NSF Fellowship

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CyberShot
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NSF Fellowship

Postby CyberShot » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:42 pm

Quick question, sorry if it's another of my "stupid" ones.

If I were awarded a NSF graduate fellowship, and they paid for my tuition and gave me a 30k/year stipend, would that mean that my physics graduate institution would not give me as much of their own stipend, say the usual 22k/TA, and would the institution also not pay for my tuition fees?

Thanks.

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noojens
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Re: NSF Fellowship

Postby noojens » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:13 pm

It's either/or. The NSF is almost always more funding than your department's likely to provide, but in the rare cases where your normal funding package exceeds NSF support (e.g. schools in areas with really high costs of living) your department will probably make up the difference.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the big advantage of external fellowships is that you don't need to be funded. The department doesn't have to pay you to TA, your advisor doesn't have to write grants to fund your research, etc.

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grae313
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Re: NSF Fellowship

Postby grae313 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:54 pm

CyberShot wrote:Quick question, sorry if it's another of my "stupid" ones.

If I were awarded a NSF graduate fellowship, and they paid for my tuition and gave me a 30k/year stipend, would that mean that my physics graduate institution would not give me as much of their own stipend, say the usual 22k/TA, and would the institution also not pay for my tuition fees?

Thanks.


Your institution guarantees your tuition and salary as long as you are in good standing in their program. If you obtain external funding so they don't have to pay it, then they most definitely won't, but whatever happens they'll make sure you get at least that much. NSF will pay your stipend which means your university will only have to pay your tuition/insurance. You are not allowed (as of last month) to obtain any other stipend funding on top of your fellowship so even if you did TA on NSF, you wouldn't be able to get a paycheck for it.

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zxcv
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Re: NSF Fellowship

Postby zxcv » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:15 pm

grae313 wrote:You are not allowed (as of last month) to obtain any other stipend funding on top of your fellowship so even if you did TA on NSF, you wouldn't be able to get a paycheck for it.

Wow -- do you have the specific language handy? I glanced through the revised NSF GRFP program announcement and did not find it.

I understand the motivation for not allowing additional stipends, but this change has serious ramifications. For example, at Berkeley TAs are unionized, so the university absolutely cannot hire TAs without paying a stipend. However, some departments (such as chemistry) require all students to TA for several semesters.

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grae313
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Re: NSF Fellowship

Postby grae313 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:39 am

zxcv wrote:Wow -- do you have the specific language handy? I glanced through the revised NSF GRFP program announcement and did not find it.

I understand the motivation for not allowing additional stipends, but this change has serious ramifications. For example, at Berkeley TAs are unionized, so the university absolutely cannot hire TAs without paying a stipend. However, some departments (such as chemistry) require all students to TA for several semesters.


We were all emailed by both the fellowship person for the graduate school and our DGS about it. Sucks :( Here's the email:

Important Change to NSF Policy on Supplemental Teaching

Dear Physics Grad Students

I wanted you to be aware of a new NSF mandated policy. I can’t say that I understand the rationale behind this, but we must honor it from next semester on. It means no ½ TAs, or grading/lab positions at all while you have a NSF Fellowship. Basically, it should not in any way dissuade any of you who are eligible to apply to the NSF Fellowship programs from applying. Mainly I wanted to let you know about the origin. For those of you who are current Fellows, please also note the time limit on travel award usage (end of August 2011).

Subject: Important Change to NSF Policy on Supplemental Teaching

Earlier this month, NSF announced an important change to its policy on teaching or other supplemental support for NSF Fellows. Effective September 2, NSF will no longer approve requests from Fellows to accept assistantships concurrent with fellowship tenure. (Off-site internships or research experiences requiring travel are permitted on the recommendation of the special committee chair and with prior NSF approval.) According to the new NSF policy, NSF Fellows wanting to teach or to receive support on a research assistantship will need to be on reserve status or will need to forfeit the stipend for the months they are receiving support other than the NSF stipend.

Teaching assistantship arrangements approved prior to September 2 will be honored.

NSF has also indicated that a new international funding opportunity replacing the one-time $1000 international research travel allowance will be announced later this year. In the meantime, NSF will allow current fellows to request and use the current $1,000 travel award in 2010-2011, with travel completed by August 31, 2011 and the travel expenses reported in the 2010-2011 Program Expense Report. New Fellows selected in 2011 will not have access to the $1,000 travel award, nor will continuing fellows after the August 31, 2011. All fellows will be able to apply for the new international funding opportunity being developed, irrespective of whether they have utilized the $1,000 travel award previously.

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grae313
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Re: NSF Fellowship

Postby grae313 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:43 am

zxcv wrote:For example, at Berkeley TAs are unionized, so the university absolutely cannot hire TAs without paying a stipend. However, some departments (such as chemistry) require all students to TA for several semesters.


Wow, yeah that's a tricky situation. It would be nice if NSF just didn't anticipate these issues and realizes they screwed up and reverses this policy. Otherwise I guess the only option is to wait until you're not NSF funded to do the TAing which is lame.

badphysicist
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Re: NSF Fellowship

Postby badphysicist » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:29 pm

grae313 wrote:
zxcv wrote:For example, at Berkeley TAs are unionized, so the university absolutely cannot hire TAs without paying a stipend. However, some departments (such as chemistry) require all students to TA for several semesters.


Wow, yeah that's a tricky situation. It would be nice if NSF just didn't anticipate these issues and realizes they screwed up and reverses this policy. Otherwise I guess the only option is to wait until you're not NSF funded to do the TAing which is lame.


Which is more up-to-date?
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/grfpfellow.pdf (see page 19)

Which says that fellows are expected to teach if it's required by the school and have to follow the procedures of the school (ie get paid/join the union).

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grae313
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Re: NSF Fellowship

Postby grae313 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:38 pm

badphysicist wrote:
grae313 wrote:
zxcv wrote:For example, at Berkeley TAs are unionized, so the university absolutely cannot hire TAs without paying a stipend. However, some departments (such as chemistry) require all students to TA for several semesters.


Wow, yeah that's a tricky situation. It would be nice if NSF just didn't anticipate these issues and realizes they screwed up and reverses this policy. Otherwise I guess the only option is to wait until you're not NSF funded to do the TAing which is lame.


Which is more up-to-date?
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/grfpfellow.pdf (see page 19)

Which says that fellows are expected to teach if it's required by the school and have to follow the procedures of the school (ie get paid/join the union).


In all likelihood this has always been the policy and what I said above only applies to students not in this position. This would make the most sense.




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