Founded in 2002, the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) is the first U.S. research center devoted to the study and improvement of doctoral education worldwide.

Among today’s PhD graduates are tomorrow’s leaders, researchers, and innovators who confront a complex set of social, political, cultural, technical, environmental and health issues within a global setting. Our mission is to meet the urgent need for understanding doctoral education practices and outcomes worldwide and to discover how best to prepare PhD students to increase the world’s capacity for solving global problems and meeting human needs.

Based on our research, publications, consulting, international collaborations and workshops, CIRGE has become a trusted source of valid information and data about graduate education outcomes, as well as a site of sophisticated analyses on issues vital to doctoral education and innovative ideas; helping universities respond to today’s challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that change offers.

CIRGE firmly believes research on the career trajectories of former students and their retrospective evaluations of the effectiveness of their graduate programs is crucial in a knowledge-based world society, both for academic institutions that provide graduate education, and for government, industry, and non-profits that now employ the majority of U.S-trained PhDs.

Spiral as a Symbol


CIRGE has chosen the spiral as the symbol to be used in our logos and other printed materials.  The spiral is an ancient symbol, found carved on rocks thousands of years old, on every continent in the world. This is probably because it is one of the most common shapes in nature,  occurring  in whirlpools, galaxies, plants, and shells.  A spiral is a curve that winds around a fixed point at a continuously increasing distance from that point.  Although each loop of the spiral brings us back to the same place, it takes us to a higher and more evolved level at each turn.  CIRGE chose this symbol of ongoing growth and development –  one of the things education tries to foster in students and faculty – to show our commitment to researching and analyzing innovations in graduate education.  A variation of the spiral – the nautilus – was used in the logo for our Forces and Forms of Change in Doctoral Education Worldwide network.