Research and Teaching Assistantships (RA or TA) are established university positions with various ranks, pay scales and rules, which are predetermined by the University. RAs are most often built into research grants secured by particular professors, but sometimes are funded by the University itself with state, gift or other funds. Also, students who qualify for work-study can receive a RA where the costs are shared between the federal work-study program and a departmental source of funds (grant, gift or state funds). RAs and TAs receive a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a monthly stipend, so assistantships can be a source of significant cost reduction and financial support to graduate students.
Every year, SMEA awards one to two RA positions to entering students based on merit. SMEA also offers RAs as part of research grants generated by faculty members; second-year students usually fill these positions. RA positions that become available during the school year are publicized via email to all students. Responsibility for awarding RA and TA positions rests with individual faculty members or the SMEA Director. Experience has shown that student initiative is the main driving force in securing these positions. SMEA faculty recognize this and encourage student inquiries and initiative about positions. For more information about faculty members and research opportunities, check out the faculty bios on the SMEA website.
While SMEA only occasionally offers TA positions, SMEA students have had success in securing funding through other departments (especially Fisheries and Biology). Contact these departments for more information of TA availability. SMEA TA positions will be advertised over email to students, and are awarded at the discretion of the faculty or SMEA director. Please note: TA positions are highly competitive and time-consuming.
More information on RA/TAs can be found at the Graduate School webpage.
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