Keep Calm and Get Ready for Tax Season 2020!

person holding paper near pen and calculator

The deadline to file your 2020 tax return with the IRS and the State of Illinois is currently April 15, 2021, which is 95 days away. Don’t panic or procrastinate. First, take 90 seconds right now to check and update your home address in Workday and at so any documents are mailed to the right address. Next, sign up for a tax workshop to make sure you understand your responsibilities and next steps. Still stressed? Read on for a few tips on how to prepare to file your 2020 tax return. . .

If you’re tempted to panic about filing your 2020 tax return, first, take a deep breath. You have time to prepare to file – and, in four easy steps, you can reduce your stress on getting this done.

  1. Review any funding you received from the University or other sources. Stipends, assistantships, wages from an on-campus job and other types of student funding have different requirements on how to calculate your responsibility or refund.
  2. Consider your options to file your return. Decide if you will use paper forms, an online service like TurboTax, or work with an accountant. The University does not have any accountants or professionals who can provide tax advice. If you’re an international student, be on the lookout for information on logging into Sprintax, which is a system designed for international students to file tax returns in the US.
  3. RSVP to attend a tax workshop. UChicagoGRAD will host workshops in February to help you understand your requirements. We recommend you attend, especially if you’re new to filing, so you understand your next steps.
  4. Schedule a time to get started. Sounds simple, but it’s important – Winter Quarter is a busy time. Once you have your documents and your method, add some time to your calendar to prepare your return. It’s very common to have questions once you get started, and if so, contact


UChicagoGRAD Winter Quarter Programming Calendar 2021

UChicagoGRAD Winter Programming Calendar 2021

Please note all dates/times are subject to change. Check GRAD Gargoyle for up-to date information.



Monday, January 11, 1:00-2:15 pm -Los Angeles Review of Books info session

Monday, January 11, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Tuesday, January 12, 4:30-6:30 pm -Intro to Podcasting

Wednesday, January 13, 5:00-6:00 pm -Career Conversation, Katrina Powers

Wednesday, January 13, 12:00-1:00 pm- FLAS (Foreign Language Area Studies) Fellowship Information Session

Thursday, January 14, 3:00-4:00 pm -Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship Information Session

Thursday, January 14, 4:00-5:00 pm -GGI Pitch Info Session

Friday, January 15, 8:00-9:00 am and 5:00-6:00 pm -Global Hangouts: Cross Cultural Discussion

Friday, January 15, 5:30-6:30 pm -Music Bingo

Friday, January 15, 12:30-1:30 pm -GGI Pitch Info Session

Friday, January 15, 2:00-3:00 pm -Exploring Fellowships for Master’s Students

Friday, January 15, 3:30-4:30 pm –Quarterly Postdoc Workshop: AJM Overview

Monday, January 18, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Tuesday, January 19, 12:30-1:30 pm –Cover Letter Workshop

Tuesday, January 19, 4:30-6:30 pm -Intro to Podcasting

Wednesday, January 20, 12:30-1:30 pm -GRADTalk Workshop: Effective Classroom Comments Wednesday, January 20, 3:00-4:00 pm –Intro to HEA Careers

Thursday, Jan 21, 12:30-1:30 pm –Resume for Industry & Nonprofits Workshop

Thursday, January 21, 2:00-3:00 pm -Ryan Steltzer AMA

Thursday, January 21, 1:30-2:30 pm -Boren Final Revision Workshop

Saturday, January 23, 12:00-1:30 pm –PATHS Course: Careers in Consulting

Monday, January 25, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Tuesday, January 29, 4:30-6:30 pm -Intro to Podcasting

Saturday, January 30, 12:00-1:30 pm –PATHS Course: Careers in Consulting





Monday, February 1, 1:00-2:00 pm -Career Conversation, Ken Mifflin

Monday, February 1, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Tuesday, February 2, 12:30-1:30pm –GRADTalk Workshop: Interviewing AMA

Tuesday, February 2, 4:30-6:30 pm -Intro to Podcasting

Wednesday, Feb 3, 3:00-5:00 pm –Quarterly Postdoc Orientation and Social

Thursday, February 4, 12:30-1:30 pm –LinkedIn Foundations Workshop

Thursday, February 4, 10:00-10:30 pm- Writing Proposals for Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Saturday, February 6, 12:00-1:30 pm –PATHS Course: Careers in Consulting

