Office of the Provost

Dear Graduate and Professional Students and Postdocs,

I hope that everyone is staying well during these days of social distancing. I am writing to highlight a number of events that may be of special interest to you and which feature the work of some of your colleagues.

This year, we took the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition into the virtual realm. The Graduate Studies office has been filling its Twitter feed with videos of doctoral students explaining their research—in just three minutes. Watch the videos and then cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award. Voting ends at 5 p.m. EST on April 17, 2020. Then, at noon on Monday April 20, 2020, join us for the reveal of Pitt’s 3MT Winners!

I also encourage you to participate in the Creating Community virtual community art project. Using the supplies you have and your imagination, spend some time creating projects that address this question: During the COVID-19 pandemic, how have you stayed connected and maintained community connections? You can share your art as it progresses and submit your final project as a digital file by April 20, 2020. Meet the project creators, Sara Baumann, post-doctoral associate, and Jessica Burke, professor and Associate Dean for Education, both from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences in the Graduate School of Public Health.

The Center for Creativity is starting an online zine to collect and curate art, writing, comics, and graphics produced during these days of physical distancing. The COVe aims to collect and share work from Pitt creators. Work need not be COVID-19 themed.

The Office of University Communications and Marketing will host two focus groups for graduate students and postdocs to discuss the University of Pittsburgh’s home page,, and our news channels. The sessions will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 23, 2020. Register by email. If you participate in this Zoom focus group, you’ll earn a $25 gift card to Amazon. Space is limited, so sign up today!

The Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development is launching an Informational Interview Series to showcase a variety of career fields and the paths that alumni have taken. Doctoral-level alumni working in nonprofit, for-profit, education, and government sectors will be featured. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 23, 2020, you can meet Dr. Sarah Hansen, a senior research associate at HPW Associates, LLC, a small woman-owned consulting firm specializing in applied research and program evaluation. Register and learn more.

Finally, be sure to regularly check out the new online hub, Pittwire Live. You can find online workshops, daily workouts, social events, volunteer opportunities, and communities of common interest.

As you can see, across Pitt we are offering resources to keep graduate students and postdocs engaged. Please let me know how you are doing and if you have additional needs. I hope you are staying productive and connected.


Nathan Urban
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives

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