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Announcements for the week of September 11, 2017

Deadlines & Announcements
Registration Information

By the 10th Day of Classes, September 11, graduate students should be correctly registered for Fall 2017. It is important to check your registration before September 11 on Student Self Service to make sure your registration is correct. If necessary, make corrections by adding and dropping courses to your schedule before the 10th day of classes, September 11.  

In addition, the 10th day of classes, September 11, is the last day to do the following:

  • Drop courses to reduce your number of credit hours you are registered for to a lower tuition range and receive a refund between the two ranges
  • Lower tuition range and receive a refund between the two ranges
  • Add a semester course without permission
  • Add a first half-session course
  • Submit forms to Audit a semester course
  • Submit form for In Absentia registration

Students should be registered appropriately no later than September 11 in order to avoid possible issues with:

  • Tuition/Fee assessment         
  • Financial aid
  • Loan deferment
  • Health Insurance
  • Academic Record/Graduation issues

Auditors: Auditors are listeners in classes and not class participants. Graduate College policy states that students should take the Auditor’s Permit form to the first class meeting and ask the instructor to sign the form indicating approval. These forms must be received in the Graduate College by the 10th day of classes, 5:00 p.m., Monday, September 11.  

In Absentia Registration: This registration option is for students studying or doing research at least 50 miles away from campus. In Absentiaregistration is not permitted for students enrolled in courses meeting on campus. Please review our policy on In Absentia Registration for additional information. This form must be received in the Graduate College by the 10th day of classes, 5:00 p.m., Monday, September 11.  

Please Note: Students attending courses should either be registered for credit or registered as Auditors by the 10th day of class.

Campus Safety and Security

As we begin the new academic year, take note of some campus safety resources.

Benefits & Finances
Graduate Assistant Orientation (for TAs, RAs, GAs, and PGAs)

Tuesday, September 12, 9 - 10:30 a.m., Illini Union, room 314A

If you are a Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, Graduate Assistant or Pre-Professional Graduate Assistant, be sure to attend this information sessions regarding appointments and benefits. Sponsored by Academic Human Resources and the Graduate College.

Understanding Taxability of Graduate-level Tuition Waivers

Offered twice. Registration requested.

  • Tuesday, September 12, 3-4 p.m., Illini Union 314B
  • Wednesday, September 20, 3-4 p.m., Illini Union, room 406

If more than 50% of your total employment at the University is as a Graduate Assistant, your tuition waivers totaling over $5,250 per calendar year are taxable and subject to withholding during the months of October, November, and possibly December of this semester.

The session will help you:

  • determine how the taxability of tuition waivers effects your pay
  • calculate how much of a reduction in your stipend you should expect
  • identify ways of getting through the months of withholding

This event is offered by University Payroll & Benefits and USFSCO's Student Money Management Center and is co-sponsored by the Graduate College.

Your Career and Professional Development
Career Exploration Group

Thursdays, September 28 - October 19, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Registration required

The Career Exploration Group provides a guided discovery process and collaborative environment for graduate students who are uncertain about their career plans. Participants will work with career advisors to identify and explore broader career options that fit their skills, interests and values. They will also learn about resources for job searching and how to begin the process of developing effective application materials. (Please note that this is not a job search group and we will not discuss in detail the process of applying for jobs.) Participants must commit to meeting once a week for 4 weeks, with 1-1.5 hours/week of additional work in between sessions.  

What Can I Do with a PhD in the Humanities? Group

Thursdays, November 2 through December 7, 3 - 5 p.m.

Registration required

The "What Can I Do with a PhD in the Humanities?" Group provides a guided discovery process and collaborative environment for graduate students in the humanities who are interested in exploring broader career options. Participants will work with a career advisor with a humanities PhD to identify and explore options that fit their skills, interests and values. They will have a chance to interact and ask questions of humanists in a wide range of careers and will also learn about resources for job searching and how to begin the process of developing effective application materials. (Please note that this is not a job search group. It will be focused on exploring new options not engaging in an active, immediate search.) Students in any field whose work involves humanistic inquiry are welcome to participate. Participants must commit to meeting once a week for 5 weeks, with 1-1.5 hours/week of additional work in between sessions. 

Thesis Tip
Craft a Clear Abstract

Make sure your abstract is clean, clear, and concise! Your abstract is one of the most important and most visible components of your thesis, so you want to make sure to proofread it carefully. When writing your abstract, you want to succinctly summarize the key points of your work while using wording that is easily understood by a broad audience. Ask a friend to proofread your work for typos and to make sure your prose is clear. You might also consider asking a colleague outside of your discipline to read it through. That way, you can receive feedback from someone who is not intimately familiar with your field or project. Looking for more thesis help? Visit the Graduate College Thesis Office.

