Dr. Maresi Nerad is the founding director of the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE), the first center for studies on graduate education in the U.S. and worldwide, and Associate Professor (tenured) for Higher Education in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program, College of Education at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Dr. Nerad received her doctorate in higher education from the University of California-Berkeley in 1988. From 1988 until 2000, she directed research in the Graduate Division at the University of California-Berkeley and spent 20001 as Dean in Residence at the Council of Graduate Schools, in Washington, D.C. – USA. In 2001 she joined the University of Washington in Seattle and opened CIRGE in 2002.  She served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Washington from 2003- 2009.  In 2005 she received the Miegunyah Fellowship and spent three months at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She was appointed Professor Extraordinary by the University of the Free State in South Africa in 2011, and was a Fulbright Specialist during Fall 2011 in South Africa.

As Principle Investigator or Co-investigator she has received grants totaling more than $2.6 million from various public and private sources such as NSF, Arthur Sloan Foundation, Ford Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and Getty Grants Foundations. She has been a grant reviewer for NSF, Sloan, and the Getty Grants.

Having worked for over two decades in the field of doctoral education, she has undertaken national PhDs career path surveys, research on factors that influence time to doctoral degree and attrition. Since 2005 she convened biannual an international network of experts in doctoral education worldwide.  This group studies the forces and forms that promote and impede improvement and change in doctoral education around the globe. Her current research interests cover the assessment of innovative, interdisciplinary doctoral programs (in the US the NSF funded IGERT; in Germany the DFG funded Graduiertenkolleges), comparison of international doctoral programs, integrating international students and preparing domestic students with the skills needed for the globalized PhD labor market.

She written and edited 4 books and published numerous articles on doctoral education. She has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences on doctoral education, was a reviewer for the German Government Excellence Initiative in 2005, 2007 and 2012, and has served and serves on several US national advisory committees, such as the US National Science Foundation (NSF) International Advisory Committee, and consults with German, South African, Malaysian, Saudi Arabian universities and their doctoral schools.

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