University of Nebraska Medical Center


What are the Dissertation and Thesis Boot Camps?

Dissertation Boot Camp is a four-day event for PhD candidates to help them complete their dissertations. Thesis Boot Camp also lasts four days and is intended to help master's students complete their thesis.

If you’ve been struggling to find time to write your paper, have all the research done but aren't sure where to start writing, or have run into writer’s block, our Boot Camps can help provide you with strategies for productive, focused writing as well as the all-important yet incredibly elusive dedicated writing time.

What types of things will you learn?

Experts will be on hand to help give advice and strategies on how to draft and complete writing a large document, which requires different techniques than you may have learned in other classes throughout your career. You will also learn how to develop and implement a productive writing schedule. Workshops held over lunch will cover everything from grammar to how to submit your dissertation or thesis.

An added benefit of attending Boot Camp is, after the program is complete, you will be a member of an ongoing peer writing community, which will help facilitate productive writing as you complete your final paper.

What are the lunch workshops?

We will hold workshops over lunch covering topics identified from information that you provide on the registration form. Possible topics include writing productively, grammar refresher, time management and navigating the electronic submission process.

What certain things won't Boot Camp cover?

Boot Camp will not provide proofreading or detailed editing of your dissertation or thesis. It will also not cover discipline-specific matters of formatting or presentation. Boot Camp should also not serve as a replacement for ongoing communication with your PI/Supervisor.

Who should attend?

Dissertation Boot Camp is intended for PhD candidates who have largely completed their dissertation project and are in the process of writing the dissertation. Thesis Boot Camp is intended for master's students who have largely completed their training and are in the process of writing the thesis.

To ensure you can complete the entire program, your PI/Supervisor must approve your participation by signing the registration form and releasing you from other duties during Boot Camp.

How much does it cost?

$75 fee will be billed to your student account. However, the fee will be waived in full upon completion of the Boot Camp program. This means you must show up all four days of Boot Camp, be on time, and stay throughout the entire session. Students who do not follow these guidelines must pay the fee. (Similar to a late registration fee, it will NOT be paid by your department or program.)

How do you register?

Registering is easy. Simply complete the dissertation registration form or the thesis registration form and submit it by email to Dr. Karen Gould by the deadline.

Ask your PI/Supervisor to submit the required attestation (see page 1 of the registration form) by the same deadline.

How many people can attend Boot Camp?
Because of the focused environment of Boot Camp, attendance is limited to only 12 PhD candidates and six master's students. This is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it is important you register as soon as possible. Registration forms and the PI/Supervisor’s attestation must be completed and submitted by the deadline.
What will an average day at Boot Camp be like?

Boot Camp is a mix of group and individual work time, and you are expected to attend and participate in all sessions. Group sessions help you set daily goals and review the day’s accomplishments (or obstacles), and provide strategies for becoming a productive writer. You will also have the opportunity to work with a writing consultant.

You will have at least four to six hours of dedicated writing time each day, which gives you a feel for a productive writing schedule and what it can accomplish.

What do you need to bring to Boot Camp?
Attendees need to bring a laptop or mobile device to work on (be sure to bring all necessary power cords). You should also bring any books, articles, and other materials you need.
Will food be provided?
Yes, lunch is provided. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions you have.