Professional Development

Professor E. Mark Cummings meeting with a group of students in an office

Notre Dame Psychology is committed to the professional development of our students. Through the hands-on education of working alongside faculty in clinical and research settings, you will hone your skills as scholars and practitioners.

We have a graduate student professional development committee that hosts several career-preparation events annually, including information sessions on interview skills and overviews of the hiring processes.  

All graduate students are given a research budget that can be used to individualize their professional development. Students regularly use their funds to attend conferences and professional development workshops.

Alongside the Graduate School, our department also encourages applying for grant opportunities beyond Psychology. We have additional internal grants to support conference travel and networking opportunities. You are also encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Center for Career Development.

As a researcher and practitioner

As a graduate student in the Department of Psychology, you will work in one of our research labs or in clinical settings with our Psychological Services Center and other community mental health support centers. Through your lab work, you also have additional publication opportunities as research collaborators with the faculty.

Our faculty encourage collaboration on research projects, where younger students receive mentorship from faculty and more senior grad students. As members of our teams, you will be valuable partners. You will be given ample opportunity to also develop as leaders and teachers through the mentorship of other graduate students and undergraduate members of the laboratory teams.  

Many of our graduate students also participate in their research presentation groups, which offer a space to deliver research talks to hone their research communication skills. This is a great opportunity to prepare to give presentations, such as job talks, once you begin looking for your first faculty role.

As an instructor

You will also serve as a teaching assistant for at least two semesters as a part of your degree requirements. This will give you instructional experience under the leadership of experienced faculty who can guide you to further grow as an educator. You will also informally mentor and teach other students in your research lab and support the learning of graduate and undergraduate students as they join the team. 

All graduate students also have access to the Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence, which offers additional training on pedagogy and instructional best practices for future and current faculty members. 

Professional Development & Research Funds 


The department annually provides limited funds for current graduate students to attend and present at conferences. The policy for using departmental funds is the same as for using discretionary funds. These funds are meant to support professional development activities and can be used on expenses such as professional memberships, conference registration fees, conference lodging, conference meals, and conference travel arrangements if a student is an author or co-author on a conference presentation, participating in a workshop, or presenting a poster. These funds are not to be used to directly support student research by paying participants or purchasing books and computer equipment. For questions about graduate student travel funds, please contact Tammy Kaczor, the Graduate Studies Coordinator at (574) 631-6659.