VI. Funding

The funding section is currently under discussion

UC salary scales can be found here: https://apo.ucsc.edu/compensation/salary-scales/index.html

Payroll schedules and calendars can be found here: https://financial.ucsc.edu/Pages/Payroll_Schedules_Calendars.aspx

A. Teaching Assistantships (TA)

1. TA Assignments

  1. Teaching Assistant (TA) assignments for all quarters are typically made at the end of the summer quarter preceding the start of the academic year. However, changes and late additions in TAs may occur despite best efforts to fill assignments in advance.
  2. Before you begin your Teaching Assistantship, you must complete the TA Description of Duties form with the professor for whom you will be TAing and submit along with a signed TA agreement to the graduate adviser.
    1. TA Description of Duties Form
  3. Before the start of your Teaching Assistantship, you must also sign a TA Agreement form with the graduate adviser. The graduate adviser will provide the form for the TA to review and accept before the start of the TAship. The Head TA will often help answer questions about the agreement and collect them from the TAs.
  4. Teaching Assistants should attend any required course preparation meetings and be at work the first day of classes unless they have made other arrangements with their department. Their assigned responsibilities for the term of the appointment include, but are not limited to, the following teaching assistant duties: attending the assigned course; conducting section meetings; holding regular office hours; reading and assessing student papers, homework, and examinations; etc. Specific responsibilities for the course they are assigned will be provided by the TA’s faculty supervisor. 
  5. Teaching Assistant duties do not include responsibility for the instructional content of a course, for selection of student assignments, for planning of examinations, or for determining the term grade for students. A Teaching Assistant should not be responsible for instructing the entire enrollment of a course or for providing the entire instruction of a group of students enrolled in a course. Although not obligated, a Teaching Assistant can choose to guest lecture classes.
  6. The Teaching Assistant does oversee the conduct of recitation, laboratory, or quiz sections under the active direction and supervision of a regular member of the faculty to whom final responsibility for the course’s entire instruction, including the performance of TAs, has been assigned.
  7. Teaching Assistants with eligible academic appointments totaling 25% or more of full-time are entitled to receive Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) premium remission for the Student Health Insurance Program, as well as the tuition and student services fee remissions in accordance with Article 11 of the UAW/ASE Agreement. 
        1. An employment file will be established for all TAs and will be maintained by the Astronomy Department. New material may be added to the employment file periodically during the term of appointment, and TAs will be notified of any such additions.
        2. Under Federal Law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.  The scheduled release date of the TA’s first paycheck assumes timely completion and processing of all required employment forms.
        3. When a student has their first TA appointment with the University or has had a break in service, they must contact Terri Rock, Academic Personnel/Payroll Specialist of the Physical and Biological Sciences Division, at (831) 459-3650 to schedule an appointment to complete the required employment forms. These forms must be completed no later than the start of the quarter.  TAs are not permitted to begin work prior to completing these required forms.
        4. A Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the UAW/ASE establishes terms and conditions of employment: http://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/labor/bargaining-units/bx/contract.html. Pursuant to this agreement, the name and department address of all ASEs are released to the UAW/ASE each quarter.
        5. A UAW Local 2865 Membership Election Form can be found at: https://shr.ucsc.edu/elr/contracts/uaw-2865-mef-accessible.pdf

2. Role of the Head TA

The role of the Head TA is to provide training and support to Teaching Assistants in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

  • The Head TA typically teaches ASTR 205 - Introduction to Astronomical Research and Teaching which includes two discussion sections. This lecture and seminar-style course is intended to integrate new graduate students into the department, to introduce students to the research and interests of department faculty, and to expose graduate students to teaching skills and classroom techniques. 
  • The Head TA provides teaching resources and training opportunities to all other TAs.
  • The Head TA is available to sit in on other TA’s courses to help evaluate their teaching abilities and provide helpful feedback.
  • The Department encourages students wishing to be Head TA to apply for the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning Graduate Pedagogy Fellows training program a year in advance of becoming Head TA. More information on how to apply can be found here: https://citl.ucsc.edu/programs/graduate-pedagogy-fellows/
  • Head TAs are typically selected during an all grads meeting at the end of the spring quarter each year. If you are interested in becoming Head TA, please contact graduate student leadership.