Fellowships and Funding
Info Session: Dissertation Fellowships for Research Abroad in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Friday, September 15, 10 - 11:30 a.m., Coble Hall, room 308


Students of all nationalities writing dissertations on non-US topics who wish to conduct research outside of the US may be eligible for the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship. This fellowship offers 9-12 months of support to doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. The proposed project may be grounded in a single site, informed by broader cross-regional and interdisciplinary perspectives or multi-sited, comparative and transregional. Applicants must anticipate completing all PhD requirements except on-site research by the start of the fellowship. Consult the SSRC-IDRF listing in the Fellowship Finderdatabase for full details on eligibility and other requirements. The average amount of the award is $21,000. This year’s deadline is November 7. 

Ms. Elsa Ransom, Assistant Director of the Program, is the featured speaker for this information session. She will offer detailed information about the program and be available to answer questions. Dr. Karen Ruhleder of the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships will cover the proposal review services offered to students pursuing this fellowship.

Info Session: Fellowships for Humanities and Social Science Research in Japan

Friday, September 15, 1 - 2 p.m., Foreign Languages Building, room 2090B


Doctoral and postdoctoral researchers wishing to conduct mentored research in Japan on topics in the humanities or social sciences (not limited to Japanese Studies) are eligible for short- and long-term fellowships sponsored jointly by the Social Science Research Council and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Short-term fellowships support 1-12 months of doctoral or postdoctoral research. Long-term fellowships support 12-24 months of postdoctoral research. Each fellowship provides an annual stipend, round-trip airfare, and other benefits. Consult the SSRC-JSPS listing in the Fellowship Finder database for full details on eligibility and benefits.

Ms. Elsa Ransom of the SSRC will offer detailed information about the program. Prof. Robert Tierney, Head of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, will join Ms. Ransom to speak about the impact that an SSRC-JSPS fellowship had on his career.

Your Research and Teaching
Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) Open House

CITL will hold an Open House on September 12 - 14 to showcase their new Armory Innovation spaces in the north and east corridors on the first floor. Come by and enjoy the fun events scheduled each day. Have a cup of coffee in the Faculty Lounge area at 156 Armory. Check out the unusual iFLEX classroom at 182 Armory. Try the video wall in the Innovation Studio and the Virtual Reality Lab at 172 Armory. Explore immersive teaching technologies in the Tech Hub at 151A Armory. Mini tours, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, augmented art display, and fun giveaways. Be there, or be square!

Savvy Researcher Workshops

Getting Organized with Mendeley

Are you looking for a way to organize, tag, annotate and share your PDF's and research papers? Mendeley is an online tool that will allow you to index and create a database that includes citation information for easy retrieval. This beginner’s workshop will get your started in using Mendeley right away so that you can worry more about the content of your research and less on the organization of your research.

Organize Your Life: Productivity Tools and Personal Information Management

This session is designed for those who are looking to optimize organization of their academic and personal lives with the help of productivity tools and other tools for "Personal Information Management." We will be taking a look at various online programs that help in this process, as well as showing pointers on how to stay current with best trends for information management, all with an emphasis on finding the tools that work best for you.

Managing Your Citations with Zotero

Looking to organize your citations? Zotero is a free citation management software plugin for your web browser that will help you de-clutter your research! This beginner’s workshop will provide instruction on how to download Zotero, import references from the Internet and the library’s databases, and create bibliographies according to your preferred citation style.

Manage Your Online Scholarly Identity to Maximize the Reach and Impact of Your Work

ResearchGate. SSRN. Faculty Row. ORCID. Google Scholar. Amazon Author Page. IDEALS. Illinois Experts. Many scholars and graduate students are now leveraging some or all of these and other platforms to share their work, thereby increasing the impact and visibility of their scholarship. Learn more about how to effectively use researcher profile systems and scholarly communications networks to develop and manage your online scholarly presence.

Introduction to Infographics Using Piktochart

This workshop will provide an introduction to creating infographics including advice on selecting a design, incorporating data, and structuring a story. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to gains hands on experience using Piktochart, a free infographic app and presentation tool. Participants are encouraged to come to the workshop with an infographic topic in mind as well as data they would like to work with.

Understanding Bias: Evaluating News & Scholarly Sources

What makes a trustworthy source? Learn to wade through the various types of publications available to you as a researcher, and work to start identifying fallacies and viewpoints present in academic and journalistic writing. This hands-on workshop is a great introduction to analyzing the biases we encounter every day.

