One of the keys to success in graduate school is cascading mentorship, where students get help and advice from near-peers (more senior graduate students) as well as from faculty. In the cascading mentorship groups below, students meet weekly to help each other with research planning, academic writing, presentation skills, and the art of staying sane and healthy in graduate school. (For more on our writing group model, check out this book and this study.) The groups listed below are currently active. Click on any group name to learn more.
This space is meant as a supportive peer-mentorship environment for Latinx/Latines graduate students from humanities, arts, Chicanx/Latinx studies, social sciences and education departments who want to advance their academic writing goals. This group is also open to non-Latinx students whose research and work is strongly tied to the Latinx, Latines and broader Spanish speaking world. This is a multilingual space in which Spanish, English and Spanglish will be used interchangeably. Our aim is to build an inclusive and supportive community for all who are looking for writing accountability and to build strategies for tackling daily writing challenges and navigating the hidden curriculum of academia. We aim to encourage everyone to write more, publish more and apply to more opportunities (fellowships, internships, conferences, grants, jobs, postdocs, etc).
Meetings Times:Tuesdays 12:30-2:30 pm (Via Zoom)Fridays 12:00- 2:00 pm (Via Zoom)
Jessica Gonzalez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jeanie Toscano (email@example.com)
Morning and International Quiet Writing Time
Welcoming all those who need an incentive to get out of bed a bit earlier, or working from other parts of the world and need a workshop that works with you. We are a welcoming, inclusive group of individuals trying to survive through graduate school, recognizing how difficult it is to do so without a strong support of our peers. We devote time to working together, having a support mechanism through check-ins and writing logs, providing feedback, and thinking together about obstacles in grad school and writing. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join.
Social Sciences and Humanities Writing Group
This is an interdisciplinary and multi-methods writing group. Members of this group conduct both qualitative and quantitative research in the social sciences and humanities. What unites us all is our desire for a supportive space in the writing process! Each meeting begins with discussions and planning on writing objectives, followed by silent writing time using the pomodoro method. Group members learn about different tools to improve writing practices and enhance accountability. This is also a space to provide each other with feedback on fellowship applications and papers in progress for publication. This group meets on Wednesdays from 3-5 PM and has an informal social get together every other Monday from 12:30-2 PM. Contact Caroline Martinez (email@example.com) for more information.
COGNITIVE SCIENCES GROUPS (SOC SCI)
We are Group Theory, a Cascade Mentoring group within the Cognitive Sciences Department at UC Irvine. We are not some obtuse branch of mathematics, but rather a rag-tag group of cognitive science doctoral students, helping one-another to successfully meander and bushwhack our way through our PhDs. This is the second quarter of our existence, and our group aim is to provide a supportive environment in which to help one another grow, collaborate, work together, and most importantly, to have a good time! Right now we meet weekly on Fridays from 3-5, though this day and time may change in the future. We use this time to check in, cover some skills, and have quiet work time together. Additionally, we meet Mondays from 3-6, when we engage in quiet work time together, and generally chat each other up.
We are accepting new members, so free to email the Cascade Group Mentor, Andrew Hansen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"They must be stopped!" - Time Magazine
"Who do they think they are?" - Southern Living
Our group consists of 10 Cog Sci students, ranging from 5th years to 1st years. Our members hail from Aaron Bornstein, Mimi Liljeholm, Michael Lee, Jeff Rouder, Alyssa Brewer, and Barbara Sarnecka's labs, so we have a wide range of research interests including social reasoning, category learning, developmental psychology, sequential decision making, wisdom of the crowd, and Bayesian methods. We are focused primarily on quiet writing time and checking in. We will also do the feedback forum and occasionally cover some material from Barbara's book as needed.
For more information, contact Jeff Coon ( email@example.com, Quantitative Quality I) or Paulina Silva (firstname.lastname@example.org, Quantitative Quality II).
Writing and Wellness
We are a community of Social Sciences PhD students spanning years one through five. While our academic backgrounds and research interests vary, our collective goal is to become better science communicators while prioritizing our physical and mental well-being throughout graduate school and beyond. For our fall 2022 inaugural term, our group aim is to discuss effective writing strategies, provide constructive feedback on drafts, support healthy writing practices through accountability, and most importantly, establish physical and mental wellness so that we can be our best self. This is a positive space to voice and discuss all concerns, experiences, and obstacles. We use our meeting times to check in, chat about helpful skills, write together, and partake in a feedback forum. We are open to Zoom meetings, but safe, in-person gatherings often come with snacks! We are accepting new members. Email the group mentor, Tiffany Raber, at email@example.com with any questions. “Nothing in science has any value if it is not communicated.” – Anne Roe
ENGLISH GROUPS (HUMANITIES)
Mundanities of Humanities
Mundanities of Humanity is a humanities-heavy, but not humanities-limited group that focuses on balancing graduate well-being with graduate studies. Our six members in years 4-6 of our PhD programs try to provide support for the mundane, including the everyday plights of graduate students, those who have moved without support systems, those who feel isolated and confused in the department etc. We strongly believe that graduate work is only possible when the person is taken care of, and we strive to provide that balance. Everyone is welcome, and we meet once a week via Zoom to study together, with in-person meetings added as needed and is deemed safe. Please contact Jung Soo Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org to join or for any questions.
