Policies for Applications for Departmental Mentored Research Funding
- Number of hours. For Fall and Winter we have found that students generally work about 10 hours/week on RA funding. We do allow students to apply for up to 20 hours/week, but your request could be downgraded. For Spring/Summer terms we request that the students submit a single application for Sp/Su combined, specifying the number of hours for each term separately. (Put zero if there's a term in which you don't want to work.) For Sp/Su we find that 20 hours/week is normal, but a student is allowed to request up to 40 hours/week.
- Factors in decision. In making decisions we take into account factors such as previous track record of working in a research group (if need be, as a volunteer in the beginning), how close to graduation the student is, advisor recommendations, other advisor funding, etc.
- Obligations. Acceptance of funding obligates students to present their supported research. This can easily be done at the Annual College Spring Research Conference. Other professional meetings can also be used to satisfy this requirement. A report of the experience must also be submitted to the University.
- Advisor. Please discuss a specific research project with your advisor before you apply. Do not submit an application without your advisor's knowledge!
- Decisions. We will notify you regarding funding decisions within a week of the application deadline. If you are not funded, please check with your advisor on possible alternative funding resources.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Eric Hintz.
We also encourage students to consider working as a teaching assistant. This can prove very valuable as you prepare for the Physics GRE or as a resume item. In addition, many TA positions may have a higher pay rate than this funding.
The deadline to apply for Spring/Summer 2024 funding is April 10, 2024 at midnight. If funds permit we will continue to consider applications after that point. Some students may be funded on a rolling basis before the deadline.
There are two subdivisions within the mentored research funding. When students start we assume they will not have the skills to perform projects on their own and are dependent on faculty, graduate students, and more senior undergraduates to participate in the research. Therefore the first three levels (1.0, 1.5, and 2.0) are considered training levels. At levels 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 the student is truly considered a research assistant. We anticipate the moving from the training levels to the research assistant levels will typically take between 2 semesters and a full year depending on student's ability, effort, and time commitment. For students who have already been doing research prior joining a specific group please discuss with your current advisor your potential pay level.
Here is the description of the tiers which is given to all advisors. While a student may not have fully fit a given description, the advisor has the freedom to interpret which level best describe the student's efforts. Please note that we only move between tiers at semester breaks.
The definitions below are a work in progress.
|Tier 1.0 - "True Beginner"
|Tier 1.5 - "Beginner"
|Tier 2.0 - "Contributor"
Research Assistant Levels
|Tier 2.5 - "Research Assistant"
|Tier 3 - "Independent Researcher"
|Tier 3.5 - "Advanced Independent Researcher"
|Tier 4 (top tier) - "Leader"
For the Winter 2024 terms, the pay rates of the tiers will be as follows:
- Tier 1.0: $12.25/hour
- Tier 1.5: $12.80
- Tier 2.0: $13.35
- Tier 2.5: $14.25
- Tier 3.0: $14.80
- Tier 3.5: $15.35
- Tier 4.0: $16.10
In some ways the half steps have been added to allow faculty to move students up even if they weren't quite to the next level. Therefore the definitions aren't as clear as the full steps.
In Winter 2024 we introduced a bonus for the number of Teaching Assistant hours accepted. This will be $0.25 after 10 hours of TA and then $0.25 for each additional 15 hours of TA. However, this is TA hours for previous semesters, not the next semester for which the offer is being made.
Make sure you understand the policies listed above. Prepare information describing the following, one paragraph each:
- Skills possessed & wanted
- Project summary
Then go to the college application page to complete the application: The Application Site is currently being replaced. Please come back in Mid-March when we hope to have the new application page working.
Also, if you have received previous funding through that website, you will receive and email from the university to report on your experience. You will not be able to receive future RA funding until that report is submitted. Please watch for the report email around the beginning of the last month of the semester.