3. TA Handbook

For academic accommodations for students with disabilities, please refer to the UCSC Disability Resource Center’s Instructor Handbook.

 

4. Funding & Fees During Teaching Assistantship

Updated information on TA pay can be found in the UC Salary Scale document: https://apo.ucsc.edu/compensation/salary-scales/index.html

  • Teaching Assistants whose appointment is at least 25% time qualify for a partial fee remission and payment of health insurance.
  • The balance of the campus fees is due and payable by the student in most departments. Campus fees totaling $302 will be charged to the student’s account during the quarter in which they TA. It is standard practice in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics for these fees to be covered by the student’s faculty advisor, if possible. 
  • The graduate adviser should be notified if a faculty advisor is unable to cover these fees.
  • The graduate adviser should also be notified to resolve the fees on the student’s account with the graduate division.
  • Any student receiving need-based financial aid should call the Financial Aid Office (prior to accepting salary for their appointment) to discuss the effect of this employment on the financial aid award.

 

5. Office Workplaces & Hours

Astronomy & Astrophysics grads have office assignments that last an entire academic year (fall through summer quarter). Offices are equipped with desks, filing cabinets, bookcases, and other general office supplies.

Astronomy & Astrophysics grad student offices are in the Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, the Center for Adaptive Optics, and the Natural Sciences II Building and Annex.

Grads typically share offices with other graduate students. Requests for office assignments are collected during the summer quarter and decisions are finalized before the start of the fall quarter. Various accommodations are taken into consideration when assigning offices. If an office assignment presents an issue, please contact the graduate adviser, at llauver@ucsc.edu.

TAs can reserve ongoing office hours in various available classrooms for up to two-hour time blocks during their TAship. To reserve a room, please contact the Department Assistant at astroadm@ucsc.edu

  • Rooms that can be reserved through the astronomy department are:
    • ISB 126
    • ISB 165
    • ISB 356



B. Graduate Student Researchers (GSR)

A Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) is a registered graduate student appointed to assist in performing research related to the student's degree program in an academic department or research unit under the direction of a faculty member or authorized Principal Investigator (PI). 

The GSR salary scale can be found at this link: https://apo.ucsc.edu/compensation/salary-scales/index.html

Step information
  • Astro graduate students begin at a step 5 GSR rate.
  • After a student has advanced to candidacy, they will be at step 6.
  • A full academic year after a student has advanced to candidacy, they will be at step 7. Step 7 is the highest possible salary for GSRs in the program.

During the regular academic year (fall through spring quarters), students are paid at a 50% GSR rate. In the summer, it is common though not guaranteed, that students receive 100% GSR rate if their advisor is able to support it.

If a student’s advisor is unable to support a GSR over the summer, it is recommended that students pursue external fellowships as far in advance as possible, work for department summer programs, or consider an external job opportunity for supplemental funding. Students should also notify the Graduate Adviser who can assist in finding funding support.

Some students receive a combination of GSRs, TAs, additional stipends, or other external funding opportunities such as fellowships or funds from other employment.

  1. Expectations for GSRs

Topic is currently under discussion

C. Graduate Student Instructors (GSI)

A Graduate Student Instructor, also known as an Associate In, is a registered graduate student with a Master's degree or equivalent training, with at least one year of teaching experience, and who has been chosen because of competence to conduct the entire instruction of a group of students in a lower division course under the general supervision of a regular faculty member.

Students need to request approval for a GSI faculty sponsor at least one month in advance.

If a graduate student is proposing to do more than one GSI, the advisor/student needs to present a plan to the department chair about how this teaching fits into their academic plan.