Monday, February 8, 8:00-9:00 am and 5:00-6:00 pm -Global Hangouts: Mental Health Support Group

Monday, February 8, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Tuesday, February 9, 4:30-6:30 pm -Intro to Podcasting

Wednesday, February 10, 4:30-6:00 –PATHS: Intro to Nonprofit Management

Thursday, February 11, 2:00-2:30 pm -So You’re In STEM and Thinking About Applying for NSF GRFP

Saturday, February 13, 12:00-1:30 pm –PATHS Course: Careers in Consulting

Monday, February 15, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Tuesday, February 16, 12:30-1:30 pm -Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Network and Search for Jobs

Tuesday, February 16, 2:00-3:00pm-Tax Workshop: Post Doc Fellows and Scholars

Tuesday, February 16, 10:00-10:30 am -Research Abroad with Fulbright

Tuesday, February 16, 4:30-6:30 pm -Intro to Podcasting

Wednesday, February 17, 4:30-6:00 pm –PATHS: Intro to Nonprofit Management

Wednesday, February 17, 12:30-2:00 pm –HEA Principles of Effective Program Design

Thursday, February 18, 12:30-1:30 pm –GRADTalk: Storytelling for Behavioral Interviews

Thursday, February 18, 11:00-12:00 pm -Exploring Fellowships for Master’s Students

Monday, February 23, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Wednesday, February 24, 4:30-6:00 pm –PATHS: Intro to Nonprofit Management

Wednesday, February 24, 12:30-1:30 pm -Monthly Resume Workshop

Thursday, February 25, 12:30-1:30 pm -Monthly Cover Letter Workshop

Thursday, February 25, 10:00-10:30 am -Diversity and Inclusion Fellowships 101

Thursday, February 25, 3:30-7:00 pm -Data Science and Business Analytics Career Fair

Saturday, February 27, 1:00-4:00 pm –PATHS Seminar: Data Analysis and Visualization

Saturday, February 28, 1:00-4:00 pm –PATHS Seminar: Data Analysis and Visualization





Monday, March 1, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Tuesday, March 2, 10:00-3:00 pm –Hold for PATHS Foundations Trek

Wednesday, March 3, 4:30-6:00 pm –PATHS: Intro to Nonprofit Management

Wednesday, March 3, 10:00-3:00 pm –Hold for PATHS Foundations Trek

Thursday, March 4, 10:00-3:00 pm –Hold for PATHS Foundations Trek

Thursday, March 4, 12:00-12:30 pm -Fellowship Opportunities in East Asia

Thursday, March 4, 4:30-6:00 pm –Expand Your Perspective: Chicago Symposium

Saturday, March 6, 1:00-4:00 pm –PATHS Seminar: Data Analysis and Visualization

Saturday, March 7, 1:00-4:00 pm –PATHS Seminar: Data Analysis and Visualization

Monday, March 8, 8:00-9:00am and 5:00-6:00pm -Global Hangouts: End of Quarter Games

Monday, March 8,6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Wednesday, March 10, 12:30-1:30 pm –GRADTalk Workshop: TBD

Wednesday, March 10, 4:30-6:00 pm –PATHS: Intro to Nonprofit Management

Thursday, March 11, 2:00-2:30 pm -Fellowship Opportunities for International Students

Friday March 12, 12:30-1:30 pm -English Career Conversation Hour

Monday, March 15, 6:00-7:30 pm –PATHS Course: Content Marketing

Wednesday, March 17, 4:30-6:00 pm –PATHS: Intro to Nonprofit Management

Thursday, March 18, 10:00-10:30 am- Fellowship Opportunities for Romance Languages





Winter Quarter is the Time for Planning Ahead: Fellowships

Have you considered applying for a fellowship?  Fellowships fund research, study, language immersion, dissertation completion, and more.  They allow you the freedom to pursue your goals and follow your passion.  They connect you to networks of scholars and build your CV for life.

