In collaboration with the Rackham Graduate School, the Sweetland Center for Writing coordinates several student-led writing groups for graduate students writing their dissertations or theses. These interdisciplinary writing groups provide structured, peer-facilitated support to aid writers through long-term projects.

Dissertation Writing Groups (DWG)

Dissertation Writing Groups place writers from various disciplines but in similar stages of their dissertation projects together to share work in-progress and encourage ongoing writing production. Groups will also be organized based on student meeting mode preference (in-person or remote).

Dissertation Writing Groups consist of four-five members including a group leader. Participants must bein the writing phase of their dissertations and available to meet at least eight times per semester to workshop group members’ writing on a rotating basis. Each group will determine meeting schedules and expectations.

Dissertation Writing Group Leaders

Those interested in becoming group leaders must provide additional information with their applications. Dissertation Writing Group Leaders’ duties include:

  1. Participating in 2 mentoring sessions with the DWG coordinators;
  2. Managing the logistics of the writing group;
  3. Facilitating group sessions and coordinating correspondence among group members.Leaders earn a $600 stipend for their services. 

If you would like more information about the group leader position before applying, contact Louis Cicciarelli ( or April Conway (

Continuing Groups

Dissertation Writing Groups may continue to receive support from Sweetland for one additional semester, with a new group leader. If your group would like to continue for a second term, each member must reapply and list the new group leader and the other group members. The new group leader must answer the leader application questions.

Read about former Dissertation Writing Groups participant experiences

Application Process

  • The application deadline for Fall 2021 is Sunday, August 29, 2021.
  • Leaders and participants will be notified of acceptance by September 3.
  • All accepted students participate in a virtual orientation session on Friday, September 17 at 4:00pm ET.