Professional Development Workshop for Doctoral Students


This one day workshop took place on November 6, 2013, and consisted of three panel discussions and a mentoring session. The PDW offered a number of exciting panel discussions of interest to doctoral students in all stages of their training. The day covered a variety of topics that are relevant for both U.S. and international doctoral students:

  • Finding Jobs
  • Getting Published
  • Accessing Grants/Fellowships

Students Enjoy the APPAM PDW (by George Atisa, Sophia Guevara, and Senovia Guevara)
A Look at the APPAM PDW (by Sarah Cordes)

Agenda for PDW and Related Conference Events for Doctoral Students

Doctoral Professional Development Workshop

Wednesday, November 6

Noon – 12:30 p.m.

  • Registration
  • Meet & greet
  • Boxed lunch pickup
  • Welcome by APPAM President-elect Angela Evans

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Panel: Finding Jobs

The goal of this panel is to discuss strategies, opportunities, and risks that students should be aware of as they embark on the job search. Given the linkages between government agencies, nonprofits, NGOs, universities, and the private sector in addressing a myriad of policy issues, there are opportunities for career paths in the traditional and not-so traditional sectors. The panel will be composed of academics, researchers and practitioners who will present their perspectives on how soon-to-be graduating doctoral students can best position themselves in today’s job market, whether in academia, public service, or as a consultant. Other topics expected to be addressed include: issues such as work-life balance during the tenure track experience, suggestions for civil service placement (e.g. kinds of positions available for Ph.D.s and how to crack into top advisement posts), and how to prepare/survive the academic job hunt/interview process.

Panelists:  Edward “Sandy” Davis (Associate Director for Legislative Affairs, Congressional Budget Office), Steven B. Garasky (Vice President, Human Services, IMPAQ International, LLC), Ruth Nield (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance), Colleen Shogan (Deputy Director, Congressional Research Service), and Cecelia Rouse (Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University).

1:45 – 3:00 p.m.
Panel: Getting Published

Three distinguished panelists will discuss the publishing process from several perspectives, including early-in-career challenges, the importance of serving as an academic reviewer, and how to target your writing for top policy journals. While academic journals continue to hold the most weight in the academic market, many in public policy also seek to reach practitioners and policy makers through trade publications, and non-peer reviewed and open-source journals. The panelists will offer their insights for graduate students navigating the trade-offs and benefits of publishing in all such outlets, as well as speak to other emerging trends in this field, such as the benefits of on-line publishing.

Panelists:  Stephanie Riegg Cellini (George Washington University), John MacDonald (University of Pennsylvania), Laura Peck (Associate Editor, American Journal of Evaluation), Maureen Pirog (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management), and Peter Ward (University of Texas).

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

  • Break
  • Q&A with Jocelyn Mason, APPAM Program & Conference Manager

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Panel: Accessing Grants and Fellowships

This panel will create an exciting forum for students to find answers to their most burning questions regarding accessing grants and fellowships. The panel, composed of academics, researchers and members of grantmaking institutions, is designed to provide current doctoral students with information and advice about successfully applying for grants and fellowships, which will be a necessary part of their future research. Accessibility to extra and external grants and fellowships also gives doctoral students the freedom to focus on research and dissertation writing, eliminating the dependence on assistantships which can be a big distraction during the data collection and dissertation writing stages. The panel will provide information to address general concerns and potential challenges that Ph.D. students seeking funding opportunities are likely to face and how to navigate through these challenges.

Panelists:  Dylan Conger (George Washington University), Marika Dunn (Social Science Research Council), Amy Schwartz (New York University), and Katina Stapleton (Institute of Education Sciences).

Conger's presentation
Schwartz's presentation
Stapleton's presentation

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Mentoring Session (invitation only)

This session is for Ph.D. students to receive feedback on dissertation topics as they move through the topic development, data collection planning, and write-up stages of their research project. Students will have an opportunity to network with other emerging scholars, as well as engage with top academics and practitioners in their field.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Discussion: National Poverty Fellows Program

As part of the doctoral PDW, members of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison will conduct an information session about the National Poverty Fellows Program, an exciting post-doctoral opportunity developed by IRP and two branches of the Department of Health and Human Services.Lead officials from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and IRP will be present to answer questions about this fellowship, which is open to post-docs up to six years post-Ph.D. Detailed information about the program is available at

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Doctoral Drinks and Dinner
Not hosted by APPAM, this event is organized by students as an additional informal networking opportunity. Location will be offsite and is to be determined.

2013 Fall Research Conference

Friday, November 8 

8:00 – 9:15 a.m.
Bright Futures Breakfast (invitation only)
An opportunity for students and those beginning their career to network with other students, young professionals, recruiters, hiring managers, and experienced professionals.

7:45 – 9:00 pm
Student and Senior Scholar Roundtable and Reception
A roundtable featuring practitioners, academics, recent graduates, and government employees will share their expertise in career building and transitioning from student to professional life within the public policy and management field. A question and answer session will be followed by a networking cocktail reception.

Handouts (PDF format):

Advice for the Job Market
Job Market Advice (part 2)
APPAM Fellowship List
CSWEP Job Market Advice
CSWEP Negotiation Advice
CV to Resume Advice
How to Survive Presentations
Ph.D. Job Search

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Phone: 202.496.0130 | Fax: 202.496.0134
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