Archive for December, 2017

Funding information

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Finding professors with funding:

It`s always hard to find professors who have open positions/ funding. Usually senior students of a particular university can easily clarify the funding situation of the intended university. There is another way to find professors who might have funding or open positions. Usually, All the assistant professors of any university might have funding or open positions in US universities. This is because, when an assistant professor is hired by the university; the “job” is still not permanent. The assistant professor needs to try to bring funding, publish papers and graduate MSc/ PhD students. In US, faculties are initially hired as assistant professor and this is the starting point to build their career. If the assistant professor is unable to bring funding, publish papers or graduate MSc/ PhD students; his job may not become permanent. this situation of an assistant professor is called “tenure track”. When a new professor (including assistant professors) is hired in an university, the professor (including assistant professors) are given “start-up” funding by the university to build his own research group and research lab. This is one kind of investment by the university. The university knows that, when the newly hired professor (including assistant professors) write research proposals to ask for money from the funding agency; the university will get paid back. Because, once a research proposal is accepted and the funding agency gives money to professors; the university will keep some percentage (%) of that funded grants. The professors spend the funded grants to hire students, research labs and publications.So, in order to find funding from professors, the students need to look for “active” researchers (professors). All the professors are not “active” in research. That`s why, all of them might not have funding. You can check professors` website or his recent publications to understand his lab situation. Usually, all the assistant professors and newly hired Prof/ Assoc professors might have funding to hire new students. You can check Prof/ Assoc/ Assist. Professors` biography(in the website) to get a clear idea on that.
Drawbacks in joining an Assistant Prof`s team:
Assistant professors always look to hire students, publish papers and try to get funding; as it is their initial stage of their career. Even, in order to make their jobs permanent, they need to graduate MSc/ PhD students, publish papers or try to get funding (as mentioned earlier). Assistant professors are usually in need to manage their “course” classes (in the univ), write research proposals (to get funding), build their own and “new” research labs; write research articles (publish papers), advise or graduate MSc/ PhD students. They need to work very hard and manage everything in order to keep their university “job” safe. So, in this work load; the hired students (MSc/ PhD) might be put in pressure. Sometimes, this situation can become a disaster for students (GA/ RA). But, if you can “cope up” with this pressure/ unwanted situation, you can secure your funding and degree till the end.
Another drawback is that; Assistant professors are newly hired faculty with “start-up” funding and they are new in their career. They will start building their own labs and begin everything from base level. In that case, they may not have good connections or reputations which can put you in struggle to find a job. Usually, the “giant” professors in US have pretty good connections, network and reputation. These “giant” professors name in the resume may create a very good impression in front of the employers. But, “funding” and “graduation” are always an issue for students (MSc/ PhD). So, you can keep these things in your knowledge. Best of luck to all. I hope, this information will help the prospective students to find professors with funded grants and secure funding (GA/ RA).
Best of luck..
Note: You can even check research expenditure/ budget of an university in order to understand the funding situation of the university. Some universities don`t have enough budget/ money to hire new faculties. These “poor” universities might not even be able to offer you good stipend/ GTA offers. I would suggest you to be careful from these “poor” universities. These “poor” universities might put you in trouble to get funding/ your minimum living expenses..
Look for “rich” universities with good “budget” and research expenditures. Usually, the big and higher ranked universities have good annual budget and research expenditures. In these “rich” universities, most of the faculties might have funding and continue top class researches. Even, the “rich” department of “rich” universities can offer you good payment/ fellowship/ stipends. So, it`s always better to study and think about the universities; you want to go/ pursue your higher education. Because, it`s one of the steps of your future career.

Content writer: Abu Farzan Mitul, (http://www.unm.edu/~amitul/)