Virtual Dissertation Groups

Sign ups for Spring 2020 are now closed, but feel free to go ahead and sign up for Fall 2020 below!

VDG is a free service that connects graduate students to provide peer feedback on dissertation work with a minimal time commitment. Members are grouped with two others working in the same general area of philosophy. About once a month, one member sends some work (3,000-6,000 words) to the others, who return feedback and comments in a week or so.

While advisors and committees are important, it can be incredibly helpful to discuss one’s work with peers in a lower-stakes environment, and it can be particularly enlightening to do so with those who take a different approach, outlook, or focus. Not only that, but there is evidence from psychological research that even just thinking about problems in relation to persons who are geographically distant can promote creative insights. With students in programs from many states, countries, and every continent,* Virtual Dissertation Groups is a great way to capture some of these benefits!

Sound good? Then sign up for the Fall 2020 groups below!

[* At least, every continent with a philosophy Ph.D. program… sorry Antarctica]

20 thoughts on “Virtual Dissertation Groups

  1. Hi Joshua, sounds a great idea. I’m a PhD candidate in the UK working in political philosophy… Just wondering how wide ranging would the groups be? Would Political Theory/Philosophy be too far removed from philosophy to participate? Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Scott–We’ve had a very wide-range of topics thus far, and not just the “big” subdisciplines like M&E, Phil Lang, etc. I think that each semester we’ve had a couple of groups working in political philosophy, so we’d definitely love to have you aboard!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi N–Thanks for asking! It’s case by case for dissertations that aren’t “straight philosophy.” Shoot me an email (joshuasmart-at-gmail) with some details about the project/sort of thing you’d submit to the group, and we can chat about whether it would be a good fit. Cheers-JS


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