“The Center for Ideas and Society has created, and sustains, an environment for critical inquiry, collaboration, and scholarship. Their research funding, and support of graduate student working groups fosters stronger interdisciplinary and multi-campus collaboration…. The Center created an environment of inquiry, learning, and collaboration during my graduate studies at UCR.” ~Dr. Daisy Vargas (UCR History graduate, 2018)

From its earliest days, the Center for Ideas and Society has designed programs and opportunities that incorporate graduate students as scholars in their own right. As future faculty, graduate students need to build connections with a wide network of scholars but also need to find quality time to work on their own research. Through events, programs and workshops, the Center provides a rich interdisciplinary environment that welcomes graduate student contributions and participation. These experiences have a direct and positive impact on the students’ scholarship and professional development.

As an example, from 1990 onward, the Center’s Resident Fellowship Program provided stipends and office space for graduates who met regularly with faculty residents while completing projects related to their dissertation research.

“I cannot emphasize to you enough how helpful this experience has been for me in the advancement of my professional career.” ~Christopher Wise (Comparative Literature, graduate resident scholar, 1992)

“[T]he interaction with the fellows has been stimulating, enlightening and fun…I value the new connections I made with other participants.”  ~Cheryl Lambert (Comparative Literature, graduate resident scholar, 1993)

Major project grants at the Center, including the Ford and Rockefeller grants in the early 2000’s and the more recent Mellon Advancing Intercultural Studies grants, have continued the practice of underwriting graduate student participation in interdisciplinary faculty workgroups.

To help meet another important need for graduates – dissertation research support – the Center administers a college-funded research travel grant program. Over the past 10 years, this program has enabled over 130 students to conduct dissertation research in 24 countries and regions of the world, investing in a generation of rising humanities faculty.

In addition to awards for individual students, the Center provides sponsorship for conferences organized by and for graduates as well as for professional development opportunities like UC Grad Slam.

“I believe that the Center for Ideas and Society has served to advance research in the humanities at UCR, both by faculty and by the graduate students. It has served as a place where those of us in the humanities can all have a meeting of the minds, rather than being split off into our separate departments. It has also served as a way to run various programs of scholarly importance that cannot be easily run out of any department. Without the Center for Ideas and Society, intellectual life at UCR would be much diminished.”  ~Russell MacKenzie Fehr, PhD (UCR History graduate, 2016)

We would love to hear from former or current students who have been sponsored by our programs. Tell us about your experience!

~Student quotes cited from CIS Annual Reports (1990-93) and recent campus surveys.