In the College of Public Health, Graduate Associates fall into two basic categories: those funded by the CPH and those associated with specific research grants. Generally, we have only a small number (six to seven) of College-funded positions per year. Students admitted to the graduate program on a full-time basis are automatically considered for support to the extent of available College funds. Awards are on the basis of experience and academic performance as determined by the Divisions. Doctoral students are generally given priority over Master’s students.
The research-funded positions vary from year to year depending on the sponsored project activity of the faculty. Usually, the majority of Graduate Associate appointments are in this GRA category. The individual faculty members supervising sponsored projects select Graduate Associates to meet their own project requirements. The Office of Academic Programs and Student Services is responsible for obtaining information on the other sources of financial support likely to be offered to students (e.g., scholarships, etc.) and providing the student’s academic record, but does not make these hiring decisions. It is usually counterproductive to have competing offers for the same student to work on different projects, so some effort will be made to coordinate offers by the faculty supervisors.
Any student is free to express interest in GRA positions, and the faculty may also solicit applications. Some research projects require quite specific skills, and thus it is important for students to understand that GRA appointments are not simply a response to financial need or a reward for generally good academic performance (though both can be among the relevant criteria).
The availability of GRA positions depends heavily on research funding. Although it is desirable to announce appointments for the following year in the early spring, it is frequently true that some appointments cannot be finalized until later.