Research assistantships are determined by the faculty based on student qualifications and current projects and funding. Students interested in receiving an assistantship may contact faculty in their area of interest once they have been admitted to the Department of Aerospace Engineering's graduate program.
Research assistants have appointments in the department, laboratory, center, or institute that administers the research project that they assist and are responsible to the members of the AE graduate faculty who direct the research project. Research assistant appointments may be for the academic year, for the academic year and summer session, or for a summer session only. In some instances, research assistants may hold calendar-year (that is, twelve-month) appointments. Research assistantships are generally renewable subject to satisfactory academic progress, satisfactory performance of the duties of the assistantship, the continued need for services, and the availability of funds.
The director of the research project employing a research assistant assigns the duties. In most instances, the work required of a research assistant is tied directly to the thesis research, and, in such instances, it is not possible to determine absolutely the number of hours of work expected of the assistant. If the work is not related to thesis research, a half-time assistant should expect to spend twenty hours each week carrying out the assigned duties. Satisfactory performance of duties is determined by the director of the research project employing the research assistant and by the head of the unit administering the project.
The Graduate College's policy regarding assistantships can be found at http://www.grad.illinois.edu/assistantships. Some information from that site can be found below.
To receive and hold an assistantship, a student must be in good standing (III.B.3).
In the fall and spring terms, students receiving assistantships must be registered for the semesters of appointment. If a student receives a summer assistantship (the period between May 16 and August 15), and the student was registered for the immediately preceding spring semester or has registered for the following fall semester, the campus policy does not require the student to register for the summer term.
Tuition and Fee Waiver Information
Waiver-generating assistantship appointments are defined as appointments ranging from 25 percent through 67 percent time (based on a forty-hour week) for at least three-quarters of the academic term. The academic term is the period starting on the first day of classes and ending on the last day of final examinations. For fall and spring terms, three quarters is defined as 91 days. For summer term, it is defined as 41 days. A teaching assistant appointment between 25 percent and 67 percent for at least 21 days in Summer I (four-week part of Summer term) will be considered a waiver-generating appointment.
Tuition and fee waivers cover the base tuition, the service fee, the health service fee, $130/semester towards the health insurance fee, the AFMFA fee and the Library/IT fee.
Seeking a Research Assistantship
After you have received your offer of admission from AERO, you should begin contacting faculty to inquire about research assistantships. Research assistantships of at least 25% (half-time equivalent for working hours and stipend) provide a monthly stipend for the semester of appointment and generate a full tuition and partial fees waiver.
Please note: Faculty members may hear about funding at various points during the year. If you are reaching out to them regarding an advisor/advisee relationship and/or funding, please be patient and respectful when contacting them. Most correspondence will occur via email.
PhD official offers of admission come with a 5-year funding guarantee. Those PhD applicants who have received funding offers are notified of faculty interest in their offers of admission.
If you are a currently enrolled student reaching out to faculty members, please also be review of the above-listed information.