Grad.Students Funding

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Fri Nov 17 16:27:10 EST 1995

Second Letter from the Graduate Student from
India and further comments to it 


Dear Sir,
I wasnt sure how to post on this biocan net so I thought 
I would send this to you. The information which Dr Ashok 
Grover gave regarding institutes like the Indian Institute 
of Science, etc is wrong. Every student who gets in there 
gets a scholarship from the Institute (not from the professor).
Many of the professors also apply for money to government and
other sources for funding do a project. And if the grad 
student happens to be working in the area for which the 
money has been granted, he/she can get money through the
professor. This money is much more than the scholarship 
(though, I should make it clear that the scholarship money 
itself would have been more than enough to take care of 
tuition fees, hostel/mess bills etc).  So in such cases, 
since there is already money from some other source, the
scholarship may be cut for the time during which the project
money is coming. But if there is no project money then the
student gets the university scholarship. I  hope I have 
explained it clearly. 
(Dr. ASHOK GROVER previuosly wrote): 
 > The information you have about India is incorrect.  
> There are very few of  hes scholarships. Most students 
> and postdoctoral fellows get paid from "Schemes" which 
> is the same as operating grants in North America.


Dear Graduate Student, Dr. Grover and others:

Minor details and variations nothwithstanding, it
is clear that the system in which the graduate 
students are fundned INDEPENDENLTY is far more fair 
and democratic than the present USA/Canadian
system in which the students are funded almost 
exclusively through grant of a particular professor. 

Simple (though unplesant question): What happens
if PhD student (in our system) spends a year in a PhD
program (funded by a professor) and then professor 
suddenly dies ? Grant disappears. No other professor 
in the Department has additional funds to take up 
this PhD student for the reminder of the term. What 
(generally) happens to a student in such circumstances ? 

If (like in India or former USSR) the student has 
his/her independent funding this problem would certainly 
be less acute and the accomodation of this student by 
another professor is much more likely.

Paradoxically, in my former country (officially
"totalitarian" Soviet Union) academic system in
this respect was far more liberal and slave-free
than in the "officially democratic" USA/Canadian 
university system. Abuses, of course, happen
everywhere, but the student's dependence on the 
whims and the circumstances of a specific professor
was far less acute than they are in Amer/Canadian 
system now.   


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