Assistantships & Fellowships

Application Deadline: February 15

Definitions

An assistantship/fellowship is a stipend offered by the University or Department in exchange for 20 hours of research or teaching duties per week for the period of the award. It also requires that the holder of an assistantship enroll for a minimum of 9 credit hours as a full-time student. Once students defend their dissertation proposals, this changes to a 1 credit requirement. An assistantship/fellowship includes a tuition waiver to cover the cost of up to 9 credits/semester.

Availability

Each year, the Reading Department has a limited number of assistantships and fellowships available to matriculated students on a competitive basis. Some of these are supported directly by the University; others are supported by externally-funded grants or projects. The number of assistantships available in a given year depends entirely on commitments already made to students holding assistantships, the assistantship allowance from the University, and the number of grants and projects that can support graduate assistants. .

Diversity Fellowships

The SUNY System has graduate-funding programs aimed at broadening access to graduate education as well as insuring that the State of New York and society in general are enriched by the SUNY preparation of scholars and leaders from diverse backgrounds. The Graduate Tuition Opportunity Program (GTOP) provides support for full-time graduate education to individuals who graduated from New York State undergraduate institutions while participating in EOP, HEOP or SEEK programs. GTOP Applications may be submitted to the Office of Academic Support Services.

In addition, the University offers the Diversity Teaching/Research Fellowship, a blended assistantship/fellowship program. Please see Diversity Fellowship Application for more details. Interested students should inquire and/or apply according to the procedures identified above for assistantships, fellowships and tuition scholarships.

Eligibility and Priorities

All matriculated students in the Reading Department are eligible to receive assistantships or fellowships. Preference is given to applicants in this order:

  1. PhD students already receiving assistantships/fellowships, who are satisfactorily meeting their assistantship or fellowship obligations.
  2. CAS students already receiving assistantships/fellowships, who are satisfactorily meeting their assistantship or fellowship obligations.
  3. PhD students applying for assistantships/fellowships for the first time.
  4. CAS students applying for assistantships/fellowships for the first time.
  5. Full-time matriculated MS students pursuing specialist certification (tuition waivers only for students in the internship component of the MS in Special Education and Literacy).

Applying for Awards

Awards for the academic year are made in June for assistantships starting in September, and applications for Fall assistantships must be made in early March (the deadline will be posted on the home page) However, applications for assistantships may be made at any time during the year—these will be held and acted upon if assistantships become available mid-year. Each application must be accompanied by a letter, providing a rationale for seeking the assistantship, and a preference for the assignment, and the duration of the award (single semester, Fall/Spring). In the case of a student seeking continued support, the application must be accompanied by a report on duties/activities carried out under previous assistantships.

Review Procedures

The Department's Assistantship Coordinator reviews all applications and the supporting documents, and proposes to the Department a list of students recommended for awards, and the amount of those awards. The Department reviews these recommendations and makes the final decision on assistantships and the award amounts. This procedure takes place annually, and at any time an assistantship vacancy occurs. .

Assistantship Assignments

The Department Assistantship Coordinator, in consultation with both students and faculty, proposes assignments to faculty or projects. This is, by its nature, a collaborative exercise to meet the needs of both faculty and students. Changes in assignments may occur, at the request of either faculty members or students with assistantships. These are processed by the Coordinator.

In the case of assignments to research grants or projects, the principal investigator or project director has the final say about assignments to assistantships funded by them. However, the Assistantship Coordinator works closely with them.

Nature of the Duties

There are two kinds of activities that fall under the rubric of assistantship obligations. The first is undertaking tasks associated with research--gathering, organizing, and analyzing data; library work; assistance with manuscript preparation. The second is teaching--assisting in or actually teaching undergraduate or master's level courses. If a student is receiving assistantship support beyond a year, apprenticeships in both of these domains is strongly encouraged.

It is expected that as part of your professional preparation, Phd and CAS students will engage in both teaching and research apprenticeships during their program, assisting in the teaching of graduate courses or clinical practica, and participating in faculty research projects. It is also expected that students will present papers at professional conferences (e.g., New England Research Association, National Reading Conference, International Reading Association, American Educational Research Association), and submit articles to professional journals (e.g., National Reading Conference Yearbook, Language Arts, Reading Teacher). .

Duration of Assistantships

Assistantships are awarded for the academic year (Fall, Spring), or for a single semester (Fall, Spring). Assistantship obligations, normally 20 hours per week, are in effect while the University is in session, for the duration of the award (Fall, Spring). .

Annual Review

The Department conducts annual reviews of students with assistantships. One component of this is the student’s annual report that describes the work carried out. Another is the faculty assessment of the student’s performance. These are both used by the Department in deciding to renew an assistantship, change the duties, or terminate an assistantship.

Please note: The guidelines for university assistantships are typically updated each year. Please be sure to watch for updates each spring.

Applying for Assistantships and Fellowships

Applying for Awards
Awards for the academic year are made April 15 for assistantships starting in September, and applications for Fall assistantships must be made in early March (the deadline will be posted on the home page) However, applications for assistantships may be made at any time during the year—these will be held and acted upon if assistantships become available mid-year. Each application must be accompanied by a letter, providing a rationale for seeking the assistantship, and a preference for the assignment, and the duration of the award (single semester, Fall/Spring). In the case of a student seeking continued support, the application must be accompanied by a report on duties/activities carried out under previous assistantships.

Review Procedures
The Department’s Assistantship Coordinator reviews all applications and the supporting documents, and proposes to the Department a list of students recommended for awards, and the amount of those awards. The Department reviews these recommendations and makes the final decision on who gets assistantships and the award amounts. This procedure takes place annually, and at any time an assistantship vacancy occurs.