The number of doctoral degrees
awarded to U.S.
citizens and permanent residents in the
physical sciences is currently at a 40-year low. With 2.5
million job openings
science-related fields expected in the United States by 2014 (U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005) and stagnant levels of physical
science doctorates being awarded (National
for Education Statistics, 2006), understanding the issues faced by
graduate students in the sciences is of national interest.
Crossover: A Study of the Transition from Student to Scientist
aimed at uncovering the mechanisms by which physics and chemistry
graduate students transition from being consumers of knowledge to
producers of knowledge (i.e., scientists). This is a
mixed-methods study, involving over 120 30- to 120-minute interviews
with chemistry and physics faculty, graduate students, post-docs, and
other researchers; and two surveys mailed to over 17,000 individuals of
the same populations. The results of Project Crossover will
address many topics regarding graduate science education, including:
Research progress on these topics and many others can be followed on
the Project Crossover Research
- the influences of experiences prior to graduate
school on degree completion and student satisfaction,
- the impacts of the advisor-advisee relationship on
student attrition, satisfaction, and success,
- how research group dynamics influence graduate
- the impacts of race, gender, and family issues on
graduate student success in the physical sciences, and
- the relationship between of success (and how success
in science is defined) and satisfaction.