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Graduate Student Resources

CLA supports PhD graduates seeking non-academic careers

The leadership of the College of Liberal arts is committed to ensuring that each CLA PhD graduate finds a job that is professionally rewarding, intellectually stimulating, and paid commensurate with the qualifications and abilities of the candidate. However, this goal cannot be met solely by focusing on the academic market. The academic market for humanities and social sciences has been compressing for decades due to demographic shifts and topical interest. We need to start looking more at non-academic jobs for PhDs and to imagine career paths outside academia.

The College is engaged in a campaign to increase the number of PhD graduates that find within three years of their successful dissertation defense stable and satisfying jobs. The campaign will include on campus job-hunting workshops, career fairs, alumni networking events and direct job-seeking counseling and support. To the end, we present below a toolkit of resources with instructions as to how to use them. If you need more information, please contact Dr. Amruta Inamdar, Career Services Consultant, Amanda Garman, CLA career services expert, or Dr. Sorin Adam Matei, the Associate Dean of Graduate Education. Core job searching tools for identifying non-academic jobs.

This list was shared with CLA by Dr. Inamdar.

1. ImaginePhD

2. VersatilePhD

3. Purdue CCO

4. AHA & MLA (exemplary work on career development for grad students)


ImaginePhD: This is a free, public access resource developed by the Graduate Career Consortium (GCC) to help students from the Humanities and Social Sciences with their career development. As an aside: the MLA and the AHA send professional staff to the annual GCC meetings!


Versatile PhD: This is a subscription-only resource, and the oldest such resource for all PhD-seeking students. VPHD contact: Todd Maurer at


Purdue Center for Career Opportunities: We offer one-on-one (walk-in advising & appointments) and group services (workshops) for all students and alumni on all career-related topics: document reviews (CVs, resumes, cover letters, teaching philosophy-research-diversity statements for TT applications, SOPs for grad school applications), PhD career exploration groups; career exploration appointments, mock interviews, job search assistance, and negotiation training among others. We also offer digital resources to help students with career tools such as resumes (e.g. VMock and interview practice (e.g. Big Interview


The Data Dashboard shows the First Destination Survey outcomes collected by CCO staff; we are very keen on partnering with you to collect outcomes data for your grad students. We have a robust data collection system, and can train your staff to use it to gather data. Purdue-CCO contact for graduate students: Amruta Inamdar General CCO contact: 


The American Historical Association (AHA) has been at the forefront of career diversity for the Humanities, and the Modern Language Association (MLA) is a close second. Both associations have been awarded Mellon grants to invest in career diversity resources, training and funding for members. Some grant-seekers (depts/faculty) are particularly competitive when they partner with Career Services offices; some grants may require partnership. AHA contact: Dylan Ruediger at and MLA contact: Brian DeGrazia at


* Useful links on AHA page: (especially check the Featured Career Resources)



* Useful links on MLA page: From this page, I would highlight AAAS reports/research on Humanities in the Workforce:

* Two-part blogposts on the PhD Employment Problem, though they are based on data up to 2011: and Connected Academics:


Purdue Incentive Grants

College of Liberal Arts graduate students can earn up to $250 from the Purdue Graduate School when you meet all eligibility requirements and submit proof that you applied for an eligible national fellowship like the NSF, NDSEG, or DOE fellowships. Learn more about Purdue’s Incentive Grant HERE.

About the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP)

*Eligibility is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only

The Purdue Fellowship Office provides workshops, webinars, and writing coaching for the NSF GRFP as well as other graduate fellowships. Students are encouraged to attend the grantsmanship sessions posted for registration at the following URL: 

Students are also encouraged to check out the Fellowship Office webpage at the URL below for resources.



External Fellowships

There are a wide variety of fellowships available to CLA graduate students. Typically, these fellowships fund student research either within or outside of the university.  You can find information about all available fellowships here.

NSF Fellowship Workshop

CLA provided faculty-driven workshops in the past, focused on the process of applying to NSF, GRFP, & DDRIG fellowships and grants, tailored specifically to those in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The PowerPoint presentations accessible at the links provided below serve as guides for those who intend to apply for the NSF (National Science Foundation) GRFP (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) or DDRIG (Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant).  The presentations detail the ‘how’s’ of applying, from grant-writing to the review process.

Research Resources

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Purdue has developed its own statement regarding honesty and integrity of research endeavors.  The graduate school recommends attending workshops, online training/modules, and becoming familiar with college and departmental standards of RCR.  Links to register for RCR workshops are also included.


This PDF introduces NVivo data analysis software – a tools for any discipline within the College of Liberal Arts.  NVivo serves as a resource for qualitative and mixed methods research, including data visualization & report creation from coding of your research.  This software is freely available to all of those at Purdue.  This powerpoint presentation provides a tutorial on how to begin using NVivo:


Graduate Education Initiatives