Gardner Seminar

The Gardner Seminar invites scholars from UC Berkeley and other institutions to make presentations on key higher education issues in California, the nation and the world. Students have an opportunity to present their own dissertation work and to receive feedback. 

Its goal is to provide an opportunity for students to engage with a range of disciplines that are related to higher education and to learn from scholars about their current research. Additionally, the Seminar helps broaden students’ understanding of different research tools, gives them the opportunity to present their own dissertation work and to explore potential career opportunities.

During the past spring term, students in the seminar heard lectures from prominent education leaders including: Martha Kanter, Devon Graves, and Maresi Nerad.


The seminar meets every other week for two hours - seven times a semester. 


Participants in the seminar are called David P. Gardner Fellows. Upon completion of the seminar, they will receive a $3,000 stipend.


Those wishing to apply should send a letter of application by June 15, 2020 to George Blumenthal, Director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education at

In the application identify:

  • Department
  • Degree program
  • Dissertation director
  • Projected date of completion
  • Description of dissertation topic
  • Letter of endorsement from dissertation director

Please note that the number of stipends available are limited. Students interested are encouraged to apply as soon as possible-applications will be considered as they are received.

We look forward to engaging a new group of doctoral students in the seminar for Fall 2020!