grant crunch and grad. students

cboake at utk.edu cboake at utk.edu
Mon Sep 9 16:18:54 EST 1996


In article <Deborah_Britt-0909961054530001 at cis-ts7-slip16.cis.brown.edu>,
Deborah_Britt at brown.edu (Deb Britt) wrote:

> In article
> <Pine.A32.3.92a.960907125111.120390A-100000 at homer07.u.washington.edu>,
> Sarah Boomer <sarai at u.washington.edu> wrote:
> 
> So - are we here at the UW unique/have we been unique among grad.
> programs.  Is this phenomenon something a lot of other programs have
> already gone through or is it something that is evolving rapidly right
> now.  Any thoughts about the ramifications?
> 

In the "skin-out" fields (ecology, evolution, behavior, etc.) support
through teaching assistantships is the norm.  A few programs have training
grants but even these do not fund every student. Research funding is
rarely available from anywhere other than NSF and the annual budgets are
<50% of those in the "skin-in" fields: annual direct costs of $40K are
common, and there is scant room for graduate students in such budgets.
When nearly everyone in a field faces the same funding situation it is not
seen as unfair, just the way things are. Students teach and do research
and they become faculty who teach and do research; we see full research
funding for 4 or 5 years of graduate work as an unimaginable luxury. 
  Certainly having solid teaching experience (lecturing, grading, maybe
developing labs or developing a syllabus) as a graduate student is a plus
for job applicants in many academic fields.  Also if you intend to have an
academic career, the time-management skills that you develop if you must
integrate teaching with research as a student will help you greatly.

Chris Boake
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Univ. of Tennessee



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