Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:18 pm

If a graduate school awards a you a fellowship for a year, and the physics department ( emailed me first) awards you the TAship, which one do you get? Can you choose between them?

I thought you only get one or the other?

Here's my mini pro con list ( if I can choose):

Pro TA Ship: monthly money = $300+fellowship = more money
Con TA: Devote ~20 hours a week to TAing


Pro Fellowship: Maybe take an extra course, OR Start research early
The fellowship is a little less money, but it's very appealing because of the things I could do with the extra time. Also the cost of living in this area is not too bad.

Maybe if I look for an additional job right now or something, I can try and save a lot of money too.

Any advice? Anybody have any pro/con they have to share about their experience TAing or not TAing?

Edit: I've TAed before as an undergrad. I realize the only pro I wrote is about the money. I know there are lot of skills one can pick up. leadership skills etc...

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

Postby TakeruK » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:27 am

I don't have the details of your letter but in many places, you actually are supported by both. For example, at one of my school, my funding was split roughly equally 1/3 TA work, 1/3 RA work and 1/3 in fellowships. Are you certain that you have to pick one or the other (i.e. are they giving you a choice / asking you to make a decision?).

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:45 am

Thanks for the reply!

TakeruK wrote:I don't have the details of your letter but in many places, you actually are supported by both. For example, at one of my school, my funding was split roughly equally 1/3 TA work, 1/3 RA work and 1/3 in fellowships. Are you certain that you have to pick one or the other (i.e. are they giving you a choice / asking you to make a decision?).


To be honest, I don't know of they are giving me a choice between picking one or the other because they came in separate letters. One did not talk about the other.

The physics letter:
Congratulations...
Blah Blah
I am pleased to offer you a TAship for 2015-2016 Academic year. Begins August...blah blah you receive ~$2k for the 9 months. If you want to continue over summer sessions blah blah blah

blah blah ( but lots of info)

sincerely,
X


At the end:
A accept your TAship offer in the department of physics for Fall 2015- , The University _________

I respectfully decline your TAship offer in the department of physics for Fall 2015, the University ___________


*The deadline for the physics department offer is April 15

The fellowship leter said

Congratulations! Your department nominated you blah blah and you have been selected blah blah.
You receive ~$23K for the year. Blah Blah


The deadline for the fellowship offer is also April 15.

For the fellowship I have to go to the website where I can check my application status and view my decision letter. I simply have to click accept/decline.


So I am a bit confused. If I accepted the University online -- I accept the fellowship? However if I write to Physics Dep and not accept online, I accept the TAship.


I am deciding between emailing them or waiting until the visit to ask. The visit is in less than 3 weeks! either way, I won't make a decision until after the visit.

I am a bit confused at the moment. Were your offers more clearer? Was it all on one page?
Last edited by PathIntegrals92 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

shep23
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:18 pm

Re: Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

Postby shep23 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:58 am

Disclaimer: Emailing the grad chair and asking him/her to clarify is the best thing you can do.

I believe you do have a choice: take the base offer (TA) and decline the fellowship, or accept the fellowship. In my opinion, you'd be crazy not to accept it, because having 20 extra hours a week to do whatever is invaluable. You could always TA next year or during the summer if you wanted, too. Just my opinion.

Arbitrary
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

Postby Arbitrary » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:45 am

I'd definitely say take the fellowship.
Though 300$/mo is certainly not negligible, I'm finding that 20 hours in my week are worth way more than that.

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

Postby TakeruK » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:02 pm

Ah okay, it does sound like you might have a choice, because it sounds like the department originally offered you the TAship then you have now won a fellowship. Congrats!

However, you might not have a choice if the department still expects you to TA because they need TAs. Many schools I've been to in the past still required TAing from their fellowship winners (although usually a reduced TA load). But in these cases, you do get more money for TAing on top of the fellowship (although not strictly the sum of the two).

I agree with everyone else that at this point, you should send the text of both to your department and ask for clarification. (The department might not know about your fellowship offer at this time!)

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Fellowship or TAship can you choose?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:40 pm

shep23 wrote:Disclaimer: Emailing the grad chair and asking him/her to clarify is the best thing you can do.

I believe you do have a choice: take the base offer (TA) and decline the fellowship, or accept the fellowship. In my opinion, you'd be crazy not to accept it, because having 20 extra hours a week to do whatever is invaluable. You could always TA next year or during the summer if you wanted, too. Just my opinion.


Yeah I am going to email them with the fellowship attachment along with forwarding the original email they gave.

I guess it's deciding between what's more valuable, time or money? It depends on what I do with the time if don't TA.

Arbitrary wrote:I'd definitely say take the fellowship.
Though 300$/mo is certainly not negligible, I'm finding that 20 hours in my week are worth way more than that.


It might actually be less difference (than 300)* because if I divide the amount the fellowship gave by 12 I get about $1984 per month. However, I have not included taxes for either. I wonder if I get another job right now and save lots of money I could try and make up for the difference for the year if I take the fellowship.

*I initially looked at an older fellowship money listing and divided by 12 for some reason.


TakeruK wrote:Ah okay, it does sound like you might have a choice, because it sounds like the department originally offered you the TAship then you have now won a fellowship. Congrats!

However, you might not have a choice if the department still expects you to TA because they need TAs. Many schools I've been to in the past still required TAing from their fellowship winners (although usually a reduced TA load). But in these cases, you do get more money for TAing on top of the fellowship (although not strictly the sum of the two).

I agree with everyone else that at this point, you should send the text of both to your department and ask for clarification. (The department might not know about your fellowship offer at this time!)


Thank you! I am pretty excited! Yeah I'll definitely email and figure things out. I guess the department might not know. Nothing is wrong with making more money right? :mrgreen:




Return to “Funding”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest