PhD+ Liaisons Program 2019-2020: Call for Applications


The PhD Plus program seeks a cohort of graduate student liaisons to collaborate in the design and delivery of program activities for discipline-specific contexts. In addition to supporting their fellow graduate students and informing the continued evolution of the PhD Plus program, liaisons will themselves benefit from sustained access to training, mentorship and support in a professional focus of their choosing. Each liaison position is a one-year commitment and provides $2000 to support the professional development needs of the participant.


The primary role of the PhD Plus liaisons is to bring the professional training provided by the broader program into specific disciplinary/departmental contexts and to communicate the needs of specific departments and disciplines back to the broader program. In order to accomplish this goal, liaisons must be advanced in their program (beyond the third year), and must be willing to communicate with students and faculty in their home department about their peers' professional development needs. Liaisons must also be willing to help gather departmental feedback to be used for the development and improvement of the program, and confer with liaisons in other departments across the University.

General objectives of liaisons include: 

  • Learn the goals and framework of the broader PhD Plus program
  • Communicate with departments about PhD Plus activities
  • Confer with liaisons in other departments
  • Gather and share departmental feedback regarding PhD Plus for continued program development

In order to achieve these objectives liaisons will be asked to attend core professional development activities with program staff and liaisons from across the University.  We anticipate one meeting per semester of the entire liaisons group.  Additional activities and the preparation of department/discipline-specific workshops will take place within areas of focus.  

Goals in Specific Areas of Focus:

  • Participate in mentoring and training specific to the area of focus
  • Network with other liaisons in the area of focus
  • Design and deliver a discipline-specific workshop to the home department in the specific areas of focus
  • Be open to mentoring future cohorts of liaisons


In addition to serving as a primary student point of contact for their departments, liaisons will also have the opportunity to receive training in a specific area of professional focus. As part of this training, students will be asked to help design and deliver discipline specific workshops to students in their home departments. Click on each area for additional details and to apply

  1. Career and Professional Development: Sonali Majumdar
  2. Digital Humanities: Brandon Walsh
  3. Entrepreneurship and Commercialization: David Touve
  4. Research Communication: Marlit Hayslett
  5. Teaching: Adriana Streifer
  6. Others: Applicants can propose a domain of interest and potential mentor/s


In order to be eligible students must be:

  • Enrolled full-time in a doctoral program at the University of Virginia for the 2019-2020 academic year
  • In good academic standing within their program
  • in at least the 3rd year or beyond of their program in the fall of 2019

Desired Qualities:

Ideal candidates for the PhD Plus Liaisons program will exhibit the following qualities:

  • Enthusiasm and openness in exploring their own professional development and contributing to the professional development of their peers
  • Interest in developing competency in a specific domain
  • A strong desire to enhance oral and written communication skills including active listening and presentation skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Mature and professional demeanor


Graduate Liaisons will receive a stipend of $2000 for their participation across the 2019-20 academic year. Stipends will be delivered in two equal disbursements at the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters.


Students interested in learning more about the program are invited to an information session on Tuesday, March 19, 9:00am in New Cabell Hall, Room 236.  Register Here to learn more about the Liaisons program and meet topic mentors.


Students can submit a maximum of two applications in separate areas of focus. Please click on the areas of focus above to submit an application.  The application deadline for all areas is 5:00pm on Monday, March 25, 2019.


For general questions, please contact Sonali Majumdar. For questions specific to areas of focus, please contact the appropriate mentor listed above.