Applying for a fellowship is a bit more complicated than applying for a job.  Most fellowship applications require personal statements and proposals or research plans that take multiple drafts to perfect, along with recommendation letters and other documents.  After you submit the application, it may take six months to learn the results, and three to six more months for the fellowship to begin.  In other words, the time between submitting your application and beginning the fellowship is often nine months to a year.

Where fellowships are concerned, the winter quarter is the time for planning ahead.  This winter, the gargoyle recommends that you:

  1. Take some time to search for fellowships for which you qualify and for which you can apply in the summer or fall.
  2. Make an Exploring Fellowships appointment with one of UChicagoGRAD’s fellowship advisors to strategize an action plan. If you are a master’s student, attend an Exploring Fellowships information session for opportunities specific to master’s students.
  3. Subscribe to the fellowships newsletter for monthly updates on fellowship events and opportunities.






Staying in Chicago Over Winter? Check out holiday virtual programming.

While the CDC advises against travelling for the holidays, there are still virtual events to join and many are open for socially distant activities.


A Holiday Concert with Alfreda Burke and Rodrick Dixon | December 4, 6:00-7:00pm | purchase tickets here.

Celtic Family Christmas “At Home” | December 12, 6:00-7:00pm | get tickets here.


Holidays in the Loop

    • Macy’s State Street Holiday Windows |
    • Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park | Now open for social distant ice skating
    • Art on theMart: The Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”’ | runs nightly at 7:00pm and 7:30 pm through December 31| a visual art experience on the Merchandise Mart Building. Available for online viewing here.
    • Merry Christmas from DePaul: A Project Bluelight Production | through Jan 31| outside the Daley Building
    • Macy’s Walnut Room | you can view this massive tree from several floors in the Macy’s store
    • Holidays In the Loop Painted Windows | through January 8, 20201 | view painted holiday windows at theWIT Hotel, The Joffrey Ballet, Macy’s, Staypineapple Chicago, and 130 S. State St.
    • City of Chicago’s 107th Christmas Tree | the glittering tree set among Chicago’s Millennium Park and skyline views.
    • CTA Holiday Train and Bus | running at reduced capacity, the holiday train follows a schedule and features lights and music.


Lincoln Park Zoo Lights |Through December 31 | open for select times (tickets required)

Christkindlmarket’s Home for the Holidays | Through December 31 | enjoy the German holiday market from the comfort of your home. View the website and offerings |

Goodman Theater presents: A Christmas Carol | through December 31 | Enjoy this classic holiday tale virtually as an audio play |

Chicago Drive-In Movie Theaters and Concerts | dates vary| view movies here.



Chicago Restaurant Week | dates TBD | more info here

Staying in Chicago over Thanksgiving? We’ve got you covered!

While the CDC advises against travelling for the holidays, there are still virtual events to join and experience in a safe environment.


Free Thanksgiving Day Workout

 Thu, Nov 26, 2020 9:15 AM CST

Spend 90 minutes making room for more pie with a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility.



Thu, Nov 26, 2020 10:00 AM CST

Is “yogsgiving” really a thing? Actually, yes. For this event, at least. Join for breath work and to practice a gentle flow as you give special thanks to your body on this national holiday.


A Virtual Gathering for Those who are Alone on Thanksgiving

Thu, Nov 26, 2020 1:00 PM CST

Spending this Thanksgiving alone? Fear not — this virtual gathering ensures an instant community, with whom you’ll chat and share more about your favorite parts of the holiday season.


This Is Hip-Hop Thursdays Live Thanksgiving Show

Thu, Nov 26, 2020 6:00 PM CST

Let the beats make your head nod — not the post-turkey tryptophan — as rappers Hookdiggy, Amber Hasan, GODs Vessel, J Spence, and Kayla Nicole come together for a live show, full of high spirits and deep words.


Virtual Thanksgiving Disco Party

Thu, Nov 26, 2020 7:00 PM CST

Turn up the music on Thanksgiving night and dance until you can’t dance anymore. A live DJ will be playing R&B, Reggae, Gogo and much more from now and then. Show off your moves and make new friends.


Post-Thanksgiving Yoga & Gratitude Journaling

 Fri, Nov 27, 2020 8:00 AM CST

Quiet down after a busy holiday with a gentle yoga class. The class will begin and end with gratitude journaling, so you’ll get to connect with your own body, mind, and heart.


