Skip to Main Content

WRT 27x - Audience Analysis Workshop: Graduate Programs and Research Labs

Graduate Schools and Research Programs

WRT 27x graduate school Audience Analysis



Please fill out this form: WRT27x values and consider this question: When thinking about a potential employer, academic research lab, or graduate program, which organizational values would entice you to apply? Pick the three values that matter most to you, and write them down.


Opportunities for advancement

Having your own project/self-directed

Financial stability of the organization/research funding

High compensation/pay/benefits


Acknowledged for good work

Community engaged

Push for innovation and creativity

Collaborative/team-oriented environment

Commitment to a clean/safe work environment

Commitment to social responsibility & sustainability

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion


Why are these important to you?

Thinking about values:


Based on this video, what would MIT say are hallmarks of what students and faculty care about?


Culture @ MIT MECHE: 


Now read this article and consider: What is MIT's position on graduate students professionalism? How does this alter your perception of what you learned about MIT through the video?

"Proposed federal rules threaten graduate student unionization." by Ronak Roy in The Tech, Oct 3, 2019. 


Review these exerpts (handed out or linked here):

  • Which sources are most trustworthy and why?
  • How did you decide?
  • Is there more information you’d like to know?
  • How might you find it?


1) Programs and resources for Women, MIT Office of Graduate Education: 

1a) "MIT takes action in response to sexual misconduct survey findings," MIT News. 


2) "New MIT Report Details University's Deeper Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein" by Nell Gluckman. 


2a)"MIT releases results of fact-finding on engagements with Jeffrey Epstein" MIT News. 


2b) "Bill Gates Worked with Jeffrey Epstein to Funnel $2 Million to MIT" Infowars. 



Take a moment to brainstorm some reasons you might want to research potential employers, faculty research labs, and/or graduate programs. We’ve discussed value systems, but are there other reasons to investigate employers/labs/programs? 



Were any of these *not* your list? Consider what the most important reasons are for you.



How do you research a graduate program? Triangulate your sources.



Universities as Employers: reputation, wages/stipends, cost of living


Academic Departments and faculty: current research, funding streams, values


There are resources out there to inform you on which programs to apply for. You can use the sources below to search for graduate schools based on things like available programs, research areas, location, cost, and reputation/rankings. Check out these links; consult campus resources like faculty you trust; and talk to graduate students in programs of interest to hear their experiences.



You can discover more about funding and research using Dimensions (log in with your university email) You can find information by research field, university, a university department or a particular researcher.


For news in higher education, you can search The Chronicle of Higher Education.  


Try a Google search with keywords, like the department or research lab, or a term that represents a value to you, like "Title IX", or "diversity."

Search social media, while maintaining a healthy skepticism!

Time to explore . . . 


Develop a SWOT analysis based on what information you discover.


Strengths - which elements of the lab/program align with your values/conveniences

Weaknesses - which elements of the lab/program are at odds with your values/conveniences

Opportunities - what’s coming in the future that make this lab/program an attractive option Threats - what’s coming in the future that makes it a risky option

Contact a librarian

Help is available!

Profile Photo
Kimberly Hoffman
Dept of Learning Initiatives
Rush Rhees, Office 106

Help is Available

Profile Photo
On-Call Librarian

Social Science Librarian

Profile Photo
Eileen Daly-Boas
Prefer Zoom? If I'm on chat, I'm happy to switch to Zoom.
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(585) 236-4145