March 25, 2024 D.C. Area Weekly Newsletter for Virginia Tech Graduate Students

March 25, 2024

Welcome to the Virginia Tech Graduate School’s D.C. Area weekly newsletter for graduate students. We share events, services, administrative announcements, and job opportunities.

This week is Virginia Tech Graduate Education Week, during which we honor our graduate students and their work. This year’s theme: What’s your superpower?

The newsletter is published on Mondays. When the university is closed for a holiday on Monday, the newsletter will be emailed on Tuesday.

You’ll find posts under the following headings:

  • This Week’s Events and Activities
  • Administrative Announcements
  • Job Opportunities
  • External Funding Opportunities
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteers and research participants sought
  • Ongoing Services

This Week’s Events and Activities


Monday, March 25, 7 p.m., Virtual (Zoom)

This event is part of Graduate Education week. Learn what the Graduate School looks for when they review your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) for formatting and receive tips on how to prepare your ETDs for submission so that they are quickly approved. Please register:


Tuesday, March 26, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Virtual (Zoom)

This workshop, led by Career and Professional Development, identifies factors involved in career decisions and provides information on appropriate negotiating behaviors. Participants will also learn about follow-up practices for accepting or declining a job offer. Additionally, the session introduces web-based tools for determining cost of living and salary ranges. Learn more and register here:


Wednesday, March 278 a.m.-7 p.m., Graduate Life Center on the Blacksburg campus.

The symposium theme is Horizons of Tomorrow: Innovation, Diversity, Collaboration, and Advancement. More information about the symposium and the events can be found on the GPSS website:

Contact the co-chairs with any questions: jennphill@vt.ed, and


Wednesday, March 27, 6 p.m., Virtual (Zoom)

Learn how to navigate the iThenticate software, submit a document for review, and evaluate flagged passages for revision or exclusion at this session for graduate students and faculty. iThenticate is a software system that reviews the originality of documents, ensures accurate attribution to other authors and eliminates occurrences of potential plagiarism. Register here:


Thursday, March 28, 1-2 p.m., Virtual

The Women in Industrial and Systems Engineering (WISE) community at Virginia Tech cordially invites you to attend another Methodological Approach to Dissertations (MAD) workshop focusing on laying the foundation for your research—specifically, formulating the scientific apparatus. Topics will include defining a scientific problem, selecting a research object, and establishing research objectives. These insights will assist you in creating a step-by-step plan for conducting research, drafting articles, and ultimately compiling your dissertation. 

Meeting ID: 871 3726 7296 Passcode: 339634

Administrative Announcements


The Graduate School salutes Virginia Tech’s outstanding graduate students, graduate advisors, and graduate and research faculty and staff for their contributions to quality graduate education. Graduate education week highlights the importance of graduate education; increases the university community’s awareness of the contributions of graduate students to teaching, research and service; and enhances the graduate student experience through professional development programs and celebratory events. This year’s theme: What’s your superpower? Visit the Graduate Education Week website to learn about all of the events happening during this exciting week:


Additional information will be shared with domestic, international, and graduate student populations prior to the beginning of open enrollment. For more information:, or you can view FAQs which detail the impacts for students here: For additional questions, please contact


Virginia Tech Sustainable Transportation would appreciate your feedback in our U-Pass Program survey. This survey is only for students who were eligible for U-Pass at some point this academic year. The survey addresses satisfaction, usage, and communication surrounding the program and Virginia Tech’s launch of it. It should only take about 5 minutes to complete.
All responses will remain confidential and secure. Thank you in advance for your valuable insights. Your input will be used to ensure that we continue to meet your needs. We appreciate your trust and look forward to serving you in the future. Contact with any questions.

Please use the link to complete the survey:


In addition to Cook Counseling Center resources for DC Metro Area graduate students, there are also excellent Timely Care resources that are available to all DC Metro Area graduate students, staff, and faculty (flyer attached).  Timely Care is a free Virtual Health Service for all Graduate Students at Virginia Tech:

With Timely Care, students (and staff and faculty) can download the app, and can get free, 24/7 virtual health and well-being support from a variety of providers.  Timely Care resources include 12 scheduled counseling sessions, unlimited Talk Now urgent counseling sessions, and unlimited Health Coaching sessions.  Translators in many different languages are also available for these services. For any questions, please contact Julie Kaplan, PhD, at


Deadline: April 15

Graduate students can apply to serve on the Public and Visual Arts Council, whose work helps to uplift the university as a global destination for creativity and the arts. This is a volunteer position and terms are for one year beginning July 1, 2024, with the option to renew. To be considered as a graduate student representative, please apply by Monday, April 15. Apply here:


