Budget Cuts

Dayton1903
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:36 pm

Budget Cuts

Postby Dayton1903 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:06 pm

Can any current grad students (or anyone else in the know) comment on how budget cuts have affected physics departments in the last couple of years? As I've been accepted to a few UC's and know that they have been hit particularly hard I'd be most interested in any specific information about them, but I'm sure I'm not the only person wondering about this. My girlfriend visited a public school for a non-physics science department's open house and it seemed that budget cuts were affecting the grad students in significant ways: students are disallowed from doing research the summer before their first year, are asked to do fewer rotations than is standard at other schools and used to be standard at this school, and likely will not be able to do (paid) research the summer after their first year. Thoughts?

bfollinprm
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Re: Budget Cuts

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:11 pm

Dayton1903 wrote:Can any current grad students (or anyone else in the know) comment on how budget cuts have affected physics departments in the last couple of years? As I've been accepted to a few UC's and know that they have been hit particularly hard I'd be most interested in any specific information about them, but I'm sure I'm not the only person wondering about this. My girlfriend visited a public school for a non-physics science department's open house and it seemed that budget cuts were affecting the grad students in significant ways: students are disallowed from doing research the summer before their first year, are asked to do fewer rotations than is standard at other schools and used to be standard at this school, and likely will not be able to do (paid) research the summer after their first year. Thoughts?


Money comes from specific grants for research many times. Talk to your potential advisor. i think the biggest cuts came in the number of internationals accepted, which won't affect you at all at this point.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Budget Cuts

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:16 am

I think schools would try to take in less graduate students if this was the case, rather than not offer summer research for already enrolled students. However, I wouldn't be surprised if this happened at a few schools. Remember, this is just like the real world. There are so many people for a job and only so many job openings. If you work hard enough you should always have that research position available. I am not worried about it myself at all.

-Riley

bfollinprm
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Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Budget Cuts

Postby bfollinprm » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:23 am

Dayton1903 wrote: My girlfriend visited a public school for a non-physics science department's open house and it seemed that budget cuts were affecting the grad students in significant ways: students are disallowed from doing research the summer before their first year, are asked to do fewer rotations than is standard at other schools and used to be standard at this school, and likely will not be able to do (paid) research the summer after their first year.


The only way I could see the schools pulling the plug on that first summer research is if you haven't found an advisor yet. Otherwise, your advisor would be the one funding you, and you'd stay, pure and simple. Rotations are basically just reading papers, so I don't see how they can be that expensive. None of this matters if you already know what you want to do anyway, and if you don't know what you want to do, the biggest considerations should be the breadth of the research done in the department and the overall quality of the faculty.

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InquilineKea
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Re: Budget Cuts

Postby InquilineKea » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:47 am

Well, my school (Washington) suffered a budget cut that amounted to 10% of the university budget (after student tuition raises). It hasn't seemed to have hit the astronomy department yet (thanks to the stimulus) - acceptance rates haven't decreased, although it might have prevented a further expansion. That being said, more cuts are coming, and they may be more painful since the easy cuts have now all been made.




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