Virtual Holiday Stories Happy Hour

Fri, Nov 27, 2020 7:00pm CST

This is a live, interactive virtual event, taking viewers to the city’s most beloved holiday landmarks and hidden gems, all while telling the historical stories that celebrate Chicago’s festive spirit. The hour-long “Virtual Holiday Stories Happy Hour” will stream live on Zoom Beginning Nov. 27, with virtual events taking place Mondays at 6 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 p.m., through Dec. 28.

Turkey Trot 2020 Virtual Race

 Sat, Nov 28, 2020 2:00 AM CST

Celebrate Thanksgiving with a run or walk and join this virtual Turkey Trot! Run a 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon or Marathon with others, virtually, and score some swag.


Thanksgiving Leftovers Remixed: Virtual Cooking Class

Sat, Nov 28, 2020 5:30 PM CST

Thanksgiving is great, but it can be difficult to come up with creative ways to consume your leftovers. During this online session, you’ll learn how to remix dishes into new creations, such as turkey served with waffles made from stuffing.



Don’t want to cook for Thanksgiving? No problem! See the below list of Chicago restaurants that offer Thanksgiving dinner packages that can feed anywhere from 4-6 people and are available for delivery.


  • Virtue |American, Southern in Hyde Park
  • Bayan Ko | Cuban, Filipino in Ravenswood
  • Green Street Smoked Meats |American, BBQ in West Loop
  • Parachute | American, Korean in Avondale
  • Jeong | Korean in West Town
  • Girl and the Goat | West Loop
  • Bistronomic | French in Gold Coast
  • Siena Tavern | Italian in River North
  • Big Jones | American, Southern in Andersonville
  • Frontier| American in Noble Square
  • Daisies | American, Pasta, Vegetarian in Logan Square
  • Luella’s Southern Kitchen | Lincoln Square, Ravenswood
  • The Bristol | Bucktown
  • Wilde Bar and Grill | American, Irish in Lincoln Park
  • All Together Now | Ukranian Village
  • The Gage | Gastropub in the Loop
  • Duck Duck Goat | West Loop
  • Momotaro| Japanese, Raw Bar, Sushi in Fulton Market/ West Loop
  • GT Prime | American, Steaks in River North
  • Boka |American in Lincoln Park
  • Aba | Mediterranean in West Loop
  • Ema | Mediteranean in River North
  • Beatrix | American, Café/Bakery in River North
  • Alinea | Experimental, molecular gastronomy in Lincoln Park
  • El Che Steakhouse and Bar | Latin, Steaks in West Loop
  • Etta | American, Pizza, Pasta in Wicker Park


Improve Your Interviewing and Presentation Skills with GRADTalk

Do you want to ace your next interview? Feel more confident about your next conference or seminar presentation? Or just feel more comfortable making comments in class? The GRADTalk team is here to help you reach these goals and improve your communication and public speaking skills! Our team of GRADTalk advisors will work with you to help you prepare for an upcoming interview, get feedback on a presentation, strategize for increasing your class participation, or practice your elevator pitch for networking and career fairs. All it takes is signing up for a GRADTalk advising appointment on Grad Gargoyle.


GRADTalk offers several kinds of appointment types including:


Interview Preparation: No matter what stage you are in your job search, it’s never too early to start thinking about preparing for the interview process. In an interview preparation appointment, you can learn more about interview preparation strategies for any field, including academia, industry, non-profit, and government careers, as well as interviews for fellowships and PhD programs. If you’re preparing for an upcoming interview, you can also schedule a practice interview with an advisor, who can give you personalized feedback to improve the clarity and impact of your answers. Now that most interviews are taking place virtually, GRADTalk advisors can also give you suggestions and feedback on communicating well in a virtual setting.


Presentation Preparation: Whether it’s a class presentation, a conference presentation, or a job talk, GRADTalk advisors can help you deliver a presentation that is engaging, compelling, and well-structured. In a presentation preparation appointment, you have the opportunity to practice all or part of your presentation for a GRADTalk advisor, who can give you feedback on your delivery, presentation style, structure, and clarity of your argument. Although GRADTalk advisors are not experts in your field, we’re prepared to help you to improve the public speaking aspects of your presentation to keep your audience engaged and interested.