Digital Publishing with Scalar

Scalar is a dynamic cloud-based platform that allows users to build interactive, multi-media exhibits and publications. This workshop will introduce you the basics of building a Scalar 'book': You will learn how to upload text, images, and videos into Scalar; build pages in Scalar; connect Scalar paths to create a Scalar book; and generate visualizations in Scalar.

Learn more and register

Microbiome rRNA Amplicon Analysis Workshop


HPCBio is announcing a workshop for microbiome rRNA analysis that teaches bioinformatics skills to investigate amplicon sequencing data. This will be held September 29, October 6, October 13, and October 20 from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. each day.  This workshop first aims to familiarize attendees with basic Linux commands necessary to run microbiome analysis programs, and to give an introduction to amplicon design and sequencing. Attendees will then learn how to perform upstream (preprocessing, OTU picking, alignment & tree building) and downstream (diversity analyses, visualizations, & statistical methods) analyses while practicing on a provided amplicon sequencing dataset. 

Questions? E-mail

Writers Workshop Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Writing Groups

Thursday, September 14, 1 - 4 p.m. Undergraduate Library, room 251
Friday, September 15, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Undergraduate Library, room 251
Saturday, September 16, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Undergraduate Library, room 251

Want to meet your writing goals in a distraction-free setting? Join the Writer's Workshop for sustained writing in the company of your colleagues from across the disciplines. Each session will begin with a short conversation about goals and end with a wrap-up of accomplishments. Commit to a writing routine by regularly attending one of these groups.

These are productivity writing groups, whose main purpose is to provide structure and community for work that can sometimes feel structureless and isolating. It is ideal for graduate students seeking to create a writing routine, make progress and meet deadlines on long-term writing projects, or jump-start a new writing project. If you are seeking feedback on your writing, please make an appointment with a Writers Workshop consultant

Faculty and Staff Can Request Time on Blue Waters Supercomputer

Applications due September 15

Blue Waters is one of the world’s most powerful computing systems and is located here at Illinois. Each year more than 3 million node-hours are allocated to projects from our campus. Each node has many powerful cores, providing University faculty and staff significant computing power. Proposals are accepted twice per year, the next deadline September 15, 2017.

Consider serving on the Illinois Student Senate

The Illinois Student Senate (ISS) serves as the student government at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ISS addresses issues ranging from tackling sexual assault through the It's On Us program, to pushing for greater access to mental health resources, and advocating for greater diversity and inclusion around campus.

There are currently several open seats for graduate students. Any graduate student is welcome to apply. Graduate student senators represent graduate students and provide a voice on issue that affect graduate students. The time commitment is approximately two hours every Wednesday, as well as an additional one hour every month. ISS meets weekly on Wednesday nights and attend the Faculty Senate, which meets once a month.
To apply, complete the online form, which includes uploading a copy of your resume or CV. There is no deadline, rather applications are accepted as long as there are open seats. Applicants must be in good academic standing and demonstrate commitment to serving. If you have questions about ISS, contact Spencer Haydary at

Organizing Change Student Leadership Retreat

Saturday, October 7 - Sunday, October 8, Lake Williamson Retreat Center near Springfield, IL


Join University of Illinois students for the Organizing Change Retreat, a two-day, off-campus experience at the beautiful Lake Williamson Retreat Center. Transportation, lodging, and food are provided. This free, interactive retreat is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. You will learn practical concepts and skills about social change, identify what issues are important to you, network with fellow students, and consider how social change relates to your academics and future careers. Whether you are new to the exploration of social justice or are a seasoned activist, the Organizing Change Retreat welcomes you! For any questions, contact or call 217-244-1814.

Have Some Fun
Coffee Chat with Students with Families

Friday, September 15, 11 a.m. - noon, Starbucks at 1103 W. Oregon St., Urbana

Students with Families invites you to meet and mingle with other students who also are managing school and family life (raising children). Come take a break, eat, or have a cup of coffee. While most Students with Families events are open to children, this event is not. Questions? E-mail

Illinois Student Is a Chasing Genius Finalist

University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition PhD candidate Anna Waller is a finalist in the National Geographic Chasing Genius competition! Her project, F.A.C.T.: Fortified Amaranth and Cassava Technology for Improved Infant Nutrition in Liberia, is one of 15 finalists selected from nearly 3000 submissions. Vote for Anna's project once daily until voting closes on September 15. Good Luck, Anna, and thank you for your innovative ideas for meeting the needs of a hungry and growing population!


GradLinks is distributed weekly to graduate students and staff who work with graduate students. Please see our website for submission information

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in any of the programs or events listed in GradLINKS, please email the contact person for the event. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.