Intergroup Dialogue for Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Scholars

Piloted in 2016, Intergroup Dialogue for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars has been offered annually by the Intergroup Dialogue Project and the Graduate School. This collaboration offers a meaningful process for graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to explore their social identities, practice communication across difference, and think together about equity and inclusion in academia. This course enables participants to reflect on their personal experiences related to such issues, but also explore ways through which they can promote equity and inclusion in their academic spaces and circles.

Through an interactive and research-informed process known as intergroup dialogue, this offering provides participants with the opportunities to explore how their social identities shape their professional choices and teaching/learning styles, how to build capacity to have meaningful dialogue and effective collaborations across social, cultural and power differences, and to explore the power of alliances when seeking to create an inclusive environment.

Who is this program for?

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are required to communicate and work across cultural, social, and power differences on a daily basis. They interact with mentors, colleagues, undergraduate students, staff, and faculty in a variety of academic settings. They regularly navigate different spaces, ways of thought, and academic practice at the university. Throughout their long and complex training, many of them are also reflecting on what kind of scholars and professionals they want to become and how different aspects of their identity might influence their “professional persona.” 

This course provides a space for a group to come together to connect in a deep and personal way across differences through activities designed to stimulate critical reflection of social identities and power dynamics in the graduate student, professional student, and postdoc experience. Through this process, our participants gain the skills and confidence to engage in difficult conversations in an empathetic way that allows for authentic dialogue across power.

This could be the program for you if you want to:

  • Connect more effectively with students, faculty, and colleagues.
  • Prepare yourself to engage in diversity & inclusion processes in your future career as a scholar/professional.
  • Explore your own social identities and learn how they relate to larger structures.
  • Feel confident addressing power dynamics in your field.
  • Learn how to respond to uncomfortable comments and situations.
  • Engage in meaningful conversations about and across differences.
  • Communicate productively through conflict.
  • Collaboratively think about ways you can enact positive social change.
  • Get to know a diverse group of scholars who are interested in similar topics!

When is this program offered?

At this time Intergroup Dialogue for Graduate and Professional Students and Postdoctoral Scholars is tentatively scheduled to be offered in summer 2024.

Applications & Eligibility

This offering is limited to graduate students, professional students whose degrees are conferred by the Graduate School, and postdoctoral scholars. If you are interested, please apply by Monday, April 25th. We will notify applicants of their acceptance by Friday, May 6th.

If you have any questions about the application or the offering, please contact

IDP transformed the way I think about my role as a graduate student at Cornell... I'm [now] certain that I am not alone in my desire to enact change. Although the challenges facing our campus and nation do not seem any less daunting, the possibility of success seems much greater with the knowledge that others, from a variety of departments and positions at Cornell, are working towards a shared vision of a better, more equitable future.

Graduate Student

I want to make a larger effort to integrate tools for inclusive collaboration in my role as an instructor. I hope to ask more engaging and productive questions and to create an environment of respect.

Graduate Student

LARA is a very useful tool that I plan to implement outside of IDP along with "strategic questions," which can be helpful for initiating dialogue and giving people space to explore ideas fully

Graduate Student

Instead of avoiding certain topics relevant to diversity (which I thought my colleague might not be interested in), I am more confident to start the conversation and give more background information.

Graduate Student

This offering of Intergroup Dialogue for Graduate Students & Postdocs has been made possible through funding support from the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, the Future Faculty and Academic Careers office, and the National Science Foundation-funded CIRTL AGEP Project under Grant No. 1647094.