Here at Cayuse, our mission is to empower and connect the global research community. Along with the huge benefits of simplifying and integrating the entire research lifecycle through uniquely designed software solutions – easing the administrative burden being just one of them – we’ve been taking a closer look at what else can be done to improve the mental health and wellbeing of this varied and vital community.

The view from the CGS and the JED

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and The Jed Foundation (JED) recently released a report – Supporting Graduate Student Mental Health and Well-being: Evidence-Informed Recommendations for the Graduate Community – to investigate the subject further and guide future research and action.

“The past ten years have seen mounting evidence that graduate students are facing increasing levels of stress and anxiety. In spite of this trend, little is known about the distribution of stress and stressors across diverse subgroups of master’s and doctoral students. …We developed an evidence-based framework to guide the development of campus-wide, systemic approaches to graduate student mental health and well-being. This framework…has been endorsed by over 150 institutions in the U.S. and Canada.”

— Executive Summary, Supporting Graduate Student Mental Health and Well-being

The view from Cayuse

With a team full of former researchers, research administrators, and other academic professionals, the Cayuse team was happy to see that graduate student well-being was being highlighted as a priority. Of course, it’s also thanks to this research expertise that we’re able to create solutions that address the requirements of everyone involved in the research lifecycle, and also ease the pain points such as the mental health of our new generation of researchers in graduate programs.

“We designed Graduate Education Manager (GEM) with many of these issues in mind,” says Suzanne Hopkins, Director of Product Management at Cayuse. “For example, we know how important it is to maximize the relationship between supervisor and student, which is why we built the ability to record and monitor effective student-supervisor conversations in GEM. Similarly, enhancing the recording of individual progress and achievements of graduate students allows a student-centered research organization to acknowledge and celebrate success, which is vital for student morale.”

Suzanne also talked us through just a handful of the ways that GEM addresses the concerns raised by the Supporting Graduate Student Mental Health and Well-being report.

Well-being as the foundation of student success

Student well-being is fostered by a culture of support. While GEM automatically connects a student to all the elements of their academic support networks, it can also be configured to offer well-being check-ins that are then tracked and acted upon. Additionally, it provides the opportunity for participants to reflect on development.

Addressing the specific challenges experienced by graduate students

We know that the experience of graduate students varies widely and differs in important ways from that of undergraduates. That’s why GEM is explicitly built around the needs of research education as distinct and different from undergraduate support systems.

A culture of transparency

GEM supports every organization’s guidelines, expectations, and policies – making principles, decision-making, and accountability visible. This gives users confidence and clarity that leads to the effective support of students and academics.

Supporting faculty, staff and administrators

Through delivering efficient and timely support for students and staff, and managing effective workflows, GEM is proven to reduce stress on staff and allow them to focus on the needs of students.

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