HISTORY GROUPS (HUMANITIES)
History Cascading Mentorship Writing Group (HCMWG)
Hi! We are HCMWG – history PhD candidates deeply interested in advancing our doctoral research and writing skills in order to graduate on time! Our areas of interest include colonial and modern India, imperial Japan in the twentieth century, and independent and American controlled Hawai’i. Our dissertations include race, class, gender, and indigenous studies as well as global and intellectual
history. Some of us also work on anticolonialism, performative history, and history of trauma.
At the moment, we meet every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 pm to 10 pm Pacific time. We have members all over the world and we want to include you as well! Our main goals for every week are quiet writing time and feedback forum. We also have a general discussion on topics that affect historians in the making. However, most of our meetings are dedicated to writing and reviewing each other’s work! If you are interested in getting historical writing done, look no further and come join us!
Group Leader: Chris Chacon
Group Leader Email: email@example.com
LANGUAGE SCIENCES GROUPS (SOC SCI)
Language Science Huddle
Hi :) We are the langsci huddle, a group of eight students doing language science-related research (everything from computational modeling of syntax acquisition, to corpus studies of cross-linguistic adjective use, to experiments on interpretations in context, and lots more). We meet in person twice a week. Our goals are to provide everyday writing and social support to each other in order to boost each other’s well-being, combat graduate student isolation, write more and write better.
Group leader: Noa Attali (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PHILOSOPHY & LPS GROUPS (HUMANITIES/SOC SCI)
Formal Philosophy Writing Group
We are a group of eight Logic & Philosophy doctoral students in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th years of the doctoral program. We definitely accept new members, but folks should be aware that we are a specialized group. Our group caters to people doing relatively technical philosophy of science or logic research. Areas include formal epistemology, decision theory, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of physics. We meet Tuesdays and Fridays 12-2pm. We mainly focus on time for writing. We also do a check-in at each meeting, and do a feedback forum session about once every two weeks. Occasionally we will put aside some time to build skills or discuss questions anyone might have. We also usually do brunch after our Friday meeting, which is a lot of fun. For more information, contact group leader Daniel Herrmann at email@example.com.
PhilosylvaniaWe are a group of graduate students in the Logic and Philosophy of Science department. We span various years in the program from third year to sixth year. We write together to keep one another accountable and help with any hurdles that we face in the writing process. We also regularly hold feedback forum sessions to receive feedback on our writing from one another. Our meetings mainly consist of Quiet Writing Time and quick (15 minute) check-ins. For more information, please contact Helen Meskhidze (firstname.lastname@example.org).
POLITICAL SCIENCE GROUPS (SOC SCI)
To write or … to write!
Our group consists of five PhD students in Political Science (1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th year) and Global Studies (2nd year). We conduct both quantitative and qualitative research. Our research topics are electoral engineering, electoral reform, democratization, political violence, immigration, and nation states and nationalism. We have members from the Political Science subfields of comparative politics, American politics, and international relations. The geographical emphasis of each group member is different, with members studying the Middle East, the United States, and Western Europe. We meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 PM. Each meeting starts with one hour of quiet writing time at each meeting, followed by15 to 30 minutes check-in, and 30 to 45 minutes feedback forum. In weeks we do not have anyone who signed up for the feedback forum, we work on writing skills and research planning. For more information, please contact the group leader, Ugurcan (Jon) Evci, email@example.com
Center for the Study of Democracy Writing Group
We are a multi-methods writing group. Most of our member are in some way interested in American politics but some are comparativists. We meet form 2:00 pm to 4:00pm every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Members come when it fits into their schedule to come. Our meetings are traditionally pomodoro style with 45 min writing intervals and 10 min breaks We usually do feedback form of Friday but schedule more in if there is need. Email Kyle McWagner at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
Political Psychology Writing GroupOur writing group is comprised of Political Science PhD students, however we are open to students in all academic disciplines and welcome new members! We meet informally to discuss our writing, get feedback and support from each other, and have a sounding board to check in with each other on all things associated with "grad life" (the good, the bad, and the ugly!). Feel free to reach out if you want to join a group or just want to do a "trial run" to see what it's about and if joining a writing group might help you conceptualize your goals and support you in your academic journey!
Feel free to email me, Monica De Roche, directly at email@example.com for more information!
SOCIOLOGY GROUPS (SOC SCI)
Sociology Writing Workshop
We are a group of Sociology Ph.D. students who are helping each other stay accountable to our weekly writing goals! Our group members employ a diverse set of methodologies and substantive interests, but all share a similar emphasis on gender, the family, education and work. In total, our group incudes six sociology graduate students from traditionally underserved backgrounds (first generation and/or underrepresented minorities). We currently meet weekly for two hours. Usually, we begin by touching base about our writing goals, then quiet writing time, followed by a 10-minute check-in before we end. However, we try to stay flexible to allow time for personal check-ins, questions, and advice. For more information, email MacKenzie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Weekly Working Support Group
We are a small group of sociology Ph.D. students from various stages in their program who study issues relating to gender, sexuality, education, family, and inequality. We meet weekly on Zoom for two hours on Thursdays from 11 am to 2 pm (PT). We begin each meeting with check-ins. We write in blocks of 30 mins, take short breaks, and get back to writing until we do our final check-in. We like to keep our group rather small, but we're looking to add a few more members. In this group, we are dedicated to sharing advice and tips in getting through the writing process, as well as supporting each other throughout the many different stages of the writing process. We hope that this space can serve as a form of support and community for gender, family, education, and inequality scholars within the social sciences. Our group leaders are Estéfani Marín and Katelyn Malae, 5th-years in the sociology PhD program. For more information, contact them at @email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.