News & Press: ACSP News

PhD Workshop -- Another Great Success!

Monday, November 25, 2019  
Posted by: Nicole Smith
Share |

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and its Doctoral Committee hosted a PhD workshop for 11 doctoral students this past October at the Greenville ONE Center in Greenville, South Carolina, in conjunction with the ACSP Annual Conference. Students were selected to participate after review of their application which included submission of their CV and abstract describing their dissertation project.

The goal of the workshop is to allow students and faculty to gather and discuss the practical details of creating, producing, distributing and consuming planning knowledge among scholars. Participants worked on conceiving, designing and presenting PhD-quality research to multiple audiences, including, most centrally, their peers. Students advised one another as scholars pursuing unique research paths within a community of shared inquiry. The faculty work jointly as teachers, advisors, and coaches.

The workshop is held annually and oriented toward planning doctoral students who have passed their qualifying examination (or equivalent) and will be defending, or have recently defended, their PhD dissertation proposal within about six months prior to or following the workshop.

Students expressed great appreciation for this opportunity and provided the following reviews:

"Participation in the ACSP PhD workshop provided gave me the opportunity to take a broader perspective of my dissertation research. The workshop helped me enhance the rigor and focus of my project, and the instructors and fellow participants provided invaluable feedback. I especially enjoyed meeting students from other institutions and learning about their dissertation research."   

--Sophie Kelmenson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"The PhD Workshop provided the opportunity to refine how I present my dissertation research to a knowledgeable, thoughtful audience of doctoral students and professors. The group gave me valuable constructive feedback and helped me work through some of the more complex aspects of my project. I also found the opportunity to hear the faculty leaders' more general advice about the path toward finishing a dissertation, publishing, the academic job market, and the tenure track incredibly useful. Beyond the substantive benefits of the workshop, I feel like a gained a cohort of new colleagues from across the country and made valuable connections with a supportive group of professors. Overall, I was extremely grateful to have been involved and would recommend the workshop to other students without hesitation.

-- Tyler Haupert, Columbia University


The workshop really helped me to get a better feel for what the job market and job application process are like for academic jobs in planning. I feel like I came away from the workshop with an understanding of what work I still have yet to do in order to be ready to apply for jobs. The workshop also helped me to situate my dissertation better within the literature of planning. As someone from a non-planning PhD school (I am in public affairs) I have struggled to understand how I might be a viable applicant for planning jobs, and this workshop helped me understand the contribution my dissertation makes. Finally, the workshop helped me to make friends with fellow PhD students who are in the same boat as myself. Sometimes it’s hard to meet fellow students, as my “networking” bandwidth is typically consumed by trying to meet professors and more senior scholars. So it was great to establish a cohort of phd candidates to stay in contact with."

--Andrew J. Van Leuven, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

"Thank you for organizing this workshop! It was a very valuable experience in terms of thinking broader about my research methods. I haven't even thought about using an experimental design in my dissertation before I talked to Dr. Dick Norton. It was like opening a new world to me. When I got back home I searched JPER articles and found one published in 2017* which talked about experimental design in planning and why should we use it widely."  

*Honey-Roses, J., & Stevens, M. (2019). Commentary on the absence of experiments in planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 39(3), 267-272. doi:10.1177/0739456X17739352

-- Gala Korniyenko, The Ohio State University

Stay tuned to ACSP website and social media for details about the 2020 PhD Workshop in Toronto, Canada.




The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


2910 Kerry Forest Parkway, D4-206 • Tallahassee, FL 32309