Financial Resources and Support
How to Finance Graduate School general information from the IU University Graduate School about paying for grad school
Indiana University - Building Diversity general information on diversity programs for graduate students including Women in Science Program (WISP) Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) and many other funding opportunities.
Full tuition waiver and stipend support for graduate study are available as fellowships, associate instructorships (AIs) and research assistantships (RAs). All applicants are considered for support and for nomination for fellowships. Students admitted with guaranteed support as AIs or fellows receive a two or four (sometimes five) year financial commitment for M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, respectively. The form of support may vary from year to year; thus, students admitted with fellowships may act as AIs or RAs in subsequent years. All awards are contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree goal and fulfillment of teaching and/or research responsibilities.
Evaluation of applicants for admission occurs concurrently with consideration for funding. Students may be admitted to the M.S. program with or without financial support. Applicants are only admitted to the Ph.D. program with support, or with the sponsorship of a faculty member. The sponsorship implies that the faculty member will assist the student in seeking support from external sources and will supervise his or her research. It reflects a strong commitment fromthe faculty sponsor to act as an advocate for the student. All students admitted without support can apply for departmental funds on a semester-by-semester basis, but are normally required to complete at least one semester in the graduate program before support is awarded.
The availability of Associate Instructor (AI) positions depends on existing commitments and on the amount of support for applicants from other sources. Each year the Committee For Graduate Study makes financial offers to admissible applicants with the aim of balancing acceptances with available funds. In some instances applicants may be assured of funding although the precise source (and sometimes amount of stipend) may depend on the success of departmental nominations for fellowships. The timing of offers is influenced by several factors, especially visits from applicants.
All graduate students matriculating in 2002 will each receive a $1000 commitment of departmental research funds to support their purchase of laboratory supplies, use of departmental analytical facilities, or to provide funds for fieldwork or participation in a national or regional meeting. Further funds are available on a competitive basis based on evaluation of mini-proposals by the Department's Policy Committee. In addition, both the Department and the College of Arts and Sciences provide competitive awards for research funding, espeically summer support. Many students also apply for and receive grants from national organizations, including GSA, the Paloeontological Society, AAPG, and Sigma Xi. The initial $1000 grant is a benefit of the Department's recent endowment campaign. Additional support may also come in the form of summer internships; several students typically receive such positions with petroleum companies each year.
Acceptance of Financial Offers
A national agreement among universities allows applicants until April 15 to formally accept or decline offers of support. Any financial offer stands until that date. Also, no institution can require an applicant to finalize his or her decision prior to April 15. Thus, confirmation of the status of pending offers on April 15 often affords the opportunity to extend financial support to additional applicants. However, departmental resources are rarely sufficient to support all applicants admitted to graduate degree programs.
Most departmental financial support is committed during recruitment efforts in the Spring, although AI positions do occasionally become available at the start of the Fall and Spring semesters, typically when students supported as AIs transfer to RA support.
The Department nominates well-qualified applicants for prestigious, competitive, campus-wide fellowships (e.g., Chancellor's, Women-in-Science, Dean's Minority, and Ronald E. McNair Fellowships), and for other graduate research fellowships. The Department also awards fellowships, often in specific research areas, that are sponsored by corporate gifts. Fellowships typically permit focus on coursework and research activities without teaching or other intructional rsponsibilities in the first year. Fellowship stipends are determined by whosoever makes the award; the most prestigious University fellowships provide stipends for Ph.D. study of $18,000 per annum.
Graduate Research Fellowship in Clay Mineralogy
The Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University has an opening for the Grassmann Fellowship in Clay Mineralogy for fall 2004. This competitive Fellowship is open to Doctoral-level candidates in the general area of clay mineralogy and carries a tuition waiver plus an award of $24,000 for 12mmonths, renewable on a yearly basis for up to 3 years. The Fellowship also includes a budget for research and travel expenses. The successful candidate for this fellowship will conduct research of his or her own choosing in the broad area of clay mineralogy. The Geology Department has outstanding facilities for fundamental and applied studies of clay minerals, inlcuding new X-ray diffraction, the rmoanalytical, and scanning electron microscope laboratories and excellent applied clay mineralogy, stable isotope, and biogeochemical facilities. Applicants should have a good background in mineral sciences and/or geochemistry and familiarity with X-ray diffraction. Proficiency in writing and speaking English is required. Preference will be given to students with a strong quantitative background. Interested students should contact:
Dr. David Bish, Haydn Murray Chair of Applied Clay Mineralogy
Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University
1001 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405 USA
AIs undertake up to 20 hr/week of teaching or lecturing responsibilities, typically in laboratory classes or discussion sessions for introductory geology courses. A training session is held annually at the beginning of the Fall semester to prepare and familiarize AIs with the requirements and responsibilities of these positions. University policy requires international students whose native language is not English to pass a test in English proficinecy prior to any AI appointment involving classroom teaching. Such tests, involving oral and written examinations, are held in Bloomington several times during the year. Entering students whose native language is not English are expected to pass this test during their first semester in residence, and to thereby become eligible for continued AI support. In exceptional cases, this examination can be waived for students whose educational training has been in English.
Departmental AIs receive a stipend (currently $15,927 paid over 10 months) and tuition fees for 30 credit hr/year. Students are responsible for unremittable fee charges (currently $35.00 per credit hour), and fees levied for student activities, health, technology and transportation charges (about $1,000 per year). Student AI stipends are for 10 months (i.e., Fall and Spring semesters) and may be supplemented during the summer by research funds.
RAs are research appointments funded from external sources controlled by a member of the faculty. They enable students to engage in original research related to their degree goals. RA appointments are primarily governed by the availability of external research grants. Funds may originate from various sources, including major funding agencies, federal or state organizations, independent funding agencies, or industrial corporations. The project director or principal investigator determines the duration of RA appointments and awards, which may be made to any applicant admitted to a degree program irrespective of any commitment of departmental support. Financial support may also be available for international students in the form of RAs, which do not require the English proficiency test.
Grant Sources for Students
This list was suggested and initially compiled by Sarah Pietraszek-Mattner.
Department of Geological Sciences Endowed Funds. Many of these are earmarked for students.
The GradGrants center on campus. They run workshops and critique your grants, and have several science grant databases for use by grad students. They also list a link to the grants that are specific to IU students (Doctoral grant-in-aid, summer incentives, etc.)
The IU Grad Student Organization provides grants to graduate students.
The GSA Grants page. Includes forms and instructions.
AAPG home page, with links to its Grants-in-Aid program.
Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of research programs. Membership not required.
The Paleontological Society. Grants open to members only.
Society for Vertebrate Paleontology's awards page with links to applications.
American Geological Institute. Search on "student grants." The site may provide ideas for additional directions.
Tobacco Root Geological Society. Scholarships supporting research in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
American Chemical Society - Petroleum Research Fund Grants. These appear to be given usually to faculty, but some student awards may be possible -- or work on your advisor!
A Google search on "student grants" + geology got 10,800 results, although many are opportunities within individual geoscience departments.