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Other Physics PhD Schools and Fellowships

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Hello!

Fellowships:
I'm going to be applying to grad schools by the end of this year and hope to start one beginning fall 2020. I've heard from people that having a fellowship prior to entering grad school not only is looked upon positively in your application, but also broadens the area in which you can conduct your research in since you're self-funded. All the fellowships I've found, however, are given only to U.S. citizens/permanent residents who went to a U.S. institution or to people who are Indian students who went to an Indian university. I'm an Indian who attended a U.S. institution for my undergraduate studies and was wondering if there are any fellowships out there for me that I can apply for. If my area of interest is important for certain fellowships, then I'm hoping to do particle physics or astrophysics or optics for my PhD (all in experiment, not theory). I have research experience in particle physics and astrophysics and I'm hoping to do some research in optics next semester. Are there any fellowships for which I may qualify for for?

Grad schools:
I go to UTA which has a very strong neutrino Physics program, but has a relatively small Astronomy department. I'm a Physics/math double major with a 4.0 GPA, got an almost 100% tuition scholarship when I entered the university, have 5 academic scholarships from the Physics and Math departments, have presented either a talk or a poster at 6 different conferences outside of school (mostly at APS meetings) and got a best presentation award from the TAPS (Texas Section of The APS). Almost 3 years of research experience in neutrino Physics (both software and hardware) and data analysis of supernova remnants using the Chandra X-ray telescope. I have one publication and will hopefully have a couple more by the end of the summer. This upcoming fall, I plan to take graduate Quantum Physics I and graduate Quantum Physics II the next semester. My particle physics professor (who I've done most of the work with) has told me that he will write me an outstanding recommendation letter and put me in top 1% of all the students he has seen and I will succeed at a top university, if admitted. Have taken neither the GRE nor the Physics GRE yet, but of course, I will work the hardest to obtain the highest score possible.

Considering my profile, which schools do you think I should apply to (reach/match and safety)? I understand that this is a difficult question since I've laid down three different areas of interest, have not taken the GRE yet and no one can predict admission results, but I just want to get a general sense of the schools I should be looking for. I'm having a hard time narrowing down my choices.

Thanks!
 
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Bump. Anyone? Is it not allowed to post a thread for chances/fellowships?
 

ZapperZ

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First of all, if it is not allowed, your thread would have been locked or deleted. So calm down already!

Secondly, your first post is all over the place. You started by asking about fellowships, and then you diverted to asking for where to go for graduate program in the area that you wanted. So which is it? Those two are different topics!

You do not qualify for NSF, DOE, etc. fellowships. You may, however, qualify for assistantships that various schools offer to their graduate students if the funds are available.


Zz.
 
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First of all, if it is not allowed, your thread would have been locked or deleted. So calm down already!
LOL, I'm calm, I was just asking to make sure.

Secondly, your first post is all over the place. You started by asking about fellowships, and then you diverted to asking for where to go for graduate program in the area that you wanted. So which is it? Those two are different topics!
I realize that they are two different topics and that's what the title of reflected as well. I wanted to ask about both grad school and fellowships. But if it's appropriate to split the post into two different threads, I can do that as well.

You do not qualify for NSF, DOE, etc. fellowships. You may, however, qualify for assistantships that various schools offer to their graduate students if the funds are available.
Then I suppose my options are to individually look through grad schools that I'm interested in and see what fellowships they have have to offer.

Would you happen to have some things to say regarding my chances of admission to various grad schools and some places where I should be looking to apply?
 

ZapperZ

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LOL, I'm calm, I was just asking to make sure.



I realize that they are two different topics and that's what the title of reflected as well. I wanted to ask about both grad school and fellowships. But if it's appropriate to split the post into two different threads, I can do that as well.


Then I suppose my options are to individually look through grad schools that I'm interested in and see what fellowships they have have to offer.

Would you happen to have some things to say regarding my chances of admission to various grad schools and some places where I should be looking to apply?
First of all, be very careful with the "names" that you are using. I mentioned that you may qualify for an ASSISTANTSHIP, not FELLOWSHIP. It may make a difference to eliminate confusion when you mention this to graduate admission personnel.

Secondly, have you read any of this?


Zz.
 

CrysPhys

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Then I suppose my options are to individually look through grad schools that I'm interested in and see what fellowships they have have to offer.
First of all, be very careful with the "names" that you are using. I mentioned that you may qualify for an ASSISTANTSHIP, not FELLOWSHIP. It may make a difference to eliminate confusion when you mention this to graduate admission personnel.
To OP: What you should be concerned about at this point are in general the various sources of financial support that are available to you. In your first post, you indicated that you are aware of sources external to a particular university (such as fellowships granted by government agencies). Then there are the sources internal to a particular university. They are broken down into assistantships and fellowships. Assistantships are further broken down into teaching assistantships and research assistantships, as discussed by ZapperZ here in his guide: https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/what-to-expect-from-graduate-school-before-you-get-there/ .

Some universities do offer fellowships from internal funding sources, such as alumni donations. An important distinction between a fellowship and an assistantship is that a fellowship is free of any specific assignment, whereas an assistantship has a specific assignment (teaching or research). Note that fellowships (from internal funding sources) are much more limited than assistantships, and typically offerred only to the top candidates that the university really, really wants. Also note that typically (usual caveat: there may be exceptions), you don't apply for such fellowships: a particular university who really, really wants you will offer you one as an inducement to go there.
 

jtbell

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It appears that "internal" fellowships wouldn't serve the OP's intended purpose: something he can include on his grad-school applications in order to compete better for admission to the "best" schools. For that, he needs something that is awarded before he sends in his applications, or at least early enough that it can be taken into consideration by admissions committees.
 