 

D. Internal Awards and Fellowships

Awards

  1. Whitford Prize
    1. The Whitford Prize, named for the famous Lick astronomer and former director Albert Whitford, is awarded to the Astronomy and Astrophysics second-year graduate student(s) who, in the judgment of the faculty, attains the highest achievement in research, coursework, teaching and mentorship, and other meaningful contributions to the department. The award includes a cash prize, and is awarded on an annual basis.
  2. Student Award for Excellence in Mentorship
    1. This award recognizes an Astronomy and Astrophysics graduate student who has excelled in the mentoring of our undergraduates, specifically in the area of research. The recipient chosen must be exceptional for his/her contribution to the education of undergraduates in research.  The award includes a cash prize, and is awarded on an annual basis.
  3. Student Award for Excellence in Teaching
    1. This award recognizes those students who demonstrate an exceptional talent for and interest in teaching.  The recipient is chosen on recommendations of faculty, student evaluations, teaching and mentoring activities, and a teaching statement from the nominated student.  The award includes a cash prize, and is awarded on an annual basis.


Fellowships

1. Regents Fellowship

  1. Regents fellowships are awarded to first year graduate students and provide a salary stipend.
  2. Recipients are nominated by the admissions committee and are typically determined during winter quarter prior to admission.
  3. Research allowances for incoming graduate students are typically awarded in the form of smaller Regents fellowships. All incoming students will receive a research allowance. The research allowance amount can vary year to year, but typically provides funding to purchase a new computer, equipment or helps cover other research-related expenses.

2. Chancellor’s Fellowship
  1. Chancellor’s fellowships are awarded to first year doctoral students and provide three quarters of funding in the form of a stipend as well as the coverage of all university fees. For updated award information, please refer to the following link: https://graddiv.ucsc.edu/financial-aid/
  2. Recipients are nominated by the admissions committee and are typically determined during winter quarter prior to admission.

3. Cota-Robles Fellowship
  1. The Cota-Robles fellowship is awarded to first year graduate students who have overcome significant social or educational obstacles to achieve a college education, and whose backgrounds equip them to contribute to intellectual diversity among the graduate student population. 
  2. The Cota-Robles is part of a five-year support package and typically provides a stipend during the academic year (except non-resident tuition) as well as some summer support. For updated award information, please refer to the following link: https://graddiv.ucsc.edu/financial-aid/
  3. Recipients are nominated by the admissions committee and are typically determined during winter quarter prior to admission.

4. Dissertation-Year Fellowships
  1. President’s DYF
    1. Presidential DYF fellowships are based on both academic merit and diversity criteria, the academic achievement of the nominee, the potential for success in academia, and the extent the nominee contributes to the diversity among doctoral degree recipients in the division.
    2. During the winter quarter prior to the dissertation year, faculty put forth students for this award.
    3. By the start of the spring quarter,  two nominees are selected by an internal Department committee thereafter. The nominations are then sent to the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences who determine awards among all departments.
    4. Nominees must be a US citizen or a permanent resident as well as in a position to complete the dissertation by the end of the 2019-20 academic year.
    5. This fellowship, when given as a year-long award, provides a stipend plus payment of resident tuition for the academic year. Non-resident tuition for international students more than 9 quarters after candidacy will not be covered by the fellowship and must be paid out of other sources.
  2. Chancellor's DYF
    1. Chancellor’s fellowships are based on academic merits of the nominee. 
    2. During the winter quarter prior to the dissertation year, faculty put forth students for this award.
    3. By the start of the spring quarter, two nominees are selected by an internal Department committee thereafter. The nominations are then sent to the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences who determine awards among all departments.
    4. Nominees must be in a position to complete the dissertation by the end of the 2019-20 academic year.
    5. PhD students regardless of citizenship are eligible for this fellowship.
    6. This fellowship, when given as a year-long award, provides a stipend plus payment of resident tuition for the academic year. Non-resident tuition for international students more than 9 quarters after candidacy will not be covered by the fellowship and must be paid out of other sources.


6. UC-MEXUS Fellowship

UC-MEXUS doctoral fellowships provide up to five years of funding for Mexican students doing their doctoral studies at a UC.

  1. The fellowship provides non-resident tuition, fees, a stipend, and support towards health insurance.
  2. To be considered for this fellowship, students must complete the following:
    1. Students must apply for admission to the UCSC astronomy PhD program and be at least provisionally admitted.
    2. Once students have applied for admission to the program, applicants should next complete and submit the “UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante”.
    3. Eligible students must apply for a doctoral fellowship directly with CONACYT. CONACYT reviews fellowship applicants only when they are eligible and have fulfilled all CONACYT application requirements, including submission of a letter of acceptance to a UC program.
    4. For more information about UC-MEXUS funding opportunities, visit the following link: https://ucmexus.ucr.edu/funding/

“University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States.” UC Mexus, https://ucmexus.ucr.edu/funding/.


