UA Offers Grad Students, Postdocs Free Membership to NCFDD

  • October 26th, 2018
UA’s membership in the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development will help advance graduate students’ research and writing productivity.

The University of Alabama is offering graduate students and postdoctoral scholars the opportunity to join the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development at no cost.

The NCFDD is an independent professional development center dedicated to helping academics thrive and offers a variety of programs and services to help graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty increase their research and writing productivity and create networks of support on campus and across institutions nationwide.

UA’s membership grants scholars free on-demand access to the NCFDD’s online resources, including mentoring and professional development training.

UA joins more than 150 universities as member institutions, including seven from the Southeastern Conference.

Activating your membership to the NCFDD is free, and gives you access to:

  • The Monday Motivator (a weekly email with productivity tips)
  • Monthly productivity workshops
  • Monthly guest expert workshops
  • Multiweek courses each term
  • Job listings in the career center
  • Audio recordings, slides and transcripts of all workshops
  • Private networking forum
  • Moderated monthly writing challenges to increase your writing productivity
  • Monthly mentor matches
  • The online accountability and tracking software for alumni of the faculty success program

Dr. Susan Carvalho, dean of UA’s Graduate School, said options like an “accountability buddy” from other institutions will allow graduate students to “hold each other accountable for making progress on large projects such as theses and dissertations.

“In addition, an online series called the Dissertation Success Curriculum is designed to help students find their way through what can seem like an overwhelming amount of reading, analyzing and writing,” Carvalho said. “Dissertation students can thus be part of a nationwide community of peers, facing similar challenges together.”

NCFDD teleworkshops and short courses cover a wide range of topics relevant to faculty and graduate students at all career stages. These workshops are archived permanently on the NCFDD site, and include topics such as:

  • Publishing: “An Editor’s Perspective: The Nuts and Bolts of Academic Publishing,” “How to Negotiate an Academic Book Contract” and “Publishing Tips for Mid-Career Scholars.”
  • External funding: “How to Write Grants and Win Fellowships in the Humanities,” “How to Write a Grant Proposal: STEM and SBES” and “How to Seek (and Get!) Foundation Funding.”
  • Writing and research productivity: “Writing Through Writer’s Block: How to Turn Research Obstacles Into Insight,” “Developing Writing Rituals: A Key to Jump-Starting Productivity” and “Teaching in Color: Effective Strategies for Faculty of Color.”

Dr. Gwenetta Curry, assistant professor of gender and race studies at UA, said that while working on her doctoral degree the NCFDD program encouraged her to have a structured writing method and timeline for the completion of chapters.

“Writing a dissertation is a daunting task by any measure,” Curry said. “Add in caring for a family, and some might say it’s impossible. By setting weekly writing goals and identifying obstacles that may have prevented an active writing schedule, the NCFDD program allowed me to streamline my schedule so I could focus on my writing. Not only did I encourage other writers, but I thoroughly enjoyed the encouragement from other scholars every week which helped push me to complete my goals.” 

To activate your free membership through UA’s institutional account, go to www.facultydiversity.org and click the Become a Member icon at the top of the page. On the Select Your Membership Type page, select the Institutional Sub-Account button and click Continue.

On the next page, under Registration Information, enter your ua.edu email address as your username and complete the registration process. You will receive a welcome email after your account is verified (usually within 24 hours, but note that registrations are reviewed and verified Monday through Friday only), and you’ll have access to NCFDD resources. If you encounter technical difficulties with registering, you can email help@facultydiversity.org

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.