Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
(Effective September 2013)
Source and Duration of Funding
- The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry guarantees academic year (9 month) support for full-time chemistry and biochemistry Ph.D. students in their first 5 years of study who make adequate progress toward their degree and are in good academic standing. The Department does not guarantee support for masters students. Note: Continuing students (beyond the first semester of residence) who are not supported by a research assistantship or fellowship will be supported by a teaching assistantship if their choice of research advisor has been approved by the department chair and if their prior performance as a teaching assistant has been adequate.
- All first year students, subject to the provisions below, will receive summer stipend support either via faculty grants, training grants, teaching assistantships or department sources. The latter funding source is usually available only to first year students working for Assistant Professors. Students who do not receive a summer research stipend from their faculty advisor will be eligible for teaching positions during the summer and winter sessions. Since summer and winter teaching positions are limited, the department cannot assure that all students requesting a teaching position will receive one.
- Students having an Assistant Professor as their thesis advisor will receive top priority for summer/winter session teaching positions. In addition, the department will provide a research supplement for these students so that the total compensation is equivalent to the normal summer research stipend. Students wishing to be considered for a teaching position in the summer or winter session must have the approval of their faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Students are not guaranteed support if their research advisor has a primary appointment outside the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Support for these students is reviewed by the Chair on a case-by-case basis. Priority for support is given to students of Assistant Professors having a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
- Placement of graduate students in research groups should reflect the goal that each student spends no more than four semesters as a teaching assistant during his/her graduate career. Therefore, faculty accepting new graduate students into her/his research group should have a credible plan to support these students by a research assistantship beyond the four-semester period.
Eligibility for Funding: Making Adequate Progress
In order to be eligible for financial support, a graduate student must make adequate progress toward his/her degree. The Graduate Curriculum Committee in consultation with the thesis advisor will determine prior to the start of each semester whether or not a student is making adequate progress. This evaluation is based upon the following criteria.
- A minimum of fifteen credit hours toward the departmental course requirement should be completed by the end of the second semester of study. The departmental course requirement should be fulfilled by the end of the fourth semester of study. The student must maintain a grade point average of 3.00 in courses taken to fulfill the departmental course requirement.
- Students should join a research group or training grant program by the end of the first semester of study. Students who subsequently leave a research group or training grant program should join a new group/program within two months of leaving the previous group/program. If a student is unable to join a research group or training grant program within the specified time, then he/she must switch to the M.A. program.
- The cumulative examination requirement should be completed by the end of the fourth semester of study.
- The student should meet with his/her Ph.D. Advisory Committee and secure approval of his/her research program prior to the end of the first semester after the cumulative examination requirement is completed. The student should also meet with his/her Ph.D. Advisory Committee for the second time at least six months before the final Dissertation Defense.
- The “Recommendation for Candidacy for the Ph.D. Degree” form should be submitted to the department and Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the fifth semester of study.
- The student’s progress in thesis research should be such that submission of a dissertation by the end of five years (Ph.D.) or three years (M.S.) of study is feasible. Evaluation of the student’s research progress is made by the thesis advisor in consultation with the Ph.D. Advisory Committee.
Eligibility for Funding: Academic Standing
In order to be eligible for financial support, a graduate student must be in good academic standing. This is a university requirement. In order to remain in good academic standing, a graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or greater in all coursework including research and dissertation.
Students who fail to maintain a 3.00 grade point average will be issued an Academic Warning or will be placed on Academic Probation depending upon the severity of the problem. First year students issued an Academic Warning may request continued support for one semester. This request will be evaluated by the department which must endorse the request if it is to be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies. Requests endorsed by the department will be evaluated by the Office of Graduate Studies for possible approval. Students placed on Academic Probation are generally ineligible for financial support.
Academic standing and other university requirements are discussed in the “Academic and Registration Regulations” section of the Graduate Catalog. Graduate students should become familiar with all university policies that influence their appointments as research or teaching assistants, such as academic honesty, registration requirements, and attendance regulations.
Eligibility for Instructional Funding: Prior Performance
All teaching assistants in the department are evaluated at the end of each semester by the course instructor and, if appropriate, by the Manager of Laboratory Services. The performance of each teaching assistant is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 = highest). If a teaching assistant receives a rating of “1” from either of the evaluators, he/she becomes ineligible for future instructional funding. In exceptional cases, eligibility may be reviewed by a committee consisting of the Chair, Associate Chair, course instructor and, if appropriate, the Manager of Laboratory Services. Student evaluations will also be considered.
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