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.

Opportunities and Resources

Professional Development and Career Preparation Workshops

CECS Workshops and Events

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.

Social Events

Social events for CECS doctoral students to meet and connect with other graduate students. 


Preparing for a Career in Industry
  • Thursday, February 13, 2020
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • 1420 Professional Education Center (PEC)

This workshop focuses on career paths in industry for Ph.D. graduates in engineering and computer science. Four alumni from CECS Ph.D. programs will provide insights into the career pathways within industry and how to begin navigating each pathway. Lunch will be provided.


Preparing for an Academic Career

  • Friday, January 17, 2020
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • 1330 Professional Education Center (PEC)

Navigating the academic job market can be a daunting task, especially for Ph.D.s. This workshop is designed specifically for Ph.D. students who are interested in pursuing academic careers in engineering and computer science. Four junior faculty members from all CECS departments will provide guidance and information that will help participants to be stronger candidates for academic positions. Lunch will be provided.


Future Workshop Topics

  • Potential to Performance: Know your Strengths (CliftonStrengths) 
  • Transferrable Skills for Ph.D. Students
  • Collaboration and Team-work
  • Professional Presentations and Communication
  • Entrepreneurship and Paten Law
  • DEI: Working in Diverse Environments


Office of Graduate Studies

Graduate Student Professional Development Workshop Series Sponsored by the Office of Graduate Studies, these events provide an opportunity to network with industry leaders, faculty, staff, and other graduate students, while growing your personal and professional skills.

APA 7 Overview & Best Practices

  • Tuesday, January 14, 12:00-1:00 p.m. in ML 1216
  • Presenter: Raya Samet • Education, Health, and Human Services Librarian

How to Use Mendeley

  • Tuesday, January 21, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in ML 1216
  • Presenter: Joel Seewald • Natural Sciences and Geography Librarian

Professional Writing Skills & On-Campus Writing Resources

  • Tuesday, January 28, 1:00-2:00 p.m. in ML 1216
  • Presenter: John Taylor • Writing Center Coordinator

The Power of Networking

  • Tuesday, February 4, 12:00-1:00 p.m. in ML 1216
  • Presenters: Tracy Hall • Executive Director of the Office of Metropolitan Impact & Joan Martin • Business and Economics Librarian

Delivering Audience-Centered & Confident Research Presentations

  • Tuesday, February 11, 1:00-2:00 pm. in ML 1216
  • Presenter: Nick Iannarino • Assistant Professor, Culture, Language, and Communications

Tips and Tools for Managing Your Thesis or Dissertation

  • Tuesday, February 18, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in ML 1216
  • Presenter: Ilir Miteza • Associate Provost for Graduate, Global, and Digital Education

Career Readiness

  • Wednesday, February 26, 1:00-2:00 p.m. in ML 1216
  • Presenter: Britta Roan • Interim Director of Career Services

Questions? Contact


Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering 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.


Rackham Professional Development Opportunities

Rackham offers a variety of resources and programming to contribute to your professional and academic development of students in our Ph.D. programs


National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

The NCFDD is a nationally recognized, independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty, post-docs, and graduate students. The institutional membership was funded by a partnership between CECS and the Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UM-Ann Arbor, and makes these resources available to all UM-Dearborn faculty.

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 Manager.

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 provided by the Office of Research, 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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