Making Comments in Class: If you find yourself at the end of a class wishing you had said more, or wishing you had said things differently, you might be interested in this type of appointment. GRADTalk advisors can work with you individually to help you develop strategies for increasing your class participation and making your comments more effective. We’ll talk about how classroom dynamics and teaching styles can affect class participation and confidence, and we’ll develop actionable strategies for developing a more confident voice in the classroom.


In addition to individual appointments, the GRADTalk program also offers regular workshops as well as the Expand Your Perspective public speaking series and podcast. Keep an eye on Grad Guide Weekly for workshop and event announcements. If you have any additional questions about the GRADTalk program please contact Michael O’Toole (





Advice from UChicagoGRAD’s Career Team Interns



2020 has ushered in a host of new challenges for graduate students who are looking to launch careers in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government. UChicagoGRAD’s career development interns share some student-to-student advice for navigating academic life and professional development during this season of uncertainty.


  1.  It’s Never Too Early to Start Exploring Career Options


Many students start exploring career options and really cultivating professional development opportunities later in their graduate programs. The one piece of advice I would like to offer to graduate students is that it is never too early to start working on career exploration and development. Those of you pursuing PhDs may find that the first years of your program are demanding in ways that differ from the later years—the pressure of coursework, papers, and exams added to the already complex process of adjusting to a new reality and culture. Yet these years are also the perfect time to start taking steps towards broadening your professional horizons. For example, you may consider dedicating one part of your first summer into grad school—when you are done recovering from and simultaneously cheering for having made it to the end of your first year!—to taking on an internship. Internships are great hands-on learning opportunities. They allow you to learn new skills, develop other interests, meet new people, and build relationships that could have a long-lasting impact on your personal and professional growth. In other words, an early experience can go a long way. It is never too early to get started.


— Eufemia Baldassarre, PhD Candidate in Italian Studies and Career Advising Intern at UChicagoGRAD



  1. Channel Your Passion for Inquiry into Self-Exploration


When I entered my master’s program at UChicago—and again when I was applying to PhD programs—my advisor drilled into me that academia was not the only venue in which one could be curious. There was a dentist on the advisory board of a biblical studies organization that she helped lead; I, she averred, if I so chose, “could be a dentist with interesting weekend reading habits.” I’ve found myself thinking about this maxim frequently over the past year as I consider career options outside of the standard grind toward a (largely non-existent) tenure track position—not being a dentist, the other thing. I’ll always be curious, and I’ll always love learning, thinking, synthesizing, testing. I’d wager most of you will too, tenure-track offer or no. Graduate school has provided the privilege of relatively unstructured and unsupervised time to indulge that curiosity, to hone it. The best advice I can give is to channel some of that passion for inquiry, for research, writing, and teaching into a different kind of exploration. What skills have you developed during your program? (I promise they are real and sought-after skills if you can figure out how to describe them for specific audiences.) What do you love about your time in grad school? What could you do without? Where do you want to be? What do you want to talk about with colleagues? The labor of knowing oneself is intense and destabilizing, but when you’re ready to think about non-academic futures—which does not mean “non-intellectual”—you’ll be more prepared to explore what’s out there and how it can be right for you.


— Nathan J. Hardy, PhD Candidate in the History of Christianity and Career Advising Intern at UChicagoGRAD



  1. Get Comfortable Communicating Virtually

With everything in our lives going virtual, it can be even more difficult to feel connected and to communicate well, in both personal and professional situations. My biggest piece of advice for right now is to get comfortable communicating virtually! Even as things change in the future, I think that regardless of the pandemic, virtual events will continue to be popular and may replace many in-person events. Communicating effectively in a virtual setting can be a big challenge; zoom fatigue, the lack of body-language cues, potential online distractions, and many other factors can negatively impact your communications. To get more comfortable communicating virtually, whether it’s for an interview or a presentation, the best thing to do is practice. In particular, I’d suggest practicing the way you intend to present, be it over Zoom or another platform. If you want more guidance for your practice, GRADTalk is here to help! It’s never too early to start preparing for interviews, presentations, job talks, or just generally thinking about best practices for communicating virtually. We have many resources available online and can give tailored personalized advice in our advising sessions.


