Professional Development Opportunities

PhD Students
PhD Students
CECS Ph.D. students attending GSI Teaching Orientation

The College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) Graduate Education Office offers programming and resources to support both academic and professional development. There are resources to help you with:





  • Research and Instructional training
  • Applying for grants and fellowships
  • Exploring career pathways and job search strategies
  • Internships and experiential learning opportunities
  • Identifying transferable skills 
  • Funding for conference travel

Opportunities and Resources

  • Professional Development and Career Preparation Workshops

    CRLT-ENGIN Ann Arbor 

    The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering (CRLT-Engin) on the Ann Arbor campus offers workshops that are open to all interested individuals.  Each fall, the CRLT-Engin provides required training for GSI teaching in the CECS.  A list of other upcoming workshops that may be of interest to GSIs and all students is available here


    CECS Workshops and Seminars

    CECS will host several workshops over the academic year.  Topics covered are designed to address graduate students issues, provide support, and to prepare students for academic and career success.

    • Research Day
    • Chat with the Deans
    • Surviving the Dissertation
    • Transferrable Skills for Ph.D. Students
    • Path to Professorship
    • Navigating the PhD
    • Academic vs. Industry Panel Discussion
    • Graduate Student and Alumni Experiences in CECS


    Office of Graduate Studies

    The Office of Graduate Studies offers workshops focused on essential skills development for academic, professional, and personal growth and development.  The current offerings are listed here.  A sampling of topics include:

    • Presentation Skills for the Classroom, Conference, and Dissertation Defense
    • Delivering Audience-Centered and Confident Research Presentations
    • Three Minute Thesis Competition
    • Job Interview Techniques
    • Getting Published
    • Culture Matters
    • Professional Networking
  • CECS Instructional Opportunities and Resources

    Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)

    A Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) is employed to teach courses, or coordinate, lead, or assist in the instructional process in direct interaction with students in assigned classes, labs, quiz, problem sessions, or during office hours. GSIs have a critical role in teaching undergraduate students at the University of Michigan.  Students who receive appointment are in good standing in a University of Michigan CECS graduate degree program.

    Instructional Training

    Doctoral students appointed as GSIs attend GSI Teaching Orientation provided by the CRLT-Engin at the UM-Ann Arbor campus before teaching courses.  Also, students also participate in CECS GSI training during an orientation held by the CECS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.  

    Depending on needs, a select few master's level students receive an appointment as GSIs.  

  • CECS Research Opportunities

    Graduate Student Research Assistant

    A Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA) program is a vehicle to provide financial support for the academically-related research activities of active University of Michigan graduate students.  Students who receive appointment are in good standing in a University of Michigan CECS graduate degree program and may perform personal research (including thesis or dissertation preparation) or assists faculty performing research that is relevant to his or her academic goals.

    There are many opportunities at UM-Dearborn for graduate students to get involved in the cutting-edge research conducted on campus by our faculty members. 

    Research Labs

    Each Fall, during Open Lab Day, students have the opportunity to meet with faculty conducting research in an area of interest and faculty have the opportunity to meet with students who show interest in being a research assistant.  Visit the Open Lab Day site for more information.

    Computer and Information Science Labs

    Electrical and Computer Engineering Labs

    Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Labs

    Mechanical Engineering Labs

  • CECS Conference Travel Grant - Ph.D. Students

    CECS is pleased to announce the CECS Doctoral Conference Travel Grant for Ph.D. students.  Through the grant, we intend to provide opportunities for Ph.D. students to present their research, become familiar with, participate in, and build a network in their academic profession. As part of its commitment to advancing excellence in doctoral education, CECS may provide up to 50% matching funds for each conference travel application. The remainder of the funding would be provided by the department or student's faculty advisor (or a combination of the two).

    Questions regarding this grant can be sent to the CECS Graduate Programs Coordinator.

    Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the fiscal year (July 1-June 30) as long as funds are available. Only applications submitted a minimum of two weeks before the conference will be considered. Requests for retroactive funding are not considered.


    • The student is in good academic standing in a Ph.D. degree program.
    • The student has responded to a formal call for papers.
    • The student is presenting a poster or paper at a national or international professional conference.

    Application Procedure:

    • Application Materials:
      •  Title of Paper, Poster, or Presentation
      • Name of Conference (including URL)
      • Date of Conference
      •  Name of Faculty Advisor
      • Student Statement and Travel Budget
      • Verification of Conference Acceptance (i.e., notification letter or email)
      •  Funds provided by the faculty advisor (if any, to be confirmed during approval routing)
      • Funds provided by the department (if any, to be approved during approval routing)
      •  Requested amount of travel grant from CECS
    • A complete application must be submitted electronically via InfoReady. Students may access the form here.
      • Only completed applications submitted via InfoReady will be considered.
      • Each completed application will be routed for approval (as required) via InfoReady to the faculty advisor, department chair, and Dean’s office. 

    In addition to the CECS Doctoral Conference Travel Grant, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the Student Conference Presentation travel grant through ORSP, which provides up to $300 for travel-related expenses and or $40 for presentation materials.

  • CECS Experiential Learning & Career Development

    CECS Experiential Learning 

    The CECS Experiential Learning Program collaborates with industry to provide graduate students with career exploration through internship opportunities.  Students receive real-world experience and the tools to succeed in their chosen career. 

    CECS Career Development Resources

    The office offers many services from job search techniques and mock interviews to networking strategies.  Students can stop by the office for assistance.

    Career Services

    The Office of Career Services provides a variety of services that support students in all areas of career development and job search. Career Services offers career counseling in addition to career-related workshops and resources to all students.

CECS Graduate Education Office

Heinz Prechter Engineering Complex (HPEC)
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