5. Financial Assistance
Graduate Fellowships, awards based on academic merit, are available to new and currently enrolled graduate students at the University of Minnesota. The Graduate School Fellowship Office administers University-wide fellowships. Graduate Assistantships are teaching or research appointments arranged between the student and the MIE Department that offer an “apprenticeship” experience in the academic profession as well as financial support. New and currently enrolled graduate students at the University of Minnesota are eligible to apply for assistantships. Graduate students may also be eligible for various scholarships and traineeships (internships) sponsored by industry.
5.2 Application for Graduate Assistantship, Traineeship, Fellowship, or Scholarship
Students will first need to complete and submit the Graduate School Application for Admission form to the Graduate School Office at 431 Darland Administration Building, if not already done so at an earlier date. The Graduate School normally forwards the Application for Admission form to the MIE Department before MIE processes the Application for Financial Assistance.
The MIE Department handles the Application for Financial Assistance form that includes the Application for Graduate Assistantship, Traineeship, Fellowship or Scholarship (including Teaching or Research Assistantships). This application is normally included as part of the Graduate School Application for Admission packet, however students can also obtain the form from Pat Wollack in Room 229 of Voss Kovach Hall. Students may contact Pat Wollack by phone at 1-218-726-8117, or by e-mail at MSEM@d.umn.edu, to request the Application for Financial Assistance form. The preferred deadline for submitting the application is February 15 of each year unless specified otherwise by the MIE Department.
Students will need to attach the following items to fulfill the Application for Financial Assistance requirements: Proof of Graduate School admission, one official transcript copy, and three letters of recommendation. The letters should address any teaching or research experience students may have and direct comment on their ability to understand, write and speak English. In addition, it may be necessary to attach a summary of career objectives, a listing and copy of original works and/or publications and, if applicable, a statement that describes any disadvantaged status.
The Application for Financial Assistance and all related items must be sent directly to:
Ms. Pat Wollack
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
University of Minnesota Duluth
229 Voss Kovach Hall
1305 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812
When applying for Financial Assistance students should specify a fax number, phone number and an e-mail address where they may be reached at anytime during the year, including summer. Should international students accept a MSEM Program Teaching or Research Assistantship through the MIE Department please note that additional information will be due in the above office as follows:
1. June 15: Verification of Visa – a copy of the official verification from the consulate that students have been granted a visa to enter the US. Copying the passport page, which has the sticker that was applied by the US consulate, does this. Fax a copy to 1-218-726-8581.
2. August 1: Verification of Travel Arrangements – students’ travel arrangements (flight number, date and time of arrival) should be e-mailed to Ms. Pat Wollack.
The Graduate School Fellowship Office administers University-wide fellowships. Applications may be printed from the Graduate Fellowship Office website and sent to the Fellowship Office by the designated deadline. The GS Fellowship Office also administers the National Science Foundation Fellowships program that is currently instituting a new on-line application process.
The MIE Department within the College of Science and Engineering may award a limited number of fellowships that are funded by the Graduate School. The application procedure for Summer Fellowships, which provide for personal living expenses, may be announced to students. Tuition Fellowships, which pay for tuition that assistantships, scholarships, or other fellowships do not, may be applied for in any semester. Travel Fellowships for presenting technical information at professional meetings may also be applied for at anytime.
Teaching and Research Assistantships are available to qualified students. Research Assistantships sponsored by the National Science Foundation or other agencies are sometimes available. All half-time (50%) or higher graduate appointments will carry a full tuition benefit.
The number of assistantships is limited and students who accept a teaching or research appointment should be committed to following through in order to minimize the potential impact on MIE Department operation. If students accept an offer of financial aid (assistantship, scholarship, fellowship, traineeship) before April 15 and later want to withdraw, then they have the freedom to do so through April 15 by submitting a resignation in writing. Students who do not submit a written resignation by April 15 will be held to the conditions of employment since it would be too late to fill the position.
The MSEM Program will provide the Graduate Assistantship responsibilities and obligations to students at the time of original appointment. Visit the following website for specific information regarding Graduate Assistantships. For maximum consideration submit the Application for Financial Assistance by February 15 in order to be eligible for Fall semester appointments that begin the same year. All students that cannot apply for Financial Assistance until after April 15 will have to check with the MSEM Director of Graduate Studies to discuss their situation.
Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) workshops are offered each Fall to help orient new GTAs. The MSEM Program requires Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) to turn in their class schedules in mid-August and mid-December so that teaching assignments for the following semester can be made. This means that GTAs must register for classes before the semester begins. In addition, all GTAs should be on campus from the week before classes begin each semester (to meet with instructors and help set up with classes, labs, etc.) and through the end of finals week (to assist with grading final exams, etc.). Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) are expected to be present to conduct research and to work with their faculty supervisors during any regularly scheduled workday. The only periods during which Graduate Teaching or Research Assistants may be absent from campus without the permission of the MSEM (MIE) Department Head is during an official University holiday.
5.5 Personnel Action Worksheet (PAW) and the Non-Resident Tuition Waiver Form
These forms are the direct result of the students Application for Financial Assistance (Graduate Appointments). The PAW indicates the appointment of the assistantship and the tuition waiver provides resident rates for non-residents. They serve to determine the amount of money to award students and may be in the form of a tuition benefit. The MIE Department fills out and issues the completed forms to the Vice Chancellors’ Office, where they are reviewed and then entered into Peoplesoft, which then credits student accounts. Students will need to contact Pat Wollack to determine the status of these forms, which need to be completed by MIE staff and forwarded to 420 Darland Administration Building (Office of the Vice Chancellor).
5.6 Graduate Assistantship Offers
Students will be given, at the time of an offer of a Graduate Assistantship, a written job description and appointment form stating the duties, the assistantship expectations, the terms (duration, pay and benefits) and the general expectations the MSEM Program has for the appointment. Students may then review and respond to the offer as required. The details of specific teaching or research assignments may need to wait later written clarification.
5.7 Employment Conditions: Appeal and Grievance Policy
University faculty and staff are responsible for assuring that graduate students are able to conduct their work in a manner consistent with professional conduct and integrity, free of intimidation or coercion. Student employees also have the protection of all University employment policies and laws. Graduate programs are responsible for providing clear communication to students about the possibility of an appeal to a third party for assistance in resolving disputed issues.
Students are responsible for reporting unprofessional conduct to the appropriate body or person, as defined in the academic or employment grievance policies, and should be able to do so without fear of reprisal. Students are responsible for acting in a respectful and fair manner towards other students, faculty and staff in the conduct of their academic work and work related to an assistantship.
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents issues the umbrella policies and guidelines for grievance and appeal processes as they pertain to students in academia who may or may not be employed by the University. For more information regarding grievance and appeal processes please refer to the Board of Regents website for current University of Minnesota policy information.