A monthly newsletter by the Graduate School.
Mizzou Grad & Postdoc News
February 2021

Don't miss out on...

  1. A Message from Dr. Hart
  2. Information on Vaccinations
  3. Tips & Reminders - Graduation and Tax Preparation
  4. Funding Opportunities and Awards
  5. gradESSENTIALS, GPC events, MOST, and Giving Day
  6. Disability Center Resource, Tiger Pantry, and Email Signatures
  7. Black History Month and IDE Discussion
  8. International Teaching Assistant Program
  9. FRST Friday - Communicate your Research
  10. MU Postdoctoral Association
Message from Dr. Hart header

Welcome to the February Issue of Mizzou Grad & Postdoc News.

I hope you are finding time to take advantage of all the events on campus celebrating Black History Month and will continue to reflect on, learn from, and cite the substantial contributions to research and creative works that African Americans and all those who are part of the Black diaspora have made and continue to make.

Also, I failed to acknowledge in our last newsletter that January was National Mentoring Month. I hope you took an opportunity to thank your mentor(s) last month, including those amazing peers who support what you do every day. If you have not, there is no better time than the present.

Finally, a recent study from the Council of Graduate Schools found that Ph.D. grads reported the following topics most useful to their careers (both in and out of academia): communication, public speaking, networking, and digital literacy. Learning to manage projects also ranked among the most beneficial skills for those with careers beyond the academy. I encourage you to seek out professional development opportunities in your program, with your mentors, and from the graduate school (gradEssentials) to strengthen your knowledge and skills in these and other areas. Participants also reported that the earlier they participated in professional development during their graduate programs the better—this is a good reminder that ALL grad students and postdocs should prioritize experiences that complement your academic programs, scholarship, and creative works to help you reach your future career goals.

Hope to see you at our virtual Drop in with the Deans Event on February 25, 2021, from 12-1 PM CST on Zoom. More information is available on the Graduate School events calendar on our website. This is an informal opportunity, much like office hours, to talk with leadership in the Graduate School about your concerns, successes, and questions.

Until next month,

Jeni Hart, PhD
Dean of the Graduate School
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies


Covid-19 updates header

Vaccinations for Covid-19

In a joint effort to simplify the vaccination process, Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS), Boone Hospital Center and MU Health Care have partnered to combine their COVID vaccine surveys into one centralized survey for you to submit your interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

This will now be the only survey used by our department and local hospitals. The survey previously hosted by PHHS will no longer be available. Please note: Other local vaccinators may still have their own notification systems.

If you already signed up through the PHHS/Boone Hospital survey or MU Health Care’s survey — great! There is no further action needed at this time.
Who is currently getting vaccinated?
At the time of newsletter publication, Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services is currently vaccinating those in Phase 1A, Phase 1B - Tier 1, and Phase 1B - Tier 2.

Students with assistantships (i.e., GI, GTA, GRA, GLA, GF) that have student-facing responsibilities (i.e., educators) can be considered as higher education educators for the purposes of vaccination.  Higher Education educators fall in Phase 2 of the vaccination order.

Graduating in Spring or Summer 2021?


If you are planning to complete a graduate degree or graduate certificate in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 please read carefully!  

You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the dates and deadlines outlined on the Graduation Checklist. Failure to meet these deadlines will cause a significant delay in processing and potentially postpone your graduation. We encourage you to apply early. Expect longer processing times for applications completed near the end of the semester.

Degree Candidates ONLY:

The deadline to apply for graduation and inclusion in the commencement bulletin is Monday, February 22 for those completing in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021. 

In order to successfully apply for graduation, you must complete two steps!

  1. The Graduate School Application for Graduation 

  2. Apply to graduate through myZou's Graduation Application. If you do not find your program listed or you don’t have eligibility to apply, please contact the Graduate School immediately at The myZou application will allow you to make updates to your FERPA status, update your name, and/or modify the address where your diploma will be sent.

These two steps must be completed by February 22 for degree candidates names to be included in the commencement bulletin.  

Degree Candidates missing the February 22 Deadline and Graduate Certificate Students:

The application for graduation process is available until Friday, May 7. However, this means degree candidates' names will not be included in the commencement bulletin. In order to successfully apply to receive your graduate certificate or graduate degree, you must complete two steps!

  1. The Graduate School Application for Graduation 
  2. Apply to graduate through myZou's Graduation Application. If you do not find your program listed or you don’t have eligibility to apply, please contact please contact the Graduate School immediately at The myZou application will allow you to make updates to your FERPA status, update your name, and/or modify the address where your diploma will be sent.

Preparing your Taxes

Free income tax preparation help is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Services are open now through April 14.  MU Extension Website has information on what you will need, in addition to this list of VITA sites. Sites near campus include Daniel Boone Regional Library and the Family Impact Center. 

