Gardner Seminar

Speaker Presentations

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The Trajectory of UC Financing-Past and Future with John Douglass

The David P. Gardner seminar builds a community of early career researchers in higher education within the University of California system. 

Each year, CSHE sponsors the David P. Gardner Seminar for doctoral students who are conducting research related to higher education. Named after UC President Emeritus David P. Gardner, the seminar was expanded in 2020 beyond UC Berkeley to engage students across the University of California system. Applications are accepted from doctoral students from all the UC campuses who represent multiple academic disciplines and are studying some aspect of higher education.  This broad range in the seminar participants creates a unique community of early career researchers in higher education within the University of California system.

For each session, CSHE invites diverse scholars and administrators to make presentations on key higher education topics in California, the nation and the world. Students in the seminar hear lectures from prominent education leaders including chancellors and former presidents of University of California. Past speakers have included:

  • UC Regents Chairs, Cecilia Estolano and John Perez
  • Professor Tolani Britton from the Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley
  • Former Under Secretary for Education Martha Kanter 
  • Director of the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) at the University of Washington, Maresi Nerad

Graduate students are expected to present their own dissertation research and to give and receive constructive feedback to colleagues in the seminar. 

The Gardner Seminar provides fellows opportunities to:

  • Engage with a range of disciplines that are related to higher education;
  • Learn from scholars about their current research;
  • Broaden understanding of different research tools and methodologies;
  • Present their own dissertation work;
  • Explore potential career paths; and
  • Create a community of early career higher education researchers


The seminar meets remotely every other week for two hours - at least 14 meetings during the academic year.


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


Applications for 2022-23 should include:

  • Name and contact information
  • Name of UC campus
  • Department
  • Degree program
  • Dissertation advisor
  • Projected date of completion
  • Title and Description of dissertation topic (no more than three pages)
  • Letter of endorsement from dissertation advisor (may be sent separately)
  • Indicate enrollment status for 2022-2023

Please note that the enrollment is kept to 11 graduate students.

Application Deadline

Applications should be submitted by June 20, 2022.

We look forward to engaging a new group of doctoral students in the seminar for Fall 2022!

Questions? Please email for more information.