There are various kinds of (primary) funding available to graduate students in the Department:
- Graduate associateships from the Department or other academic units of the University;
- Graduate fellowships awarded by the Graduate School of the University;
- Fellowships awarded by other academic units of the University or by outside agencies.
All fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, with academic achievement as the principal criterion.
Graduate Associateships most commonly take the form of teaching positions (i.e., appointment as a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA)), but students may also be appointed as a Graduate Administrative Associate (GAA) or as a Graduate Research Associate (GRA). Positions as a GA are awarded based on the student being in good standing in the Department, fit between the student's skills and departmental need, and whether the student has years of guaranteed funding remaining.
Financial need is not taken into account when awarding either academic-year fellowships or associateships.
Graduate Associate positions are normally made on a 50% FTE (full time equivalent) basis. This means that GAs are expected to spend 20 hours per week on duties related to their appointments (e.g., teaching responsibilities), and the remainder of the work week on class assignments, research, and other activities related to their degrees. GAs are expected to not hold jobs outside of the university.
Graduate fellowship appointments are also normally made on a 50% FTE basis. Fellows are not expected to perform work duties for the university (e.g., graduate fellows do not teach), but are required to take on extra coursework or extra research activities. It is expected that Fellows will spend the entire work week on activities related to their degrees. Fellows are generally prohibited from holding jobs inside or outside of the university.
Graduate fellowships and associateships at 50% FTE (or higher) provide full tuition waivers, partial fee waivers, a subsidy of health insurance premiums, living stipends, and other benefits.
Tuition and Fee Waiver
All graduate fellowships and GA positions (at least 50% FTE) include a waiver of tuition and general instructional fees. Both in-state (resident) and out-of-state (non-resident) tuition are waived entirely; graduate students holding eligible appointments are not responsible for paying any tuition or general instructional fees.
By university rule, students appointed as fellows or as associates are still responsible for paying some non-instructional fees: recreation (RPAC) fee, COTA bus fee, student activity fee, student union facility fee, and student legal services fee. In 2013-2014 these fees total about $250 per semester for a student enrolled on a full-time basis. More information about tuition and fees is available from the University Registrar.
Some areas of study at the university involve additional instructional fees, beyond the general fee. These are rarely relevant to students in the Slavic Department, but students who take courses in other fields (especially science and engineering) may on occasion incur these extra fees. They are not covered by the tuition and fee waiver.
The amount of the monthly stipend varies depending on type of appointment and the student's rank (e.g., GAs receive a modest pay raise after successful completion of the Candidacy Exams), but the department strives to offer a stipend that is comparable to that in other language departments at OSU, competitive with stipends offered at peer institutions, and which is sufficient to cover basic living expenses in Columbus.
Health Insurance Subsidy
The university subsidizes 85% of the cost of health insurance premiums for graduate students holding at least a 50% appointment as fellows or GAs, if they enroll in the OSU student health insurance program. (There is a lower subsidy rate for spouses, same-sex domestic partners, children, and other dependents of graduate students holding these appointments.) The cost of health insurance premiums varies from year, but in 2013 the net cost for a single student was $172.50 per semester.
Funded graduate students also have the option of selecting a health insurance plan from the faculty/staff offerings, in which case the university offers the same subsidy (in actual dollars), but this represents a lower percentage of total costs, and thus the cost to the student is higher.
For complete information about the cost of the student health insurance plan, see the Graduate Associates Benefits handbook that is published by the Office of Human Resources.[.pdf]
Academic-year (two-semester) associateships awarded by the University come with a summer session tuition waiver and partial fee waiver, without any work responsibilities. Students who hold an academic-year GA appointment, but not a summer appointment, can thus enroll for the following summer semester without encurring tuition costs. A monthly stipend is not included, however, nor is the health insurance subsidy. The summer tuition and fee waiver cannot be deferred; it must be used in the summer immediately following the academic-year appointment.