This year due to the pandemic, there will be no site at the MU Office for Financial Success. In addition to the alternative sites, online tax preparation software is available free for students, faculty, and staff of the University of Missouri System.

International students should also check their February 5 emails and look for one from the MU HRS NRA Tax Office titled "Tax Return Assistance: Tax Year 2020".  

Doctoral Students: myVITA is coming in Spring 2021.  Make sure your advisor is current.

myVITA is an activity reporting system used by faculty across the UM system that provides an easy way to capture activities related to research, teaching, service, scholarship, awards, and creative works in one place.  In Spring 2021, all currently enrolled doctoral students will be given access to myVITA to enter their own activities and complete the annual review process. 

More details on myVITA will come in the months ahead.  In the meantime, we ask that all currently enrolled doctoral students check myZou to ensure that their faculty advisor is current:

 Please login to myZou > Main Menu > Self Service > Student Center

  1. Confirm your current advisor is listed on the right-hand side of your screen

If your advisor needs to be updated,  complete a Change of Advisor Form and return it to your academic program for final approval.

HEERF II Emergency Financial Aid Grants

Emergency financial aid grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II are now available to assist graduate and professional students with exceptional need for educational costs and other emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus. As a graduate or professional degree-seeking student you may be eligible to apply for emergency funding. The eligibility criteria are outlined on the Office of Financial Aid website. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2021 by 11:59 pm Central time. Eligible students should be contacted by the Office of Financial Aid, so please look for their email.

Upcoming Funding & Awards Deadlines

Sandra K. Abell Science Education Award

Graduate students eligible for the Abell Science Education Award must be second year or higher Ph.D. students from a natural science discipline who demonstrate a commitment to a career in college science teaching and science outreach. Students must self-nominate for this award. Nominations are due March 8, 2021. For more information, see the Sandra Abell Award.

MU Postdoctoral Awards

Postdocs can apply for the excellence in research or teaching awards. Self-nominations are encouraged. For more information, see Office of Postdoctoral Education. Additionally, postdocs can nominate their mentor for the faculty mentor award. For more information, see the Postdoctoral Faculty Mentor Award. All nominations are due Monday, March 15, 2021.

Institute of Broadening Participation Internship Database

Students still seeking paid summer research programs are encouraged to search the Institute's database for upcoming deadlines, with many programs having February 15 and March 1 deadlines.

The database includes paid summer research programs with upcoming deadlines:

  • 10 post-baccalaureate programs
  • 14 master's level programs

  • 10 PhD level programs

Microsoft Dissertation

Microsoft is accepting applications to fund dissertation research up to $25,000 for projects related to one of their research areas: artificial intelligence, audio and acoustics, computer vision, graphics and multimedia, human-computer interaction, human language technologies, search, and information retrieval. Applications due March 22, 2021. Apply at the  Microsoft Dissertation Grant website.

Mary Elizabeth Gutermuth Award for Community Engagement

The Gutermuth award honors a graduate student who has demonstrated community service through engaged scholarship. Students must self-nominate for this award. Nominations are due March 8, 2021. For more information, see the Gutermuth Award.


MU Graduate Student Scholarship for Professional Association Membership

The funds for the Scholarship for Professional Association Membership are being disbursed through our travel scholarships program because our ability to award travel scholarships has been limited due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. You do not need to be a presenter at a conference to apply. Graduate students can apply for a scholarship to help fund one professional association membership up to $150. Applications due March 15, 2021. Apply through the Scholarship for Professional Association Membership Form.

gradessentials logo

Spring 2021 Professional Development Offerings for Graduate Students and Postdocs

Quick Access: Grad School events calendar; gradESSENTIALS framework for professional development, programs, resources; and event registration through the Gateway
  February (virtual)

18      Maximizing Your Research
          Identity and Impact,
          registration through MU Libraries
19      Rollins Society Applications due
19      Virtual Game Night
          with the Graduate School and GPC
23      Communicating Effectively
          with Your Advisor, Mentor, and PI
25      Drop in with the Deans
25      Accounting & Business
          Virtual Career Fair

  March (virtual)

3       Minor in College Teaching
         Information Session
3       CAFNR and A&S Virtual Career Fair
9       Bring an Inclusive Mindset
         to Your Teaching
11     Planning for the Dissertation
16     Health Professions & Nursing
         Virtual Career Fair
16     MOJOE Education
         Virtual Career Fair 
17     Salary & Benefit Negotiation
20     Saturday Morning Writing Retreat
23     Nutrition: How to Eat Well
         on a Tight Budget