7. UC-HBCU Initiative
  1. The UC-HBCU Initiative seeks to improve diversity and strengthen UC graduate programs by investing in relationships between UC faculty and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
  2. UC-HBCU Fellowships will cover the full cost of tuition, including non-resident supplemental tuition, a stipend equivalent to the established program/campus funding), and professional development funds, which may be used at any time during the student’s program.

“HBCU Initiative.” UC, https://www.ucop.edu/uc-hbcu-initiative/.


8. China Scholarship Council (CSC) - UCSC Graduate Scholars Program

The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the UC Santa Cruz campus, and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) have created the CSC-UCSC Graduate Scholars Program to allow Chinese students, jointly selected by both CSC and UCSC, to engage in PhD studies at UCSC. 

  • There are two separate programs that make up the CSC-UCSC Graduate Scholars Program, but the AEPSO PhD Program is for CSC applicants to Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Up to five scholarships per department will be awarded each year.

9. UC National Laboratory Fees Research Program

The UC Laboratory Fees Research Program creates partnerships between UC researchers and laboratory scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This program awards projects and collaborations that advance the missions of the national laboratories and University of California.

“UC National Laboratory Fees Research Program.” UCRI | UC National Laboratory Fees Research Program, https://www.ucop.edu/research-initiatives/programs/lab-fees/index.html.

 

10. Cal-Bridge

  1. The Cal-Bridge program seeks to increase the number of California State University (CSU) students completing their undergraduate degree and pursue a PhD program in physics or astronomy.
  2. Cal-Bridge provides a full scholarship support for an undergraduate student’s final two years at a participating CSU, based on demonstrated need.
  3. It also provides an additional year of scholarship funding to help cover the cost of a student’s first year of graduate school at a participating UC campus. UC Santa Cruz is among those participating UC campuses.

“CalPoly Pomona, College of Science.” Cal-Bridge, https://www.cpp.edu/~sci/physics-astronomy/research/cal-bridge.shtml.

 

E. External Fellowships

Database of External Fellowships

UCSC Astronomy Fellowship/Internship Living Document

1. National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowships

NSF fellowships provide a $34,000 annual stipend plus payment of tuition and fees for a total of three years (updated 2019).
  • NSF funding can be used over five years.
  • Students may begin their tenure in the summer or the fall quarter. 
  • Students who select summer tenure receive four payments of $8,500. The first payment is processed in mid to late June.
  • Note that the tenure year begins in summer and ends at the end of spring quarter. 
  • Students who select tenure beginning in fall will receive the $34,000 stipend in three equal payments, one at the beginning of each quarter.  
  • The fellowship stipend is considered taxable income by the IRS, but no taxes will be withheld by the university.
  • For more information about NSF fellowships, visit this link: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/education.jsp?fund_type=2


2. Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Award

ARCS fellowships are awarded during the spring quarter to students in the fields of natural science, mathematics, medicine, and engineering.

  • The amount provided to UC Santa Cruz changes annually. More information can be found here: https://arcsfoundation.org/scholars/about-arcs-scholars
  • During the winter quarter, faculty put forth students for this award.
  • By the start of the spring quarter, one nominee is selected by an internal Department committee thereafter. The nominations are then sent to UC Santa Cruz University Relations who determine awards among all departments.

    1.  

3. Piatt Fellowships

Piatt fellowships are awarded annually during the spring quarter by the Capitola-Aptos Rotary Club to graduate students who have attended a public high school in Santa Cruz County.
Fellows receive an anticipated amount of $15,000.

4. NASA Fellowships


5. Minority Fellowships

 

6. Summer Funding

Topic is currently under discussion

7. Graduate Division Funding Resources

For more information about funding opportunities, please see the full list compiled by the Graduate Division here: https://graddiv.ucsc.edu/financial-aid/