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Why Join the CSQC

Groundbreaking research

The Center’s broader impacts are derived from contributions to scientific innovation through the development of new methodologies and from the creation of functional molecular and nanoscale structures.

Learn more about what we do.

Hear our trainees explain their research in their own words.

Professional development

Developing leaders is a key theme of the CSQC mission. Students have opportunities to shadow senior researchers and participate in more formal education on leadership and innovation. In 2020, CSQC designed a new short course for junior researchers in partnership with the Duke Fuqua School of Business. Professor Jonathon Cummings led this short course on “Building Effective Teams for Science and Innovation.” In 2021, Professor Daisy Lovelace designed a short course for the CSQC on “Effective Communication to Encourage Innovation.”  CSQC will offer similar courses annually in partnership with its institutions’ business schools.

Professor Jonathon Cummings of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business teaches a CSQC-sponsored short course to students and postdocs on “Building Effective Teams for Scientific Innovation.”

CSQC has entered into a partnership with COACh to extend its evidence-based approach to career success to graduate students and postdocs. In 2020, Professor Geri Richmond of U. Oregon conducted the COACh workshop on “Mentoring for Career Success” for CSQC researchers. In 2021, she led the COACh workshop on “The Art of Effective Negotiation.” COACh will offer annual workshops on other topics such as career launch and acceleration.

Because of the importance of communication skills for leaders, especially in talking with non-experts, CSQC tapped Dr. Jory Weintraub of the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society to offer a two-part webinar in 2020 on “Science Communication and Outreach in the Time of Covid-19.” In 2021, he delivered a workshop on “Science Writing for Public Engagement.” CSQC provides opportunities and resources including further training to its junior researchers interested in the design, implementation, and evaluation of outreach activities in informal science communication.

CSQC team members prepare for the remote workshop “Science Communication and Outreach in the Time of Covid-19”

High-performing team environment

The Center is committed to an inclusive and respectful environment, and utilizes a team-based approach to research that welcomes a diversity of ideas. Students have access to mentors at different institutions, and are able to initiate and lead activities in several research thrusts. Peer-to-peer teaching and a student advisory board represent a few of the opportunities for junior researchers to engage with others in the Center.

Students receive regular training and coaching in leadership, innovation, informal science communication, and professional development.  They may also initiate and lead teams in outreach activities of their own design. Not only does this directly benefit the Center, but young researchers will enter the marketplace with a competitive advantage, as employers highly value traits beyond technical ability.

Northwestern’s ISEN students and facilities (left), and the Makri group at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (right)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We commit ourselves as a Center and as individuals to actively support the diverse strengths we all bring to the table.  Please read the Full CSQC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

The CSQC Anthem

Ask the Cat – Flowerpot Toad