MU Postdoctoral Orientation

The MU Office of Postdoctoral Education invites postdocs new (or relatively new) to campus to attend Postdoctoral Orientation. This orientation is held twice a year in August and February. Postdocs will be introduced campus resources, postdoctoral policies and procedures, and employee benefits. The upcoming orientation is Monday, February 22, 10:00-11:30 am. Please register using the Postdoctoral Orientation form to reserve your spot and receive the Zoom link for the event. 
Info Flyer for Qualitative Certificate Info Session
Certificate in Qualitative Research Info Session on Wednesday, February 17 at 12:00 PM. You can access the session via this Zoom Link and the passcode is 870768. You can also learn more on the Certificate Website or contacting

Free Registration for Virtual Career Fair

The MU Graduate School is pleased to participate in the 2021 Graduate Career Consortium’s Virtual Career Expo (VCE). This single day, online career expo is for advanced degree students, postdocs, and alumnx in fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Humanities, Arts, and Social Science. This event connects Ph.D. & Master’s students, Postdocs, and Alumnx to employers for a virtual networking and recruitment experience using the CareerEco platform.

Graduate and Professional Council

Nominations for the GPC Excellence Awards and the GPC Gold Chalk Award will be open from January 29th to March 12th. This year we have created a new Excellence in Research award. Please go to GPC Award page for more information.

Research Development Award image Also, GPC has launched a Research Development Award. The award provides support for graduate and professional students’ research and creative/scholarly activity. Awards are processed as reimbursements for valid research expenses not already covered by the university. Applicants are eligible for up to $600 to fund their research. For more information, see GPC's MU Engage page for details. Questions or comments? Please contact Ann Obadan at

MOST LogoMOST Policy Initiative is now accepting applications from late-stage doctoral students and PhD-level Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) professionals (including social and behavioral sciences) for the 2021-2022 class of Missouri Science & Technology Policy Fellows! MOST Policy Fellows serve as informal science advisors to the Missouri General Assembly covering a variety of science (including social and behavioral sciences) and technology-related policy topics. For more information about the fellowship, visit the Apply for Fellowship section of our website. Applications are open from January 15 to March 15, 2021.

Giving Day

On March 10 at noon central time until March 11 noon central time, Mizzou will host Giving Day. If you are interested in providing finacial support for graduate education at Mizzou or want information, please visit the Giving Day page. Note: the page contains overall information now, and it will be fully functioning on March 1.
Giving Day image

Resource Corner

Disability Center

When you make your content accessible, everyone wins!

As more and more of our daily lives move digital, it’s more important than ever to ensure that information is accessible to everyone. In your role as a Graduate Instructor, Teaching Assistant, or Postdoc, think about your digital products (electronic documents, websites, mobile apps, email, or videos), and make sure to design the product so it can be usable to multiple audiences, including paying attention to color scheme choice, transcripts and/or captions, adding alternative text, and more. Want to learn how? Visit our Digital Access website to learn more!

Tiger Pantry

Tiger Pantry strives to assist, educate, and empower individuals facing food insecurity within the University of Missouri and MU Health Care community. Tiger Pantry is a free resource available to all University of Missouri and MU Health Care students, staff, and faculty in need of food assistance. Eligible individuals receive non-perishable food and household items once a month and fresh produce (dozen eggs, bread, and fresh fruits/vegetables) once a week.

To limit in-person contact, Tiger Pantry is currently offering contactless curbside pickup Sunday noon-2:00 p.m. and Tuesday & Wednesday 4:30-6:30 p.m. Additionally, Tiger Pantry has delivery services available on Sundays for any student, staff, or faculty who is considered high risk for COVID-19 or is experiencing food insecurity while under quarantine or isolation.

Tiger Pantry’s partnership location in the College of Engineering supports students experiencing extreme hardship due to the ongoing public health crisis. It is open to all students and is set up as a communal pantry. This pantry location offers non-perishable food, baby diapers/food, and household & hygiene items. They are open: Monday and Tuesday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday from 2-6p.m. For further information please email:

Emergency Food Packs

Tiger Pantry’s emergency food packs are available at various locations throughout campus to support students in immediate need of food assistance. Each pack contains 2-3 microwave meals plus snacks. These packs are meant to provide immediate support while connecting students to additional resources available through Tiger Pantry.

Emergency Food Packs can be found in the MU Student Center (i.e., Women’s Center, Center for Student Involvement, Student Accountability and Support), Student Success Center, TRIO, Transfer Center, Counseling Center, A&S Dean’s Office, as well as some academic advising offices).

If your office would like to receive emergency food packs, to have on hand to support students in immediate need of food assistance, please contact .

Email Signatures

An email signature is a digital business card and like your physical business card, represents your official association with the University of Missouri. Email signatures should comply with the University’s identity standards and guidelines.