CrysPhys

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It appears that "internal" fellowships wouldn't serve the OP's intended purpose: something he can include on his grad-school applications in order to compete better for admission to the "best" schools. For that, he needs something that is awarded before he sends in his applications, or at least early enough that it can be taken into consideration by admissions committees.
Yes, that's correct. I just wanted the OP to be aware that such a source of funding does exist, though rare; and to be aware of the different types of fellowships should mention crop up on university webpages or in correspondence with admissions officers (see Response #5). The OP already indicated that he was at a dead end in his search for an external fellowship; and ZapperZ concurred with regard to US government funded fellowships (see Response #3). That's why I recommended that the OP expand his quest to sources of financial support in general.

ETA: There may be external fellowships (e.g., from charitable foundations) that the OP does qualify for. I just don't know of any off-hand, but perhaps someone else does.
 
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Vanadium 50

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The number of portable fellowships is small - the largest, by far, is NSF at 2000 per year. To compare, 50,000 PhDs are awarded each year, so probably ~100,000 people enter grad school in PhD programs per year. The number of fellowships that can be awarded before the first year of graduate school is even smaller: the Ford fellowships are probably the largest of these, at 70 per year. Then you need to look at ones available for non-permanent residents, and that's an even tiny fraction.

So, a) you are looking for a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction, and b) you're not even looking for it yourself - you're asking us to do it, and getting grumpy when we don't have immediate answers for you. (Message #2)
 
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First of all, be very careful with the "names" that you are using. I mentioned that you may qualify for an ASSISTANTSHIP, not FELLOWSHIP. It may make a difference to eliminate confusion when you mention this to graduate admission personnel.
So, if I understand this correctly, most Physics PhDs in the U.S. offer assistantship of some sort. What I'm looking for then is a fellowship.

Secondly, have you read any of this?


Zz.
Yes, I have. Yeah, I think I just got confused between assistantship and fellowship, thanks for the clarification.
 
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The number of portable fellowships is small - the largest, by far, is NSF at 2000 per year. To compare, 50,000 PhDs are awarded each year, so probably ~100,000 people enter grad school in PhD programs per year. The number of fellowships that can be awarded before the first year of graduate school is even smaller: the Ford fellowships are probably the largest of these, at 70 per year. Then you need to look at ones available for non-permanent residents, and that's an even tiny fraction.

So, a) you are looking for a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction, and b) you're not even looking for it yourself - you're asking us to do it, and getting grumpy when we don't have immediate answers for you. (Message #2)
Like I had mentioned earlier, I wasn't getting grumpy, I just wanted to make sure that I had not posted something which I was not supposed to. In addition, I did look for fellowships, but didn't find very many that I qualify for, maybe I should search harder.
 

ZapperZ

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So, if I understand this correctly, most Physics PhDs in the U.S. offer assistantship of some sort. What I'm looking for then is a fellowship.
Just be aware that getting a fellowship, especially for non-US citizen, is very unlikely. Most of us who go to grad school tend to get assistantship. Being a TA, even if it can be a pain sometime, is actually an excellent training on being a physicist.

Zz.
 
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Just be aware that getting a fellowship, especially for non-US citizen, is very unlikely. Most of us who go to grad school tend to get assistantship. Being a TA, even if it can be a pain sometime, is actually an excellent training on being a physicist.

Zz.
I see, thank you!
 

jtbell

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Does UTA have graduate students? If it does, then you should be able to find out how assistantships work there. It probably varies somewhat among different universities, but you'll at least have a concrete example in your mind when you're thinking about assistantships elsewhere.

When I was a grad student at Michigan many years ago, first-year grad students normally started with teaching assistantships funded by the university, and taught introductory labs while they did their own coursework. A typical schedule was teaching four labs a week while taking two courses per semester. After they hooked up with a research group and supervisor, usually sometime during the second year, they switched to research assistantships funded by the research group's grant money. Some people had a combination of teaching and research assistantships, e.g. half and half.
 
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Does UTA have graduate students? If it does, then you should be able to find out how assistantships work there. It probably varies somewhat among different universities, but you'll at least have a concrete example in your mind when you're thinking about assistantships elsewhere.

When I was a grad student at Michigan many years ago, first-year grad students normally started with teaching assistantships funded by the university, and taught introductory labs while they did their own coursework. A typical schedule was teaching four labs a week while taking two courses per semester. After they hooked up with a research group and supervisor, usually sometime during the second year, they switched to research assistantships funded by the research group's grant money. Some people had a combination of teaching and research assistantships, e.g. half and half.
Yeah, it's similar at UTA. Grad students typically start out as either TA/RA (depending on who the professor is) and then they alternate between TA and RA.
 
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It appears that "internal" fellowships wouldn't serve the OP's intended purpose: something he can include on his grad-school applications in order to compete better for admission to the "best" schools.
That's true, however, I think I've almost let go of the idea that I need to be at the "best of the best" schools and work for the "best" people in order to be a good Physicist. Even though it may be a lot helpful to do so, I feel like my success as a Physicist would be more contingent upon how well I do as a Physicist and the connections I end up making.
 

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