Equity in Graduate Education Research

High-quality research is integral to understanding barriers to equity, developing inclusive practices, and facilitating institutional change. We conduct rigorous research inspired by community needs to advance knowledge. We also synthesize and translate existing research into guides, tools, workshops, and other accessible formats.

Current Projects

Bringing together social scientists and disciplinary-based education researchers maintains a high level of theoretical & methodological rigor while ensuring relevance of the work for the scientific community.

We are a diverse, multi-generational hub committed to research with and for equity in graduate and postdoctoral education.

Our work spans issues affecting entry into graduate education through students' transition to postdoctoral positions.

Our Recent Publications

Publications from members of our community include peer-reviewed research, books and monographs, conference proceedings, & commentaries for wider audiences.

Books & Monographs

Posselt, J. (2020). Equity in Science: Representation, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change in Graduate Education. Stanford University Press.
Posselt, J.R., Hernandez, T. E., Villarreal, C. D., Rodgers, A. J., & Irwin, L. N. (2020). Evaluation and Decision Making in Higher Education: Toward Equitable Repertoires of Faculty Practice. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research: Volume 35, 1-63.
Kezar, A., & Posselt, J. (Eds.). (2019). Higher Education Administration for Social Justice and Equity: Critical Perspectives for Leadership. Routledge.

Journal articles

Posselt, J. R., Hernandez, T. E., Cochran, G. L., & Miller, C. W. (2019). Metrics first, diversity later: Making the short list and getting admitted to physics PhD programs. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 25(4).
Miller, C. W., B. M. Zwickl, Posselt, J. R., Silvestrini, R. T., and Hodapp T. (2019). Typical physics Ph.D. admissions criteria limit access to underrepresented groups but fail to predict doctoral completion. Science Advances. 5 (1).
Liera, R. (2019). Moving Beyond a Culture of Niceness in Faculty Hiring to Advance Racial Equity. American Educational Research Journal 57 (5).

Proceedings & Commentary

Owens, L., Zwickl, B., Franklin, S. and Miller, C. (2020). Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants. Physics Education Research Conference, 382-387.
Rudolph, A. L., Holley-Bockelmann, K., & Posselt, J. (2019). PhD bridge programmes as engines for access, diversity and inclusion. Nature Astronomy, 1-6.
Owens, O., Zwickl, B., Franklin, S. & Miller, C. (2019) Identifying qualities of physics graduate students valued by faculty. PERC Proceedings [Provo, UT, July 24-25, 2019]

Research-based Guides & Tools

These resources distill theory and evidence to inform universities, disciplinary societies, and their members about effective practices and change strategies they can promote.

Hiring Brief.pdf

This research brief explores employment trends, policies, and scholarly research about postdoctoral hiring and equity issues in STEM.

Letter of Recommendation Resources.pdf

In order to ensure that letters of recommendation are effective tools for enhancing equity, we must critically assess how we write, read, and solicit letters of recommendation.


The importance of effectively and authentically communicating with students; Educating oneself on systemic racial inequities; Initial steps and recommendations for communicating with and supporting Black students

COVID Webinar Report.pdf

Guidance for an equitable, empathetic approach to graduate recruitment & admissions in COVID-19; Actions the graduate education community are taking; Questions for administrators & faculty to ask themselves

Resources for Wellbeing.pdf

Mental health and wellness; Meditation and mindfulness; Self-care; Managing stress; Resisting the fallacy of unworthiness; Suggested scholarly readings

Through research-practice partnerships with universities, disciplinary societies, and their members, our resources build capacity to equitably select and educate the next generation of American scholars.