Supplementary support for graduate students

1. MRSEC Graduate Fellowships

All graduate students training in MRSEC-supported laboratories are invited to submit applications for MRSEC Graduate Fellowships. This fellowship supports collaborative research projects that advance scientific and/or outreach goals of the MRSEC.

Individuals or teams of graduate students are invited to submit proposals for collaborative research between multiple research groups.  At least one MRSEC laboratory should be involved in the collaboration. The collaborating lab(s) may also be in the Center, but do not need to be. If not in the MRSEC, it is preferred that the collaborating lab is located at UChicago.

Proposals can be to establish new or support ongoing projects in materials research that advance IRG/Super-Seed research agenda. Graduate students at any stage of their education are welcome to apply. The criteria for proposal evaluation are (i) quality of the proposed materials science and (ii) demonstrated excellence in collaborative research of participants.

The fellowship is for a 1 year period and carries a full stipend for 1 graduate student plus a $2500 travel budget. In the case of a team involving 2 or more graduate students, monetary support will be divided equally among graduate students, but all will be considered MRSEC Graduate Fellows. We expect to have support for three positions at any given time, with funding to start immediately after a decision is made. Decisions will be made by the MRSEC director and members of the MRSEC Graduate Fellowship Committee.

The competition schedule will be as follows

Application Deadline

Decision Notification

Fall 2020

October 1, 2020

November 15, 2020

Spring 2021

March 1, 2021

April 15, 2021

Fall 2021

October 1, 2021

November 15, 2021

A complete application contains
• a C.V of graduate student participants;
• a 1 page proposal (figures on additional pages) written by the graduate student(s) describing work to be performed during fellowship period;
• a short letter from at least one MRSEC PI describing how the proposal advances scientific and/or outreach goals of MRSEC .

2. Travel Support

MRSEC has a subsidy to encourage graduate student participation at conferences so they can present results from MRSEC-supported research. Student participation in professional conferences is key to their maturation as scientists and helps them do better science.

MRSEC will provide up to $500 to help graduate students attend scientific conferences at which they present either oral or poster presentations on MRSEC-supported research. This subsidy is intended to be used in situations where effort has been made to secure student fellowships that pay partial conference support, but no such support was received. Receiving such support is not a prerequisite, but will help us to leverage these funds.  Large meetings, such as ACS,APS, and MRS where are excluded from this subsidy, in favor of smaller meetings like Gordon Conferences to increase impact.

All graduate students working on MRSEC-supported research are eligible.

Graduate students planning to use this subsidy should let the MRSEC Director and Eileen Sheu know BEFORE the meeting. Graduate students must send in: the poster or oral presentation title, the meeting's name and location, and co-authors on the presentation. The presentation must also acknowledge MRSEC support for the research. We will need a statement that an effort has been made to secure additional support through conference participation and/or travel fellowships. To get reimbursed, these items should also be included with the Travel Voucher. There will be no advance payments. Funds have been set aside for this subsidy based on demand from previous years (roughly sufficient to support 20 applications). MRSEC will consider applications as they come in and until the earmarked funds are exhausted.

3. Support for Minority Graduate Students

Funds have been set aside to increase the number of underrepresented minority graduate students who participate in MRSEC research. Following NSF regulations, underrepresented minorities in this context are limited to African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. If you are planning to employ underrepresented minority or female graduate students in your MRSEC research, contact the MRSEC Director about additional MRSEC support.