Funding Opportunities

Ph.D. student financial support

The School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and the Department of Computer Science strive to provide financial support to all Ph.D. students during their academic careers.

Master’s students

Around 80 percent of our master’s students work part time for IU—for example, as hourly associate instructors or research assistants. You may also qualify for financial aid.

Purdom Fellowship

The Purdom Fellowship is awarded to one incoming Ph.D. student or current Ph.D. student, with a preference for new students who are interested in theoretical areas of computer science. This one-year, $25,000 award includes a fee remission and subsidized health insurance. The remission does not cover mandatory, course-related, or miscellaneous fees. Alumnus Cheng Wu funded the fellowship to honor one of his professors, Paul Purdom.

Student academic appointments (SAAs)

SAAs are the primary form of Ph.D. student financial support. There are two types of SAAs:

  1. Associate instructorships
  2. Research assistantships

Applicants are automatically considered for an SAA when they apply for admission. If you are admitted, your admission letter will include funding information.

All SAAs include a monthly stipend for 10 months. SAA stipends are considered graduate student financial support and compensation for assigned academic duties, and therefore are taxable income.

SAAs also include a fee remission and subsidized health insurance. The fee remission is restricted to a maximum of 30 credit hours in an academic year—up to 12 credit hours in the fall, up to 12 credit hours in the spring, and up to 6 credit hours in the summer. The fee remission is not taxable.

Requirements and expectations

All students with an SAA are required to sign an employment contract known as the Application and Agreement for Student Academic Appointment with the Department of Computer Science payroll/HR associate. In addition, you need to supply the documentation that is required for the hiring process.

All students with an SAA are required to attend the Student Academic Appointment Orientation in the fall term. They are also required to successfully complete two online tutorials: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Tutorial and the Data Protection and Privacy Tutorial. SAA appointees are responsible for following all policies in IU’s Graduate Student Academic Appointees Guide.

The SAA is a 50 percent appointment, which equates to 20 hours per week. If you have a 20-hours-per-week SAA, you are required to enroll in 6 credit hours for each term that you are on appointment. Failure to meet the enrollment requirements may result in termination of the SAA.

Students who have accumulated 90 credit hours or more and who have completed all course requirements are not eligible for fee remissions, but must still meet the registration requirements. Such students may enroll in CSCI-G 901 Advanced Research, which carries a value of 6 credit hours, has a flat-rate fee, and has no mandatory fees.

1. Associate instructorships

Associate instructorships are the most common type of student academic appointment. Associate instructors (AIs) assist faculty members with the teaching mission of the department. Responsibilities vary depending on the faculty and the course but often include leading discussion sections and labs, grading assignments and exams, holding office hours, and designing course materials. Since AIs have similar teaching duties as faculty, they are required to follow the Code of Academic Ethics.

We highly recommend that you use campus resources from the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and attend AI-related workshops and meetings offered by the Department of Computer Science.

If your native language is not English, you must also pass the Test of English Proficiency for Associate Instructor Candidates (TEPAIC).

2. Research assistantships

Research assistantships are funded by individual faculty members to support students who work on the faculty members’ research projects. The availability of research assistantships varies each year. The awards are not made by the Department of Computer Science, but rather are arranged directly with the funding faculty.

Faculty members usually select research assistants from the graduate student body and qualified applicants. Research assistants are often selected to work on a specific research project or projects for which the faculty member has funding. Often, but not necessarily always, the work is related to the student’s thesis work. Renewal of research assistantships is based on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.

Summer appointments

A limited number of summer AI and RA appointments are available. These funds are allocated on the basis of students’ scholarly, research, and/or teaching performance.