Deadline: April 5

The Graduate School is seeking 1-2 graduate student speakers for the Spring 2024 Graduate Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 8, 10:00am, at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia. The speeches are modeled after the talks at the Center for Communicating Science’s Nutshell Games, with individual speeches lasting about 90 seconds. Student speakers share a brief experience of their own that depicts graduate student life as they experience(d) it. Students at all campuses may apply; speakers must give their speech in-person in Blacksburg at commencement on May 8. If you are interested in being considered for this role, please complete this form by Friday, April 5, 2024:


As part of the university’s changes to Google services, Google Shared Drives that have not been claimed by a department — including those managed solely by students — will be deleted starting April 3. It is highly recommended that you download a copy of any files/folders you wish to keep from your Shared Drives. If you are a member of a Shared Drive that a university department needs to maintain, please contact the faculty or staff member most-closely connected to the contents of the drive to discuss how that drive should be managed. For more information, visit


The Graduate Admissions and Advancement team has transitioned its advising appointment scheduling for graduate students to Navigate for students in the D.C. Metro Area. The Graduate School staff can be reached for In Person and Virtual Appointments to discuss various topics under admissions and academic progress. Students should use our webpage to access the link to schedule appointments directly and select Northern Virginia for an advising appointment and select the service needed. Visit this site to schedule an appointment via Navigate:


The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network is offering events this spring focused on exploring careers inside and outside academia. April workshops include “Exploring Teaching Careers at Teaching Intensive Universities with CIRTL Alumni,” “Exploring Non-faculty Careers in Academia with CIRTL Alumni,” “Careers Outside of Higher Education,” and “Exploring Careers Outside Academia with CIRTL Alumni.” You can find the full CIRTL Network event schedule, including descriptions and registration information, at The events are offered online and at no cost. If you have questions about CIRTL at Virginia Tech, email

Job Opportunities

          No job postings at this time.

Funding Opportunities

All external funding opportunities that we are aware of can be found here:

15. National Institute of Justice Graduate Research Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

Deadlines: April 10 and 17

NIJ’s Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program supports doctoral research with relevance to criminal or juvenile justice in the United States. This includes criminology, forensic science, technology for law enforcement, and more. Applications from all science and engineering fields are welcome.

Students must be enrolled full time in a Ph.D. program in a science or engineering field and propose dissertation research relevant to improving criminal or juvenile justice practice or policy in the United States. Applications are submitted by the university, which must be an accredited academic institution in the United States or its territories. The fellowship provides up to three years of support within a five-year period and includes:

  • $41,000/year student salary
  • $16,000/year cost of education allowance
  • $3,000/year research expenses

To learn more and see profiles of past and present GRF fellows, visit

The deadline is April 10 and the JustGrants deadline is April 17, 2024.


Deadline: May 1.

In combination with the Cunningham Doctoral Scholarship and the Graduate School Annual Fund, we are delighted to announce the availability of summer fellowships in the amount of $7,500 each. This supplement will be awarded as a lump sum fellowship (see note below) at the beginning of the summer. This is a one-time award, cannot be renewed, and is awarded without the expectation of any additional work on your part. Awardees must be current Ph.D. students who are working on their dissertations during the summer months. This award cannot be combined with other Virginia Tech funding sources. Priority will be given to those toward the end of their program. Financial need will be considered as a secondary factor.

Applications will be accepted until May 1. Awards will be announced soon thereafter. For more information and to apply, use this form:

NOTE: Fellowships are not considered employment. No taxes are withheld and you will not receive a W2 form at the end of the year. Fellowships will show on your 1098-T from the university and may have to be reported to the IRS on your 1040 form. However, different tax rules apply to international students. For them, the university is required to collect taxes on the fellowship and to report those amounts at year-end to the IRS on form 1042S. For more information, see IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education.


Deadline: May 1.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is accepting applications for the 2024 solicitation 1 cycle for its Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. Applications are due on Wednesday, May 1, at 5 p.m. ET.

The award program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE’s Office of Science.

The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory or facility in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. The goal of the program is to prepare graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the mission of DOE’s Office of Science. Supplemental awards are intended to cover incremental costs associated with living and travel expenses during the award period.

An application assistance workshop on Zoom is available to assist students on Saturday, April 20, 2-4:30 p.m. The workshop will guide attendees through the application process, answer general questions, provide guidance on proposal writing, and feature discussions with scientists and former awardees; register here:

More information on the SCGSR program can be found at by visiting the SCGSR program website: You’ll also find information on this webpage:

Upcoming Events


Wednesday, April 3, 1-2 p.m., Northern Virginia Center room 200

The Graduate School and Cook Counseling Center will hold a Wellness Wednesday eent for students in the Washington, D.C. metro area. This program will focus on transitions from graduate school to the job search and to starting a new job, and also will focus on self-care during these transitions.  Join us for this event, and for pizza and drinks for graduate students.