— Linsin Smith, PhD Candidate in Genetics, Genomics, and Systems Biology and GRADTalk Consultant at UChicagoGRAD



  1. Don’t Let School or Job Market Imperatives Get in the Way of Your Education


What follows is more reflection than advice, although there’s no reason it can’t be both. For at least as long as I was an undergrad at the University of Michigan, Tom Goss, a technician in a microbiology lab, could be counted on to spend some portion of his day perched on a stone bench in the midday shadow of the graduate library getting the most out of his harmonica and washboard. No, not busking. Just . . . playing. Having fun. This, to my task-oriented mind, was scandal enough, but then there was the prop, a placard with some fresh daily outrage proffered—get this—in comic sans. “Don’t let school get in the way of your education,” it read on one occasion. And I couldn’t tell you why, but that is what I remember most clearly about college. Sorry, Dad. Graduate students can be single-minded about their research, and for good reason. Academia is more competitive now than ever (the physicist whose work led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson said recently that he couldn’t get a job in today’s market!), so that any waking moment not spent on one’s thesis or dissertation can feel like time wasted. This can be especially difficult if one is committed to engaging with the world and not simply moving through it. So, I’ve had to learn to become more intentional about cordoning off work in order to be able to read Morrison as she deserves to be read or, say, attend a lecture on American policing. In other words, I’m beginning, finally, not to let school, or market imperatives generally, get in the way of my education.


— Fahad Sajid, PhD Candidate in Political Science and Career Advising Intern at UChicagoGRAD

Grad Council Presents Mental Health Awareness Week


From November 10th through November 13th, Graduate Council will be hosting a mental health awareness week, in collaboration with the Health and Wellness Committee on College Council, the Diversity and Inclusion committee on Graduate Council, The Organization of Black Students, Student Counseling Services, Blue Rivers Yoga, and Health and Wellness Promotion.


While May is the nationally recognized mental health awareness month, we wanted to organize a week of programming centered on health and wellness to help students come together in a difficult time. This will be a quarterly event, so be sure to look out for wellness weeks in the winter and spring! The events that we’ll be hosting are listed in the green flyer. The registration pages also include full descriptions of each event. Zoom links will be emailed to all participants who register.


Featured Events include:

Event 1: An Election Debrief with HAWC and OBS

Tuesday, 11/10, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

This event is for supporting students through the upcoming presidential election. Regardless of the outcome, this event will serve as a space to debrief and build community. We plan to have breakout rooms with discussions guided by members of OBS and the undergraduate Health and Wellness Committee. We will rejoin as a large group to share resources and final thoughts. Google form sign up:


Event 2: Navigating Wellness as a UC URM/Minority Graduate Student

Wednesday, 11/11, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

A panel discussion on navigating wellness as an underrepresented minority and/or minority graduate student. Some topics that will be covered include: – the impact of COVID-19 on marginalized groups – navigating racial injustice issues and the impact of these issues on health and well-being Google form sign up:


Event 3: Virtual Yoga and Mindfulness

Thursday, 11/12, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

An hour long session of virtual yoga and mindfulness with a professional yoga instructor! Google form sign up:


Event 4: Ask Me Anything Webinar with Dr. Meeta Kumar, Julie Edwards, and Becka Mock

Friday, 11/13, 3:00pm – 4:00pm

The last event of our mental health awareness week will be an AMA with Dr. Meeta Kumar (the director of Student Counseling), Julie Edwards (the director of Health and Wellness Promotion), and Becka Mock (the manager of UChicagoGRAD programming). This will be a space to ask them any and all questions you have about student health, counseling services, and any other related programming and resources. Google form sign up:


Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Grad Council with any other questions, concerns, or feedback and we look forward to seeing you at the events!

UChicagoGRAD Autumn Virtual Programming


UChicagoGRAD is committed to supporting graduate students and postdocs during this challenging time. We are working with campus partners to provide virtual resources and opportunities to help you stay connected and engaged while campus is closed. In an effort to keep graduate students connected to the university and each other, UChicagoGRAD is launching a weekly schedule of virtual programs in partnership with Graduate Council and university-wide offices.