An appointment as a Graduate Fellows does not include the summer session fee authorization benefit, but many fellowships include a full 12 months of support to begin with, including stipend and health insurance subsidy.
Other benefits for GAs and Graduate Fellows include the option to buy a staff ("B") parking permit and the option of participating in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) (GA positions only). More information about GA and Graduate Fellow benefits is available in the Graduate School Handbook.
How many years of funding does the Department offer?
Graduate students in good standing in the Department who begin at the M.A. level are ordinarily supported for five years of graduate study (excluding summers) and students in good standing who begin at the Ph.D. level are ordinarily supported for three years (excluding summers). Additional years of support or summer support may be offered based on availability, the student's progress through the graduate program, departmental need (especially in the area of teaching), and other criteria.
All years of funding are counted towards the number of years of guaranteed funding, no matter whether the funding was in the form of a GAship in the Slavic Department, a GAship in a different unit on campus, a fellowship through a unit on campus, a fellowship from an outside agency, or some combination of these.
Sources of academic year support
Many forms of academic year support are available. It is impossible here to list every source of available funding. The purpose of this section is to help students to begin their own independent search for funding. Students should consult their advisors, the Graduate School, and announcements made through campus mailing lists.
The Graduate School awards one-year and multiple-year fellowships to entering graduate students. Prospective students are nominated by departments for these fellowships as part of the graduate application review process, and fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis. Students may not nominate themselves. More information about these and other graduate fellowships is available from the Graduate School.
The Graduate School also provides a variety of dissertation fellowships, including special awards for women and members of minority groups. Students are nominated for these fellowships by their departments, and the fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis.
The Department offers entering and continuing students Graduate Associateships for teaching, research, and administrative service and for work as resident directors in study abroad programs.
Graduate Associateships are also available from various other academic units in the University, including the University Library and the Hilandar Research Library.
The Center for Slavic and East European Studies awards a limited number of Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for language study. FLAS fellowships are available for advanced Russian study and for intermediate and advanced study of other Slavic languages. Both academic year (9 month) and summer (3 month) fellowships are available. More information about FLAS fellowships is available from the Center for Slavic and East European Studies.
Students with excellent academic records should also seek academic year fellowships from outside granting agencies. Information about granting agencies that are relevant to Slavic studies is available here.
Sources of summer support
GA support from the Department is normally for the academic year only. The Department offers only a limited number of graduate associateships for the summer semester, and does not guarantee this funding. Students should discuss their summer plans with their advisors, and do so early in the academic year. Summer fellowships, in particular, often have deadlines in the fall or early winter.
The Center for Slavic and East European Studies awards a limited number of Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for summer language study. More information about FLAS fellowships is available from the Center for Slavic and East European Studies.
OSU offers a variety of small grants that can be used to offset the cost of summer research projects and research-related travel. Students should also explore summer opportunities outside of OSU that will enhance their professional credentials. At least partial funding (from OSU or outside agencies) is often available for summer activities related to students' degree work, including short-term language training abroad, research abroad, or advanced coursework. Some information about short-term funding possibilities is available here. Students should also consult with their advisors about grant opportunities.
Finally, as mentioned above, all academic year (two-semester) GA appointments include a summer tuition waiver, even when the student does not hold a summer appointment.
Travel support and special projects
The Department offers its graduate students an annual allowance for conference travel, if the student is presenting a paper or poster at the conference, or is attending for job interviews. However, to receive this money, students must simultaneously also apply for a small grant or other travel funding from outside of the department (another OSU source or an external granting agency). This helps to preserve the Department's funds and stretches support to as many students as possible. Note that funding need not be received, only applied for. OSU offers many small grants on a competitive basis that can be used for conference and research travel (e.g., the Arts and Humanities Graduate Research Small Grant). A partial list is available here.
The Department tries to offer support for special projects (e.g., field research). This money often comes from the department's endowed funds.
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