PhD Workshop Detail
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Hosted by the ACSP Doctoral Committee

October 22 & 23, 2019 ~ Greenville, South Carolina
Applicants who were accepted for this workshop should register using the form below.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Doctoral Committee of ACSP invites doctoral students of planning working on their dissertation research to attend the 2019 ACSP PhD Workshop, to be held just before the 2019 ACSP Annual Conference also in Greenville.

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


Participants & Faculty

The workshop is 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 will have multiple opportunities to present their work to their fellow students and workshop faculty in smaller breakout sessions. Students will be expected to submit a synopsis of their dissertation proposal about one month before the workshop. The workshop will be limited to approximately 20-25 students to ensure adequate time for participation and feedback. Workshop faculty will be drawn from several institutions. All have extensive experience advising PhD students in multiple domains.


Workshop Facility & Housing

The workshop will be hosted at the Greenville One Center. The center has the best of built-in technology, rooms filled with natural light and panoramic views of America's 4th fastest growing city. Housing will be at the Aloft Hotel which is part of ONE Greenville, a mixed-use hub in the heart of the city. The headquarters for the 2019 ACSP Annual Conference is the Hyatt Regency Greenville - within easy walking distance of the workshop venue.



Greenville, SC is serviced by the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, the gateway to Upstate South Carolina. The airport is serviced by 6 airlines (Allegiant Air, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Express) offering 49 non-stop average daily departures to 15 major cities and 18 airports across the U.S. Flying into Atlanta and renting a car would be about a 2 hour and 45 minute drive; flying into Charlotte, NC and renting a car would take you about 2 hours (the on-site parking fee at the ALoft Hotel is $7 USD daily).


Fees & Costs

The workshop registration fee is $200/person. The workshop fee will cover most food and beverage, and we hope to be able to provide two night's housing for those accepted.


Workshop Themes

The workshop will include both plenary and small-group sessions. Each student will make at least two presentations about his or her research during the course of the workshop. The workshop organization will be based on four questions about dissertation research: Who, Why, What, and How?

  • WHO: Who is the audience for your research? Will it be undertaken and presented in a manner that is understandable to your audience?
  • WHY: What purpose does your inquiry serve? Why should others care about your research? What difference will your inquiry and results make?
  • WHAT: What is your central hypothesis or proposition, or argument? What knowledge claims do you expect your research to support? What questions do you hope to answer?
  • HOW: How do you expect to conduct your inquiry? How will you organize your inquiry (Research design)? What tools do you need to answer your major questions (Methodology)?


Tentative Workshop Agenda

Tuesday, October 22


Travel to Greenville




Overview & Introductions


Presentation: Research Audience, Goal, Question, & Design


Coffee Break


Breakout Exercise: Research Questions & Design (Facilitated by Faculty)




Dinner & Panel Discussion: Getting through the Dissertation

Wednesday, October 23


Breakfast / Recap for the Day


Group Discussion – Report Out on Research Design & Pandora’s Box*


Presentation: Strategies for Selecting Appropriate Research Methods, Presentation
of Findings


Coffee Break


Breakout Exercise: Student Discussion of Research Proposals (Facilitated by Faculty)
Session 1

Noon – 1:30



Breakout Exercise: Student Discussion of Research Proposals (Facilitated by Faculty)
Session 2


Coffee Break


Group Discussion – Report Out & Pandora’s Box*


Panel Discussion: Life After the Dissertation


Dinner on Your Own

* Pandora’s Box = Discussion allowing students to express and discuss concerns and anxieties as they conceive of or undertake their research.


Key Dates

Application Deadline: Monday August 29th

Notification of Acceptance: during the week of September 12th

Synopsis of Dissertation Proposal Due: Tuesday, September 24

Workshop: Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23


How to Apply- Two Parts

Part One
Applications must be submitted on-line using the form below. The form is only one part of the application process! Application materials to be submitted using the form include:

  1. A current resume or CV
  2. Completion of a short – no more than 500 word abstract of the applicant’s dissertation project
  3. The name and email address of the applicant’s principal academic advisor. The advisor will be required to respond, see part two below.

Part Two
Before your application will be reviewed by the ACSP Doctoral Committee, your faculty advisor must send an email directly to Donna Dodd,, before the August 29th application deadline including responses to the following questions:

  1. Name of the workshop applicant
  2. Has the applicant advanced to PhD candidacy (or equivalent)? Yes or No. If yes, on what date?
  3. Has the applicant defended his/her dissertation proposal (or equivalent)? Yes or No. If yes, on what date? If no, approximately when do you expect the applicant to defend his/her dissertation?
  4. Please provide any thoughts on the significance of the applicant's proposed dissertation research and how he/she might benefit especially by participation in this workshop.

Application Review

Applications will not be reviewed without both parts as described above: the form AND the email from the advisor. Applications will be reviewed by the ACSP Doctoral Committee. Previous years’ workshops have been able to accommodate about 50-60% of those who applied.


Dissertation Proposal

All those selected to participate must submit a four-page (single-spaced) summary of the student’s dissertation research proposal no later than September 24. These will be distributed among participating students and faculty prior to the workshop. In addition, all participants will be expected to make an 8-minute, 5-slide presentation of their research during the afternoon of the workshop.


For More Information


Workshop Registration Form

 If you have trouble submitting this form, please contact Donna Dodd,




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.


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