While waiting for the Graduate Student Lounge to open for in-person events, we are offering a preview of the lounge virtually. Please view the GRAD Virtual Programming webpage to see our virtual front desk, follow links to graduate events and news, and for more details.


Weekly Schedule for UChicagoGRAD Programming

  • Ask Me Anything (Fridays, 11-12 noon) – This series of interactive webinars features staff and graduate students addressing topics such as financial aid and taxes; internship and employment opportunities; work/life balance strategies; and student health and wellness.
  • Virtual Study Hour at the Graduate Student Lounge (Wednesdays, 11-12 noon), — Graduate students can drop in to an online version of the space that features breakout study rooms where students can work among their peers.
  • Virtual Happy Hour at the Graduate Student Lounge (Fridays, 4-5 p.m.) – Co-sponsored with Graduate Council, the weekly happy hour allows graduate students to meet one-on-one through a special networking platform, Meetaway.
  • GRAD Socials at the Graduate Student Lounge (schedule varies) – Graduate students can enjoy community and conversation through a (non-Zoom!) group-chatting platform. Save the date for upcoming events:
    • Halloween Costume Party (Friday, October 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m.) – Wear a costume and meet other grads for a fun spooky time! RSVP here.
    • Craft Cocktails and Conversation (Friday, November 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m.) – Share your own cocktail recipes with other graduate students and craft up a conversation! RSVP here.
    • Espresso Yourself: Coffee 101 (Monday, November 16, 12-1 p.m.) – Take a coffee break and share tips and tricks for making the perfect brew with fellow grad students.
    • Graduate Friendsgiving (Monday, November 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m.) – Celebrate and give thanks for friends at UChicago!
    • Holiday Sweater Party (Monday, December 7, 5:30-6:30 p.m.) – Wear your best (or zaniest) holiday outfits and warm up to our virtual fireplace.


Announcing the Expand Your Perspective Podcast!

UChicagoGRAD is thrilled to announce the launch of Expand Your Perspective, a new podcast highlighting the research of UChicago graduate students and postdocs. Expand Your Perspective launches today with three episodes, each of which brings together a group of researchers for a far-ranging conversation on a common theme. We hope this podcast provides an exciting opportunity for grad students and postdocs to showcase their work and for our listeners to learn more about the groundbreaking research that goes on at UChicago. Check out and follow our Spotify account!


Expand Your Perspective is hosted by Michael O’Toole, who leads the GRADTalk program, and Linsin Smith, a GRADTalk advisor and current PhD student in Genetics, Genomics, and Systems Biology. The goal of the podcast is to foster an interdisciplinary conversation around common themes, highlighting the impact of graduate student and postdoctoral research on big questions across a wide range of fields.


The first three episodes available now are:

Episode 1 – The Universe: Black Holes, Exoplanets, and the Evolution of Stars

Is there life beyond Earth? What are common misconceptions about the universe? And how do you make science more accessible for everyone? This inaugural episode features three graduate students at the forefront of research in the physical sciences: Nora Bailey, Gourav Khullar, and Gautam Satishchandran.


Episode 2 – Signals, Circuits, and Pathways: How Do Cells Talk to Each Other?

Monkeys playing video games, octopus arm regeneration, and the cell-to-cell communication that underscores every biological process? Join our conversation to learn more about innovative graduate research in the biological sciences, with the help of Meike Lobb-Rabe, Natalie Grace Schulz, Caleb Sponheim, and Sherzod Tokamov.


Episode 3 – Coronavirus and COVID-19: Shifting Research Priorities   

In this episode, immunology graduate student Chris Stamper talks about how his lab shifted the focus of their antibody research to deepen our understanding of the coronavirus and aid in the development of a vaccine. In the second half, Master’s alumnus Dr. Siva Bhavani talks about his work as an ICU physician and how he utilizes big data to understand better the trajectories of patients with COVID-19.


New podcasts will be recorded and released on a monthly basis. If you are a graduate student or postdoc and are interested in participating in a podcast episode, please fill out the application form here. We look forward to hearing from you!