19. D.C. Area Grad Fair

Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4, 1-7 p.m., Northern Virginia Center, Falls Church

Join the Graduate School at the Northern Virginia Center for a mini-Grad Fair featuring the HokieShop, workshops with the Cook Counseling Center, the Cranwell International Center, and the Office of Career and Professional Development, opportunities to get a professional headshot and more Check the calendar for all event details:


Friday, April 5, 2-3:30 p.m., Virginia Tech Research Center-Arlington, Foggy Bottom classroom, and Virtual

You don’t hear this enough: you’re amazing. This workshop will be a fantastic opportunity to focus on what’s right with you – the things that don’t need to be fixed, or what you might consider your superpowers. Learn more about what your Top 5 Gallup Clifton Strengths mean individually and collectively for you and the people around you. Identify how your Strengths can and do show up in the decisions you make, in the interactions you have with others, and in other situations big and small. Plan how you can use your Strengths more intentionally for success and fulfillment both personally and professionally. Participants must complete the Gallup Clifton Strengths Assessment before the workshop.
Registration is required. Registration link:


Friday, April 19, 2-4 p.m., Virtual (Zoom)

Learn how to use some of the principles of Crucial Conversations’ Model for Mastering Dialogue to embrace difficult situations in ways that strengthen relationships and improve results. In addition, we will begin to explore how an understanding of our Clifton Strengths can help us gain a common language that allows us to express how we work, what we value, and where we excel. Using this common language, we can also begin to appreciate our and our team members’ unique contributions to the team. With a new understanding of the benefits of constructive conflict, we will discuss ways to continue building on the knowledge and skills presented during this training because we understand that no single learning event can accomplish everything, and development is a journey. Register here:

Volunteers and research participants sought


The Relationship Experiences Strengths and Strains (REST) Lab is recruiting men who were raised by single mothers to participate in 1.5-2 hour interviews about their lived experiences, definitions of masculinity, and how personal experiences shaped masculine identities.

Participants must identify as a man who was raised by a single mother without a residential father figure (biological, step, adoptive, etc.) and be willing to complete a 1.5-2 hour long qualitative interview. Compensation, if applicable, will be a $25 Amazon gift card. More details and application information can be found here:

Ongoing Services 

  • GRADUATE SCHOOL IN THE GREATER WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA: Schedule an in-person or virtual advising appointment with a Graduate School Academic Progress and Admissions advisor at or send your questions to Offices are located on the fourth floor of the Northern Virginia Center (NVC) in Falls Church. Drop-in hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-11 a.m. and 3-4:30 p.m. No appointment needed to meet with an advisor for Drop-In hours.
  • COOK COUNSELING: Schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with the Northern Virginia Embedded Counselor, Julie Kaplan, Ph.D. by emailing or calling 703-635-9957. After hours support can be found by calling 540-231-6557 or visiting
  • SERENITY SPACE: The Cook Counseling Center has created the Serenity Space at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church (NVC) in room 489, a peaceful, calm space for all graduate students to use, to take a break in the day, and to de-stress.  All students can use this room 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.  

Please contact Julie Kaplan, Ph.D., at, if you have any questions related to this space. 

  • CRANWELL INTERNATIONAL CENTER: Schedule an appointment by emailing or calling 540-231-6527.

  • GRADUATE OMBUDSPERSON: The ombudsperson provides information about institutional policies and works to help individuals effectively navigate conflicts through informal, confidential conversations.  Contact for a virtual appointment at or call 540-231-9573.

  • AFFINITY GROUPS: The affinity groups are:
  • Asian Affinity Group
    Black Affinity Group
    First-Generation Affinity Group
    GRAD Parents Affinity Group
    Latinx Affinity Group
    Veterans Affinity Group
    Women in TECH Affinity Group
  • Join an affinity group here: For more information, contact Dr. Hayes at
  • NORTHERN VIRGINIA RESOURCE CENTER LIBRARY: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, Closed.
  • HOKIE ONE STOP: Online links to additional resources and services available to graduate students in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area and Northern Virginia campuses.
  • WRITING CENTER: Virginia Tech Libraries house The Writing Center, a free service for all students, faculty, and staff at the university. The center offers real-time, face-to-face online synchronous sessions as well as online asynchronous sessions. For more information:

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Have a great week!