Where We Are Now: Grad Student Resources and Support

By Hillary Jenks |

It’s the start of our collective quarter in quarantine, and none of us really knows what to expect. Some of us are trying to find a respectable corner at home from which to Zoom a discussion section; others are having to rethink research projects that require supplies or travel that the COVID-19 pandemic has now put out of reach. This unprecedented situation requires a lot of adjustment on a very short time scale – you’re not alone if you’re struggling to find your footing.

But you don’t have to find it alone! The GradSuccess team is still at work (just at home, so with more cats and fewer ergonomic chairs) and still here to offer you community, mentorship, help with online teaching, writing and quantitative support, and professional development on a variety of virtual platforms. Read on to find out all the ways you can connect with us as we all do our part to flatten the curve.


[Image Description: An animated cat sitting on a drafting table writes before holding up a sheet of blueprints.]

Pictured: Our pets, getting into the work-from-home groove 


Consultations, drop-in hours, and workshops will continue as scheduled through Skype (consultations) and Zoom (drop-in hours and workshops), respectively. All workshops will also be recorded and available on the GradQuant website for viewing at a later date. The spring workshops schedule and information on how to access GradQuant on Skype and Zoom are available on the GradQuant website.     


Graduate Writing Center

Spring writing consultations will all be conducted over Skype, and you can also participate in writing center workshops via Zoom (sign up for both online, and get links to join the workshops). We’ll also be offering a Digital Graduate Writers’ Room every Tuesday afternoon from 1-3pm, with goal setting, 90 minutes of dedicated writing, and an accountability check-in.


[Image Description: A man sitting with his laptop at a desk, tapping his hands on the laptop but not typing, as he says, "This is good."]

Pictured: You, after joining the Digital Writers' Room 


Teaching Assistant Support

Maybe you’ve taught online before; maybe this is your first time leading a lab or section remotely. Whatever challenges or questions you’re encountering, the TADP team is here to help! John, Sarah, and Antara have weekly online office hours where they can walk you through issues with Zoom and iLearn, and you can also  sign up for their April 20th workshop on online teaching (yes, we’ll record it for you to watch later if you’re not available then).


Harry Potter background


[Image Description: William H. Grover standing in front of a background of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Text reads: A pro tip for my fellow professors plugging  into online education: Zoom lets you select a "virtual background." I'm looking forward to lecturing at Hogwarts with spring.]

Pictured: Education. It's magical 


You can learn about more tips, tricks, and upcoming webinars on the TADP Resources page and the UCR Keep Teaching page. And if you’re struggling with Internet access issues, you can request a hotspot through ServiceLink – just make sure you notify the CFAO or chair of your hiring department about your request so they can confirm it with ITS.

We’ll be holding a remote version of our annual Teaching Development Day on May 15th – follow us on social media and keep an eye on the R'Grad Weekly emails for more information and to be notified when registration opens! 


Mentorship and Community

Graduate school can be isolating enough without adding social distancing into the mix. Stay connected to the campus, to your research, and your fellow students through our virtual events! We’ll continue our weekly coffee socials at the same date/time (Wednesdays 3-4pm) – while you have to bring your own coffee, GradSuccess will provide information, support, and a few opportunity drawing prizes for participants too. Stay tuned for additional social events and support webinars we’re adding to the calendar for spring.

If you’d prefer one-on-one support, you can reach out to the GradSuccess team during our weekly Grad-to-Grad Support Hours; the Director also has office hours every Thursday, 2-4pm, and can answer questions and connect you to resources.


[Image Description: A firefighter takes tells a man, "We got you, fam."]

Pictured: GradSuccess, reaching out


If you have any questions on how employment, forms, deadlines, etc will work during the campus closure, check out the FAQs on the Graduate Division website. You can get updates on other student services online as well, including the library, CAPS, and the R’Pantry.  

[Image Description: A white bear with a flashing blue heart.]

Pictured: Support. Know that you have ours.