Directors of graduate studies and department chairs from 74 physics departments convened at the American Center for Physics from January 31 to February 2, 2013 for the second conference on graduate education in physics. They were joined by representatives from industry, national laboratories, and professional societies (including a European representative), and 11 graduate student leaders. The meeting, which followed up the 2008 graduate education conference, was organized by the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) with partial National Science Foundation (NSF) funding. Attendees shared best practices and discussed how to spur innovation and creativity to improve graduate education in physics and address challenges and opportunities facing the discipline.
- Increasing efforts to recruit diverse students
- Developing flexible admission criteria and exam structures
- Building bridge programs of the type that APS is developing,
- Establishing cohorts with a critical mass of underrepresented students,
- Employing research-based curricula and pedagogies in introductory courses,
- Providing effective mentoring and monitoring of student progress (including training faculty in these skills),
- Adding family-friendly policies to graduate programs
- Providing resources and support for all students.
- Developing a department identity
- Adding flexibility to the curriculum
- Teaching students a wide range of professional skills, including oral and written communication, networking, program management, leadership, and the ability to work on and lead teams
- Engaging department alumni working outside of academia