Use the email signature generator to ensure your signature meets identity standards and content requirements. Email signatures may only include information contained in the fields of the email generator, and any confidentiality notice as needed.

Center for Inclusive Excellence header

Black History Month

Black History Month is in full swing. Upcoming events are:


17     Race, Country, and American Music: A Conversation with Rissi Palmer
19     Exploring Racial Equity Values with Grace and Intention
19     The Color of Love: Author Talk
19     African + American: A Panel on Cultural Identity
20     Using African Diaspora Literacy To Heal and Restore
         the Souls of Young Black Children
22     Malcolm X Day: The Black Family
23     Book Discussion: Growing Up X
24     Marriage and Family Formation for Sub-Saharan Africa Migrants
24     Expressions of (In)Visible Bodies: Afro-Latinx American Writers
25     Historic Images of Black Families: A Discussion of the Ellis Library Exhibition
25     Mary Lou Williams: Jazz Composer, Pianist, Activist 
26     Caribbean Diasporic Foods - Talk & Kitchen Demo
27     Teaching #blackboylit
27     Black History and Culture Trivia Night


6       Black History Entrepreneurship and Education Discussion

Detailed event description on the Black History Month website.
African plus American event image
Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students meeting on Feb 28

IDE Virtual Discussion

February 25, 2021 | 11:30 a.m. CST

You are invited to a virtual discussion and action-planning session aimed at raising our institution’s capacity for inclusion. This is the second in a series of four events discussing the American Council on Education’s (ACE) research reports about MU. 

The event will be hosted by Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Diversity Initiatives, Dr. B. Sherrance Russell, and the Inclusive Excellence Liaisons. We will utilize breakout rooms to further discuss the theme of communication – its impact on our progress, our strengths, and opportunities. Further details on the theme can be found in summaries of the ACE reports.*

 Please register for the discussion.

International Teaching Assistant Program Header

MOCAT Service for ITAs/IGIs 

Mid-semester evaluations from your students are a valuable tool for all instructors. Because the concept and results of student feedback are culturally bound, ITAP works International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) and International Graduate Instructors (IGIs) to navigate the Assessment Resource Center's Mid-Semester Course Evaluations (MOCAT) site and to interpret the results.  We automatically sign up students who have attended ONITA as part of ITAP's Early Feedback Program. But, if you were exempt from ONITA or if you wish to take part again, please contact to sign up.

It’s important to remember, that results of early feedback are formative in nature and will NOT be shared with departmental faculty and staff.    

Preparing for an ITA/IGI Position

If you are an international graduate student preparing for TA/GI position for the summer or fall 2021, now is the time to talk to your department about what ITAP language level is required. Departments and programs will register you for an ITAP language assessment if required. Check your departmental/program deadlines.

Office of Research Header

Inviting all graduate students and postdocs:
FRST Fridays @Noon Research Development Series

Join us for the ResearchFRST Development Series “Integrating Research and Public Engagement” at noon, Friday, Mar. 5  via Zoom.   Susan Renoe, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Extension and Engagement and an Assistant Professor of Strategic Communications at MU, will discuss how researchers can communicate the impact of their research to the public; how to effectively integrate Broader Impacts into NSF proposals; and how to strengthen sustained relationships between researchers and communities. Access the registration form through the Research Gateway.

MU Postodctoral association header

Connect with us!


Postdoctoral Orientation

The MU Office of Postdoctoral Education invites postdocs new (or relatively new) to campus to attend Postdoctoral Orientation. This orientation is held twice a year in August and February. Postdocs will be introduced campus resources, postdoctoral policies and procedures, and employee benefits. The upcoming orientation is Monday, February 22, 10:00-11:30 am. Please register using the Postdoctoral Orientation form to reserve your spot and receive the Zoom link for the event. 

Postdoc Writing Group

Our Zoom Writing Group meets regularly on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month. Upcoming meeting dates:

February 22nd, 2021 and March 8, 2021  |  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CST

Zoom Link send out to the Postdoc Listserv

Travel Awards

MUPA is currently accepting applications for “Travel” awards to fund registration fees and/or membership fees necessary to attend a virtual meeting, conference, or professional development sessions. This round of awards covers all events attended between September 1st, 2020 and January 31st, 2021. Applications are due February 26th, 2021 at 5 PM. Please fill out and send application materials to:

There will be another round of awards to cover spring virtual meetings and events.

Postdoc Feature

If you would like to be features in one of our bi-monthly Newsletters, please email Kim Jasmer at

We are on Twitter! Connect with us @mu_mupa

Tag us in your posts about publications, awards, grants and other news and we will share it with the MU community!

Want to join MUPA as a board member?
You can serve the MU Postdoc community while bolstering your CV. Email Kim Jasmer at for more information.

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