision.

What Every STEM PhD Should Know about Working in Industry Webinar, Friday, October 23, 2020, noon EST. Beyond the Professorate event.

Managing Racial Stress and Trauma, Monday, October 26, 4-5 p.m. EST
In this group, students of color can will learn to identify the symptoms of race-related stress and racial trauma and how it impacts them. Likewise, students will be able to identify ways of managing their racialized distress to improve self-care.

Teaching with Equity, Wednesday, October 28, 2020, noon-1:30 p.m. EST
This workshop will enhance your ability to identify when and where seemingly small changes in course planning and design could foster better learning experiences for your in-person and remote students. Participants will be offered a space to share successful (and not-so-successful) course activities and policies they have implemented, with the goal of reflecting upon the importance of keeping equity at the forefront of their teaching practices.

International Tea Time, Wednesday, October 28, 2-3 p.m. EST
University Counseling Center staff will lead a discussion on some of the challenges facing our international students during this difficult time. Students will have an opportunity to share their experiences and support each other.

Watch Party WednesdayEk Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, October 28, 2020, 7 p.m. EST. Office of International Services event.

Extended Orientation: Personal Wellness, Thursday, October 29, 2020, 10 a.m. EST
In this presentation, the Office of International Services will discuss health resources available to students and how to use them. A Wellness Center staff member will also discuss their services and the importance of self-care.

Domestic Violence and Men, Thursday, October 29, 2020, noon EST
Presented by the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh (WC&S). Men are often the perpetrators of domestic violence in abusive relationships, but they can also be victims, allies to survivors, or committed to learning how to avoid using abusive behaviors. Find out how domestic violence affects men and what WC&S is doing to help end abusive behaviors in the lives of men.

Extended Orientation: Race Relations in the U.S., Thursday, November 5, 2020, 10 a.m. EST
Staff from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will discuss the history of race in the United States and how that history impacts our current community.Office of International Services event.

Managing Racial Stress and Trauma, Monday, November 9, 4-5 p.m. EST
In this group, students of color can learn to identify the symptoms of race-related stress and racial trauma and how it impacts them. Likewise, students will be able to identify ways of managing their racialized distress to improve self-care.

International Tea Time, Wednesday, November 11, 2-3 p.m. EST
University Counseling Center staff will lead a discussion on some of the challenges facing our international students during this difficult time. Students will have an opportunity to share their experiences and support each other. 

Making Difficult Conversations Less Difficult, Thursday, November 19, 2020, 2:30-5 p.m. EST
Join this interactive session to learn how to 1) successfully lead those difficult conversations most people dread by embracing the need to fully prepare with a sense of deep reflection, gratitude, and humility; 2) identify and apply personal preferences, approaches and tactics to influence success when resolving conflicts that include difficult conversations; and 3) discuss skills and techniques that serve to mitigate or prevent harmful conflict and difficult conversations. Registration required.

How to Negotiate for Your Next Opportunity, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 3-5 p.m. EST
Whether you are seeking a job, a training opportunity, or just the chance to acquire more resources or experience, effective negotiation skills are vital to your career. In this presentation, you will learn how to develop a negotiation strategy that will contribute to your success. Registration required.


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship due mid to late October according to specific field: Seniors, recent graduates, or early graduate students pursuing research-based master’s or PhD degrees in mathematics, physical and biological sciences, engineering, and certain behavioral and social sciences who are U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent residents may apply. The award includes an annual stipend of $34,000.

Open Philanthropy Artificial Intelligence (Open Phil AI) Fellowship due Thursday, October 22, 2020: The Open Phil AI Fellowship is open to full-time AI and machine learning students in any year of their PhD. The program is open to applicants in any country. The award includes an annual stipend of $40,000 for up to five years.

IBM PhD Fellowship Award due Friday, October 23, 2020: Nominations are welcome for PhD students of all nationalities. Students must be nominated by a doctoral faculty member and should have three years remaining in their graduate program at the time of nomination. The award includes an annual stipend of $60,000 in award year one; $35,000 in award year two.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship due Thursday, December 17, 2020: Open to graduate students from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups with three or more years left to complete their PhD. Check citizenship requirements and learn more about Ford Foundation Fellowships. The award includes an annual stipend of $27,000.

American Association of University Women Fellowships due November-December according to the specific award: American FellowshipsCareer Development GrantsCommunity Action GrantsInternational FellowshipsInternational Project GrantsResearch Publication Grants and Selected Professions Fellowships. Check eligibility requirements and learn more about AAU Women Fellowships. Awards range from $2,000 to $35,000.

American Educational Research Association-National Science Foundation (AERA-NSF) Grants Program proposal deadline extended to Tuesday, December 15, 2020: AERA-NSF grants are open to researchers who conduct studies of education policy and practice using large-scale data sets. Dissertation Grants are available for advanced doctoral students and are intended to support the student while analyzing data and writing the doctoral dissertation. Research Grants are available for doctoral ­level scholars, postdoctoral researchers and faculty at institutions of higher education. Check eligibility requirements and learn more about AERA funding opportunities. Awards are made up to $35,000.