Today: McKeldin 08:00AM - 05:00PM

Common Quandaries Workshops and Related Events

What We Do

The "Common Quandaries" graduate student workshop and event series offers introductions to a variety of skills, tools, and concepts to researchers on campus. 

Interested in an event but can't attend? Hoping to a see a past event run again in the future? Want to request an event specifically for your program or unit? Please contact us with your questions at! Also be sure to check out our growing video resources and our archive of past events!

Calendar of Events

Browse for events and register using the calendar, or scroll down to see the full listing.


"Speed Geeking" Or, How I learned to Love Talking About My Research Outside the Discipline

Are you building an academic or professional network? Do you find yourself at conferences and not quite prepared to talk about yourself and your research? Come get some practice with us at Speed Geeking!

By “Speed Geeking” we mean that we’re challenging you to practice talking about your research interests to different audiences—each other! The format is like speed dating where participants rotating around the room and talking to different people, but you’ll be focusing on why you’re here in graduate school and the things you’re working on. This is an important skill to develop for a number of scenarios in which networking will be important to you: conferences, job hunting, explaining to your aunt and uncle what it is that is consuming your life at the University of Maryland. Another way to think of this exercise is as an extended “elevator pitch,” the idea of explaining your research to someone quickly and concisely during an elevator ride.

Managing Data from Your Research

Collecting data as you research and need a management plan? Interested in practical tips and resources for curating and preserving data?

During this workshop we will give you an introduction to the research data life cycle, an overview of data preservation concepts and methodology, and for a discussion of what qualifies as research data. Learn how data management applies to your research and hear tips on how to better prepare yourself to meet the challenges required from funding agencies for things like grant writing and research institutions.

Organizing Your Research and Using Citation Managers

Still adapting your workflow to graduate school? Starting a new project and worried about staying organized? Need a solution for keeping track of your PDFs and other files?

Learn strategies for organizing your research, hear the experiences of other graduate students, consider the benefits of cloud storage apps, and get introduced to citation managers like EndNote Web, Mendeley, and Zotero.

Creating Your Academic Presence Online

 Have you considered establishing an online presence for your academic identity? Wondering how to leverage social media to build academic contacts and publicize your own work? Want to learn how open access publication and repositories might benefit you? Did you know there are library resources that could help with these topics and more?

This workshop will help you to think about how to approach social media as a professional, how you might engage in the professional online conversations in your field, and best practices for sharing your own work or others'. You will also learn about how libraries' resources can benefit your scholarly reputation. Bring your laptops to set up accounts or get feedback on the digital presence you've already established! 

The Ins and Outs of Academic Publishing: A Graduate Student Panel

Are you a grad student trying to wrap your head around the academic publishing process? Not sure if you’re at the right stage to get started? Need to know what to expect? Interested in knowing what publishing is like for grad students in different disciplines? Come ask your questions and hear some answers from other students like you!

The Research Commons in McKeldin Library is hosting a graduate student panel with participants from different disciplines across campus sharing their experiences and discussing your questions. We’ll cover a range of publishing topics like how these grads approached drafting their articles, chose venues for submission, received responses, and dealt with the publishing process from start to finish. 

Getting Started with Poster Design

 Are you interested in participating in poster sessions at conferences or other events but don’t know how to get started? Want to learn how you might easily include some graphic design into how you communicate about your scholarship? Then come join us to get started with poster design!

Join us as we will introduce you to the process for academic poster design and presentation from start to finish, including tips for using programs such as Powerpoint. Participants are encouraged to bring their own computers to get some hands on practice in creating their own posters or other graphics. Classroom computers will also be provided.. For the second hour of this session, you'll have a chance to practice yourself and ask questions; feel free to attend even if you can't stay for the whole workshop!


All About Conferencing: A Graduate Student Panel

Are you new to conferencing and interested in hearing about graduate students’ conferencing experiences? Have an upcoming conference and not sure what to anticipate? Looking to make the most of your conference experiences? Come ask your questions and hear some answers from graduate students like you!