The Precambrian Research Center actively solicits direct support of Masters-level graduate student research at UMD by exploration and mining companies. A contract laying out the objectives of the project, a timetable, confidentiality stipulations, and the level of company support is negotiated between the company, the student, the PRC directors, and the student's academic advisor. Companies are encouraged to contribute the total amount of agreed-upon support to the PRC, who then is responsible for distribution of that support to the student and vendors. The company receives financial and progress reports on a quarterly basis during the duration of the contract. Alternatively, companies may choose to negotiate another financial arrangement.
Possible components of support include:
Graduate Research Assistantship - includes support for 1/2-time salary, fringe benefits, and tuition waiver during the academic year (Sept.-May). For Masters students, GRAs are usually awarded during the second year of studies. For the 2010-11 academic year, cost for a GRA at UMD was approximately $27,000.
Analytical Expenses - companies cover the costs of analytical services and data aquisition, such as thin section preparation, lithogeochemistry, isotope chemistry, assay analyses, mineral chemistry, radiometric dating, paleomagnetic analyses, etc.
Field Expenses - travel, room and board associated with field studies.
In-kind Support - companies agree to share data, material (e.g., core), and services that pertain to the research project.
Employment - companies agree to employ the student for part of the duration of the contract. Ideally, this would occur during the summer between the student's 1st and 2nd year.